Schnaps Meets Schnitzel in San Diego | CH Projects

Schnaps Meets Schnitzel in San Diego | CH ProjectsOne of the most recognized names in San Diego’s cocktail scene, Anthony Schmidt has spent the past decade immersing himself in the culture and history of classic American cocktails. Alongside the CH Projects team, Schmidt has gone on to create unique spirit programs earning a place on some of the nation’s most coveted lists – including Esquire‘s “Best Bars in America” (Noble Experiment, 2013) and Food & Wine‘s “Top 50 Bars in the Country” (Craft & Commerce, 2011) as well as receiving two nominations at the prestigious Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards in New Orleans (Craft & Commerce, 2012 and Noble Experiment, 2014). Now Schmidt takes the lead on a new dual-concept venue in San Diego’s historic Simon Levi building at Petco Park. Partnering with CH Projects, Schmidt announces the official opening of Rare Form, a unique take on the classic neighborhood delicatessen, and Fairweather, a colorful rooftop patio bar featuring “drinks from sunny places.”


DRINKS FROM SUNNY PLACES: Poised above Rare Form, Fairweather is a 1,500 square-foot rooftop patio oasis, overlooking the famed Padres’ Petco Park stadium. Dedicated to “drinks from sunny places,” Fairweather offers imbibers ice-cold cocktails curated by the capable hands of Schmidt. Mezcal, rum and tequila reign supreme throughout Fairweather’s 32-count cocktail lineup. Daiquiris, a Mai Tai, Piña Colada, Zombie, Painkiller, and Ti’ Punch are among 16 familiar “Classic” throwbacks recreated from timeless recipes discovered in old cocktail journals by Schmidt, while 16 “Fairweather Signatures” offer unique riffs on the classics – the Oaxacan Dead (Schmidt’s riff on the Zombie with Mezcal and rum), the Monkey’s Junk (coconut, bananas and cacao rum),Rum Row (an aged Old Fashioned with coconut bitters and banana liqueur), and the lighthearted Piece of Advice. Priced at $300 (essentially the most expensive “Dealer’s Choice” you can imagine), this top shelf cocktail is offered with–you guessed it–a piece of sage advice from your friendly bartender.

Fairweather gladly serves any of their drinks frozen and also offers 12 beers on tap in addition to a handful of wines.


Open 7 Days a Week
Monday through Thursday | 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday + Sunday | 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Happy Hour
| 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday thru Friday | $5 Daiquiri, $5 Piña Colada, $5 Margarita



Influenced by cultures famed for iconic delicatessen traditions – Jewish, German, Italian and French – Rare Form transports you into the world of a modern-day European deli inside its new 3,500 square-foot space. Executive Chef Aldo Negrete turns out daily classic butcher shop specials including pâtés, terrines and pork rillette; sandwiches with house-cured pastrami, linguiça, smoked ham, chicken schnitzel, and house-cured lox; along with soups such as matzo ball, cream of tomato and lentil & smoked ham hock. In a break from ‘delicatessen tradition,’ Chef Negrete also offers a lineup of savory waffle sandwiches with combos including smoked ham & swiss, crispy chicken & maple syrup, and house-made knockwurst, caramelized onions & roasted peppers, among others.

A DEDICATED SCHNAPS BAR: Front man, co-owner Anthony Schmidt (Noble Experiment) spent the last two years experimenting with Rare Form’s beverage program to create one of the only, if not the only, schnaps bars in the U.S. Unlike the commonly known, sugar-sweetened American version, Schmidt’s program is designed to highlight true schnaps (a.k.a. eau de vie), a pure, crystal clear brandy made from fruit.

Capturing the essence of produce preserved at peak ripeness, the distillation method is a process still used by families throughout Europe today and sees mashed fruit, which has fermented for several days, distilled into a strong, clear liquor. Water is then added to make the drink palatable and bring alcohol content down to around 40 or 50 percent. With its clean, pure flavor, and no excess sugar, the end result is bottled immediately and served as a digestif.

Alongside nine featured schnaps cocktails, Rare Form offers 12 draft beers, a selection of wines and three different boilermakers – an old-school classic which pairs a shot of schnaps alongside a draft beer chaser.


Open 7 Days a Week | 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Happy Hour | 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday thru Friday | half-off all San Diego beers on draft, $5 Basil G&T, $5 Rare Form Whiskey Cocktail


ANTHONY SCHMIDT | Partner, Rare Form & Fairweather: With a passionate yet humble approach to the art of the cocktail, Anthony Schmidt has spent the last 10 years immersing himself in the culture and history of the classic American cocktail.

While moonlighting early on as a manager and bouncer at a collection of nightlife establishments, Schmidt was introduced to Nathan Stanton, a young entrepreneur on the verge of co-opening El Dorado, one of San Diego’s first original craft cocktail bars. Quickly recognizing one another’s enthusiasm to develop San Diego’s burgeoning cocktail scene, Schmidt assumed a management position at the progressive new bar and dove head first into what would become a lifelong passion.

This collaboration with Stanton eventually lead to Schmidt’s first—and much-anticipated—role behind the bar in 2010 when he opened Noble Experiment as general manager and head bartender alongside Stanton’s co-founding CH Projects’ partner, Arsalun Tafazoli. Over the past seven years, the trio has gone on to breed unique spirits programs that have earned a place on some of the nation’s most coveted lists – including Esquire’s “Best Bars in America” (Noble Experiment) in 2013, Food & Wine’s “Top 50 Bars in the Country” (Craft & Commerce) in 2011 as well as two nomination at the prestigious Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards in New Orleans in 2012 (Craft & Commerce) and 2014 (Noble Experiment).

Today, Anthony’s passion lies in preserving and elevating the “lost art” of the craft cocktail. Through nation-wide travel and an insatiable curiosity for discovering time-honored techniques, Schmidt has helped to preserve a cocktail philosophy founded in serving high-quality drinks with meticulous service. This mindset has carried over to the four spaces in San Diego he has helped launch thus far — Noble Experiment, Craft & Commerce, El Dorado Cocktail Lounge and Polite Provisions — and continues to be woven into the cocktail program at his newest dual-concept launch of Rare Form and Fairweather.

ALDO NEGRETE | Executive Chef, Rare Form: Trained under a slew of the most well respected names in the industry, Aldo Negrete has undoubtedly made his mark on Southern California’s restaurant scene since returning to San Diego nearly four years ago. Dedicated to becoming a professional chef from an early age, Negrete grew up in San Diego’s South Bay and went on to enroll at the Art Institute of California, where he first earned his chops behind the line at Loews Coronado Bay Resort. Next came a stint under Tony Disalvo at Jacks La Jolla, where the former Executive Chef of New York’s Michelin starred Jean Georges schooled Negrete in nouveau-cooking techniques.

Moving north to San Francisco in 2003, he helped open popular supper club Mecca, before going on to polish his skills staging at some of the city’s most notable fine dining establishments including Gary Danko, The Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton, Tartine Bakery and Cyrus. Returning to his roots in 2010 he took over as Sous Chef at Quality Social under nationally renowned Executive Chef Jared Van Camp who is widely recognized for creating one of the most ambitious charcuterie programs in the country. Quickly learning the craft, Negrete’s natural skills as a “whiz-kid of cured meat” were cemented, and a lifelong love for Salami and Pâté was born. After a year as Sous Chef at Hotel Palomar’s gastro-lounge Saltbox, Negrete took an opportunity he couldn’t refuse, becoming Chef de Cuisine at Whisknladle in 2012. Very much focused on the ‘from scratch’ cooking philosophy, the steep learning curve – one of the greatest experiences of his career – saw him innovating farm-fresh inspired cuisine alongside mentor and Executive Chef Ryan Johnston, where everything from pasta to ice cream was handmade on the premises.

Excited by the opportunity to join forces with Consortium Holdings as they continued to elevate their culinary program with each new concept, Negrete bonded with Rare Form co-founder and business partner Anthony Schmidt over a love of good cocktails, good food and good meats. With an inherent passion for charcuterie, which Negrete says transforms the flavor of meat from humble to the sublime, Rare Form – where Aldo counts his comfort food ‘go-to’ as the “Porchetta” a pork loin wrapped with pork belly and slow roasted with fennel seeds – was a match made in heaven for the duo. When not busy at Rare Form or spending time with his family in East Lake, Aldo’s other passion is collecting vintage vinyl (top picks are 80’s oldies and experimental instrumental) which he happily hunts for at swap meets and record stores around San Diego.

California’s southern-most city, San Diego, has for decades been known as a casual, sleepy coastal getaway with a culinary scene to match—fish tacos and Mexican lager epitomized an attitude not unlike that of an adolescent sibling to that of its mature, celebrity chef-embellished neighbor-to-the-north. Enter CH Projects, the visionary restaurateurs-come-social engineering duo that is pioneering the city’s now burgeoning cultural progression with ten ambitious concepts (Fairweather, Rare Form, Ironside Fish & Oyster, Craft & Commerce, Neighborhood, UnderBelly, Noble Experiment, El Dorado, Polite Provisions and Soda & Swine). Co-founders Arsalun Tafazoli and Nathan Stanton have cultivated an intrinsic core philosophy—that a space should inspire, its design aesthetic and culinary /cocktail paradigm allowing for the seemingly lost art of conversation to thrive in an environment that fosters charisma, thoughtful dialogue, and the resurgence of real human interaction. In stark contrast to the overwhelming neon lights and volatile drone that emanates from plasma screens-as-art in less calculated restaurant and bar settings, CH Projects’ establishments eschew trendy, stagnant décor and menus in favor of an eclectic, contemporary quality borne out of the collaborative efforts of like-minded individuals with a hunger (and thirst) for innovation.