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'Bub's at the Beach' to become 'Bar Ella': Meet the local woman behind the business

Bar Ella coming to Pacific Beach soon
Krista Barella with Todd Brown, former Bub's at the Beach owner
Posted at 5:55 PM, May 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-17 21:25:16-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — In the heart of Pacific Beach on Garnet Avenue, Bub’s at the Beach will soon become Bar Ella. The name is a creative play on the new owner's last name.

“The name Bar Ella is an homage to my dad… my family,” Krista Barella told ABC 10News.

Barella got into the restaurant industry when she was just 16 years old.

“I did everything from cleaning shrimp by hand… to tableside flambés as a hostess,” she said, laughing.

Barella worked in PB bars and restaurants while putting herself through college. After earning her degree, she became a manager at Tavern on the Beach. She said opening her own spot here is a dream come true.

“What’s funny is I used to come to Bub’s every wing Wednesday when I was in my early 20s,” she said.

She says the long-time owner of Bub’s, Todd Brown, has been incredibly supportive.

ABC 10News spoke with Brown on Bub’s final night, and he shared that he couldn’t be more excited to pass the torch to a new, up-and-coming business owner.

While some design elements will stay, such as the building’s iconic brick exterior, Barella said her vision is to bring a chic, fresh and feminine aesthetic to PB's busiest street.

“I think we’re missing a light, bright, fun place at the beach. A lot of the establishments are very industrial,” she said.

Barella said she has immense gratitude for the women who have inspired her along the way.

“In the industry I’ve had bulldog women in my corner for so long. These women just showed me the ropes,” she said.

And with Bar Ella set to open in July, she's already an inspiration herself.

“Whether it's being a career bartender or server, or whether it’s owning your own place or being a general manager of a facility…anything in this industry is possible as a female. And I hope I can emulate that to girls across the community,” she said.

You can learn more about Bar Ella on its website or by following the establishment on Instagram.