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The Griffin

“We gave it a textured, gritty feel...it’s a darker ambiance in here.”
“We gave it a textured, gritty feel...it’s a darker ambiance in here.”
Place

Griffin

1310 Morena Boulevard, San Diego

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 new booths at the Griffin, where O’Connells’ Irish motif has been swapped for a Medieval tavern aesthetic. “We gave it a textured, gritty feel because it’s a darker ambiance in here. We sandblasted the wood paneling and replaced the old carpeting with hardwood floors. The look is very purposeful.”

A full suit of armor overlooks the free shuffleboard. A mounted boar’s head observes the bar. A new 14-foot high-definition screen plays a football game in front of the stage. Electric candles flicker from chandeliers and Edison bulbs glow in overhead fans.

“We’ve refined the sound system incredibly — a new P.A., mics, soundboard,” says Gleason, who was one of the managers to open the Stingaree, a posh downtown club, seven years ago. “It’s not just a place for bands anymore. It’s also a dance party for college kids and locals. It’s very different from what this space has seen.”

In addition to names such as the Styletones, Dead Feather Moon, and the Lyon Crowns on the calendar, the Griffin has regular nights dedicated to blues, games, comedy, beach rock/reggae with Carlos Culture, and karaoke with Reckless Rhonda.

“We’re not at the beach or in the Gaslamp,” Gleason says. “There are logistical challenges to the location. One thing that helps is our huge parking lot in the back. We’ve also been researching gourmet food trucks, which are really burgeoning here in San Diego, and have identified a handful of quality trucks we want to work with.”

The Griffin offers two local and a few standard drafts but plans to expand the San Diego flavor with craft bottled beers in the future. Gleason is also working on a seasonal craft cocktail menu focusing on whiskeys and bourbons.

“People tend to brand us as a dive bar, which I don’t take issue with, but it’s limiting,” Gleason says. “We’re not a sports bar or a dive bar. We’re a next generation neighborhood bar. We have something for everybody.”

The Griffin celebrates its grand opening on Thursday, August 25, with Gabe Vega and the Howls.

Hours: 2 to 2
Happy: 2 to 7, $1 off everything
Prices: $4 wells, $6 premiums, $2 PBR pints
Capacity: 240

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“We gave it a textured, gritty feel...it’s a darker ambiance in here.”
“We gave it a textured, gritty feel...it’s a darker ambiance in here.”
Place

Griffin

1310 Morena Boulevard, San Diego

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 new booths at the Griffin, where O’Connells’ Irish motif has been swapped for a Medieval tavern aesthetic. “We gave it a textured, gritty feel because it’s a darker ambiance in here. We sandblasted the wood paneling and replaced the old carpeting with hardwood floors. The look is very purposeful.”

A full suit of armor overlooks the free shuffleboard. A mounted boar’s head observes the bar. A new 14-foot high-definition screen plays a football game in front of the stage. Electric candles flicker from chandeliers and Edison bulbs glow in overhead fans.

“We’ve refined the sound system incredibly — a new P.A., mics, soundboard,” says Gleason, who was one of the managers to open the Stingaree, a posh downtown club, seven years ago. “It’s not just a place for bands anymore. It’s also a dance party for college kids and locals. It’s very different from what this space has seen.”

In addition to names such as the Styletones, Dead Feather Moon, and the Lyon Crowns on the calendar, the Griffin has regular nights dedicated to blues, games, comedy, beach rock/reggae with Carlos Culture, and karaoke with Reckless Rhonda.

“We’re not at the beach or in the Gaslamp,” Gleason says. “There are logistical challenges to the location. One thing that helps is our huge parking lot in the back. We’ve also been researching gourmet food trucks, which are really burgeoning here in San Diego, and have identified a handful of quality trucks we want to work with.”

The Griffin offers two local and a few standard drafts but plans to expand the San Diego flavor with craft bottled beers in the future. Gleason is also working on a seasonal craft cocktail menu focusing on whiskeys and bourbons.

“People tend to brand us as a dive bar, which I don’t take issue with, but it’s limiting,” Gleason says. “We’re not a sports bar or a dive bar. We’re a next generation neighborhood bar. We have something for everybody.”

The Griffin celebrates its grand opening on Thursday, August 25, with Gabe Vega and the Howls.

Hours: 2 to 2
Happy: 2 to 7, $1 off everything
Prices: $4 wells, $6 premiums, $2 PBR pints
Capacity: 240

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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