Av. Sonora Edificio Gallego Local 1-B, 22420, Baja
If the curmudgeonly writer Florence King is to be believed, “True nostalgia is an ephemeral composition of disjointed memories.”
So, then — in this accelerated, post–alles futurewelt — would it be too much of a leap to bundle the present with the past to conjure an atemporal yearning for that which was, still is, and is just coming to be?
1994 Bar poses this question by mashing up the timeless tropes of ’90s jams with a modern-day proclivity for craft brews in a casual neighborhood-bar ambiance swirling with “Six Underground” and Sculpin, “Lump” and Lagunitas, “Ocean Size” and Old Rasputin.
“You can come in wearing your PJs,” says bartender Pedro. “It’s just a comfortable bar, and we are really proud of that. Just being comfortable.”
The dudely attitude is especially meaningful, considering 1994’s location at the gateway to Tijuana’s well-to-do neighborhood of Chapultepec, surrounded by upscale eateries, high-rise dentist offices, and a new shopping mall that looks like it belongs on Alderaan.
It makes all the more sense when you take into account that the six-month-young spot shares owners with the energetic punk dive El Tigre in Plaza Fiesta, where the infamous Chez Bar once rocked.
“All four shareholders have a thing for 1994,” Pedro explains. “One is really into film, and Pulp Fiction came out that year. One is a soccer fan, and in 1994 the World Cup was held in the U.S. — the closest it’s ever come to here. One is interested in politics and remembers when a presidential candidate was shot here in Tijuana. The other loves music. Kurt Cobain died in ’94.”
But Nirvana is alive and well in 1994 Bar, where you can go anachronistalgic to “All Apologies” while choosing from over 35 imported brews (almost all from the U.S.) or a cocktail accompanied by pizza ($7), nachos ($2.30), churros ($1.50), or cacahuates cubanos ($2) — Japanese peanuts floating in Maggi sauce, lime, Tabasco, Worcestershire, a splash of Clamato, and Tajín.
Ladies take free shots and $1.70 Blue Moons every Wednesday, and you can go wistful for old Deutschland with periodic beer-garden events, including Oktoberfest on the 19th, featuring vendors, local brews, and music.
Like the Verve once said: this life, it’s bittersweet. Cue up a tune, tip back a beer, and savor every sip.
- Hours: 5 p.m. till around 1 a.m., Monday–Saturday
- Happy: Siempre
- Food: Bar snacks done proper
- Price: most beers, $5; shots, around $6
- Capacity: about 50
- Cards: Yes