Restaurant News & Reviews

Santa Margarita’s newest bar serves up wine, beer and ‘barrio soul food’

Rosalina, a beer and wine bar in Santa Margarita opened by the owners of The Range restaurant, serves food in a laid-back, Mexico-inspired setting.
Rosalina, a beer and wine bar in Santa Margarita opened by the owners of The Range restaurant, serves food in a laid-back, Mexico-inspired setting.

About a year and a half after opening a new bar, the owners of Santa Margarita’s favorite steakhouse are preparing to add lunch and brunch to their menu.

Jeff and Lindsay Jackson, who have served up dinners at The Range for more than a decade, needed a place to house their overflow crowd on the weekends.

In March 2017, they bought the former Santa Margarita Tavern, located just across El Camino Real from The Range, and turned it into Rosalina, a beer and wine bar.

Rosalina is named after Jeff Jackson’s mother, Rosalina, who hails from Jalisco, Mexico.

A photo of Rosalina, owner Jeff Jackson’s mother, hangs over the bar at Rosalina in Santa Margarita. She’s the namesake of the laid-back, Mexico-inspired bar and restaurant. Joe Johnston

Jackson said that the overall vibe of The Range borrowed from his Mississippi father, while Rosalina is influenced by his mother. Her photo is even displayed over the bar.

“I’m kind of pawning my past,” said Jackson, whose daughter is up-and-coming singer-songwriter Jade Jackson.

Rosalina opened in July 2017, initially offering only drinks while work continued on the kitchen.

Food offerings began appearing in 2018, starting with small plates such as olives, nachos and shrimp cocktails.

Tacos and pulled pork sandwiches are recent additions, as is the Sloppy José, a sandwich featuring beef birria, guajillo barbecue sauce and fresh jalapeños.

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“The whole idea is barrio soul food,” Jackson said.

Jackson said he envisions Rosalina as a place for Range customers to enjoy drinks and appetizers while they wait for a table. But it’s also a functioning restaurant that offers blue plate specials for those looking to eat in-house.

“We always have a full meal for someone who wants it,” he said.

Lunch and brunch menus are coming soon, Jackson said.

Rosalina initially served only wines from Spanish-speaking countries, but local wines are now available. Sangrias and beer cocktails such as micheladas are also on the menu.

More than a year after Rosalina opened, Jackson said the bar is starting to bear fruit.

“We’ve just been putting money into it up till now,” he said. “It’s finally turning around.”

Rosalina is open 3 to 10 p.m. Monday and Thursday, 3 p.m. to midnight Friday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 805-365-7118.

Lindsey Holden: 805-781-7939, @lindseymholden
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