Press Box outshines any sports bar within a ten-mile radius.
  • Press Box outshines any sports bar within a ten-mile radius.

Press Box Sports Lounge

2990 Jamacha Road #120, Rancho San Diego

I know what you’re thinking, and, yes, I really am recommending a suburban strip-mall sports bar. But let’s be fair about this. After all, what is Rancho San Diego if not one contiguous shopping center interspersed with tract housing, equestrian crosswalks, and golf courses?

While it may lack the uptown flair of 30th Street’s craft-brew monuments, Press Box is a viable alternative for denizens east of Lemon Grove and — offering over 100 beers, including 30+ on rotating taps from local breweries such as Manzanita, Coronado, Ballast Point, Alesmith, and Stone — it easily outshines any sports bar for at least ten miles in any direction.

Of course, you’ll also get all the headache that comes with an entire unincorporated community modeling itself after a Spanish Colonial consumer purgatory — things like ever-full parking lots, apathetic servers (bartender Kelly is awesome, however), and a clientele made up of a painfully accurate cross-section of the locals. Which is to say, loudmouthed young Republican Fox Racing bros, sulky suburban brats with decoy cleavage, and bourgeois tennis dorks — though, on the bright side, you’re also likely to have an impromptu chuckle with the dapper Chaldean businessmen smoking on the patio and Cuyamaca College kids who stopped in for a quickie and never quite made it back to class.

Perhaps the best way to get a feel for the place is on second Thursdays, when $25 buys a flight of beer and unlimited eats from the kitchen, which is overseen by veteran chef Jesus Frias. If you’re lucky, the cask tap may even be firing, though lately it’s been restricted to sporadic Saturdays.

If grapes are more your flavor, stop by every last Thursday for a $10 tasting from Press Box’s 65+ wines (including selections from J Pilar Winery down Highway 94 in Jamul) with cheese pairings and live jazz.

The bar also offers a full range of liquor, with rather generic “specialty” cocktails running $8–10 and martinis at $10.

If you’re in it for cheap grub, go for $1 street tacos every Tuesday from 3 to 9 p.m. The tacos are small but cooked fresh on the patio and remarkably authentic. A few $3 wells later, you may even forget that you’re hanging out in the diamond studded anus of the New World.

Hours: MONDAY–THURSDAY, 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 11 a.m.–midnight; SUNDAY 9:30 a.m.–11 p.m.
Happy: MONDAY–FRIDAY, 4 to 7 P.M., half-off appetizers, $1 off drafts, house wine, and wells
Cards: yes

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Comments

David Dodd Nov. 23, 2012 @ 1:08 p.m.

I heard the radio spots for this place and wondered what it was all about. I found it ironic because a press box is one of the most mind-numbingly boring places a writer will ever find him or her self in. This place actually sounds decent.

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Vixon Nov. 30, 2012 @ 1:49 p.m.

East County is East County, there are not many places to choose from. Press Box is one place you can frequent and receive great food, see friendly faces and get wonderful service from a world class Bartender (David) who always takes care of his patrons! Forget the writers diamond studded anus, this place is The Diamond in the Rough for East County!

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Slothy Dec. 11, 2012 @ 10:41 a.m.

what a joke this guy is with his diamond studded anus comment !! where do you live buddy? dont hate on RSD cuz you cant afford it writing your crappy articles.... Press box is above and beyond all local establishments, that is correct. But why end your good write up with a low class comment? The only impromptu chuckle from the Chaldean business men was because your an UFTY !! Come check out the box people, you wont be disappointed. Oh and try the buffalo ranch fries, AMAZING! As well as all the other amazing grub on the menu, seriously some great food in here...sincerly, flat billed hat guy hahaha

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Duhbya Dec. 11, 2012 @ 12:39 p.m.

Appears the comment has been removed? I missed it, and I'd also miss this place after seeing the 10 dollar martini. Olive extra???

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Chad Deal Dec. 11, 2012 @ 3:19 p.m.

Slothy - Have another read. The "diamond studded anus of the New World" refers to Rancho San Diego itself, not the Press Box. If you'd like to defend the remarkable culture void that is RSD, be my guest, but in a place so overrun with tract housing and franchise junk food, the Press Room really is the only thing that stands out as worth doing (its a tie with discount beer at Da Boyz and lunch at Spinners or Las Parillas).

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