Here's the Deal

Last Call

Boasting a weekend happy hour from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m., Last Call’s slogan entreats you to “Go ugly early.” And while easily dismissed as another sketchy El Cajon Boulevard hole, Last Call proves to be ...

Monkey Paw Pub & Brewery

Unless you outright loathe good beer, you probably know the name Scot Blair. In fact, you’ve probably been to his University Heights, South Park, and City Heights bars, which specialize in select local and craft ...

Redwing Bar & Grill

I’ve always enjoyed gay dives because the mood tends to outshine that of neighboring, dimly lit hipster hangouts. Nowhere is this accute sense of festivity more apparent than karaoke nights at Redwing Bar and Grill ...

Gallagher's on Newport

Advertising itself as a “fun, friendly, and exuberant atmosphere,” Gallagher’s Pub in Ocean Beach is my favorite place to indulge in that special abandon found where whiskey and soulful blues-rockers Lady Dottie and the Diamonds ...

The Griffin

O’Connells’ green trim went red in June when the bar was purchased by Mike Reidy, owner of Bar West in Pacific Beach. “We’re not Bar West Two,” manager Joe Gleason emphasizes from one of the ...

Air Conditioned Lounge

The first thing you’ll notice about Air Conditioned Lounge is the distinct absence of air conditioning. In fact, the iconic “Air Conditioned” sign outside the lounge (their website calls it the “most unassuming building on ...

Lafayette Hotel

Originally known as Imig Manor, the Lafayette Hotel opened in 1946 and hosted Bob Hope as their inaugural guest. The hotel closed its doors 14 years later and, in 2010, began a $4 million overhaul ...

The Waterfront

“Our liquor license goes back to the end of Prohibition, so we don’t know how long the bar was actually in business,” says Waterfront Bar and Grill co-owner Chad Cline. “We have the oldest license ...

The Stage

Erik Stage, owner of the Stage in the heart of the Gaslamp, calls the venue “three floors of entertainment in our haunted house of corridors and mezzanines.” In its third year, the Stage recently underwent ...

The Lamplighter

The Lamplighter feels like it’s been around forever. Its heady booze stink and retro aesthetic attest to a tradition of transgression, which often seizes the unwitting patron like a phantom and invokes all manner of ...

La Gran Tapa

Established in 1984 by restaurateur and bullfighter Paul Dobson, La Gran Tapa was the first dedicated Spanish tapas bar in San Diego. Seven owners later, the Sicilian proprietor of the Turquoise Café in Pacific Beach, ...