801 Fifth Avenue, Downtown San Diego
Analog Bar’s slogan — “Good Food Strong Drinks” — is spot-on. The nu-retro music-themed bar’s cocktails are mixed (and priced) aggressively. The food is creative and, yeah, good, but not great, especially at prices that feel excessive, even for the Gaslamp. Service can be subpar during peak hours.
Established about a year and a half ago by the folks behind FIREHOUSE in Pacific Beach and the downtown wine bar Vin de Syrah, Analog’s website calls the venue “a sleek downtown lounge with design elements of a wood clad 1970s recording studio, an eclectic New York City dive bar, and a true foodie destination.”
With tall cans of Old English 800 mounted like EQ bars on a mirror and walls spackled in old LP covers and cassette tapes, Analog appears to be nostalgic for times predigital, yet, perhaps ironically, perpetually bumps electronic music. Seating is available at tables, booths, two bars, and an elevated VIP area that looks like Ron Burgundy’s living room, complete with tan pleather sofa, hardwood coffee table, and vintage television.
The bar offers a selection of wines ($6–9 glass, $24–36 bottle) and an expansive if not expensive tall-can menu ranging from $7 to $10, because Pabst Blue Ribbon tastes better at quadruple the store price. Specialty cocktails ($11–13) are potent but generic (Moscow mule, mint julep, dark & stormy, etc.).
Analog hits its high note at happy hours from 4 to close: Totcho Tuesdays, half off totchos (yep, tater tot nachos) and $2.22 PBRs; Wednesdays, half off specialty drinks and $2 mini burgers; Dirty Thursdays, $4 bacon jalapeño grilled cheeses, dirty vodka martinis, and wells; and Fridays (4–6 p.m.), $3 drafts and half-off appetizers.
DJ Artistic plays music videos from the ’80s and ’90s on Wednesday nights, karaoke runs Friday and Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m., and the Unplugged Sunday Brunch starts at 11 a.m. with an all-you-can-eat buffet and bottomless mimosas at $25 (plus automatic 20 percent gratuity). Acoustic karaoke runs from 1 to 3 p.m. and guest DJs spin strictly vinyl sets from 2 to 5 p.m.
All told, Analog is worth a visit for its novel atmosphere and no-nonsense cocktails, but only if it’s happy hour.
- Hours: open at 4 p.m. daily except Sundays, 11 a.m.
- Cover: Sometimes, $5–10
- Credit cards: Yes