Here's the Deal

Martinis Above Fourth

American humorist James Thurber once said, “One martini is all right. Two are too many, and three are not enough.” While most of us instinctively know this to be true, there’s no better place to ...

Rose Wine Pub

Rose Wine Pub in South Park caught my attention when it opened about 16 months ago. It was a holiday walkabout night and the cozy bar, which seats about 30, was standing-room only. Wanting to ...

Tobacco Rhoda’s

The term “dive bar” is thrown around pretty loosely these days and, not unlike “dude,” “epic,” and “excessive force,” the essential meaning has been all but lost. Enter Tobacco Rhoda’s. Famous for its Filipina bartenders ...

Analog Bar

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 ...

Inn at the Park

Built as a residential hotel in 1926, Inn at the Park (née Park Manor Suites) in Bankers Hill was bought by Shell Vacations in May and is currently undergoing renovations to give rooms a kitschy, ...

Downtown Johnny Brown’s

“We were the first bar to have Arrogant Bastard,” says Downtown Johnny Brown’s owner Todd Alexander. “Stone had their release party here. John Brown really embraced the local beer movement. When I bought the bar ...

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 ...

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