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The new ‘IT’ spot in San Marcos

The new ‘IT’ spot in San Marcos

Palomar students and staff now have a new dining and drinking option with the opening of Inland Tavern across the street from Restaurant Row in San Marcos.

Managing Partner Pete Zacarias and Head Chef Rob Conaway are bringing their vision of fusion cuisine and cutting edge refreshments to the site that had housed the Penny Lane English Pub for the last 20 years.

The two met while working at the Glass Door in San Diego in 2008. When Zacarias purchased Penny Lane in 2011, Conaway was brought in to consult on the existing menu. Once the decision was made to close Penny Lane, Conaway was chosen to revamp the menu for the new venture.

“I envision a San Diego vibe, great beers, nice wines, tacos, with a little twist on it,” Zacarias said. Options include Kung Pao Carnitas Tacos, Kale Cobb salad and Teriyaki chicken wings. Fish and Chips, a Penny Lane staple, is still available, but are made with ever-changing fish varieties in keeping with the goal of presenting evolving and new offerings.

Bartender Holly Kramer worked at Penny Lane for a year before staying on at Inland Tavern.

“Pete wants to be a trendsetter when it comes to the beer selection,” she said.

Zacarias confirms this. “We want to have a broad spectrum. The taps evolve every week to two weeks and we are always open to talking to local breweries and getting their stuff in here. With (Rob’s) menu, and what we have on tap there’s always something that pairs really well with one another,” he said.

Specialty cocktails are also offered and for those who prefer a non-craft beer, domestic bottles are also available as well as an always-evolving wine list.

Large, flat screen TV’s hang behind the bar, in the dining area and will soon be added on the outdoor patio. Sports and action sport videos add to the locals hangout vibe that Zacarias and Conaway are looking for.

Happy hour runs from 3 to 6 p.m. offering $1 off all beers, well drinks, and glasses of wine. Future plans include late night specials as well as live entertainment.

“We want, after 10 p.m., to be known as the ‘IT Spot’, for Inland Tavern,” Zacarias said. Plans include wing nights, Taco Tuesdays, live bands, and DJ’s.

Inland Tavern is located at 1001 W. San Marcos Blvd. #195 in San Marcos. Hours are Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday 10 a.m to 2 a.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. More information and a complete list of all offerings can be found at


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The new ‘IT’ spot in San Marcos