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Cherry Bomb

Beware the talkative blonde pool shark who rants about yoga, India, and God between shots and swills of beer. - Image by Chris Woo
Beware the talkative blonde pool shark who rants about yoga, India, and God between shots and swills of beer.
Place

Cherry Bomb

2237 First Avenue, San Diego

If the Cryptkeeper opened a speakeasy, he’d lurch over to Cherry Bomb first to take notes. Wedged between a laundromat and a taco shop, the Banker’s Hill drinking dungeon sees black brick and red walls embellished with skulls, candles, gargoyles, skateboards, and tattoo art. Shot glasses glow red above the bar as industrial fans spin overhead.

“We’re pretty much going for dark and dirty,” says Josh Bilben, who runs the bar with wife Sondra Feuillet.

Cherry Bomb is the kind of place you’re liable to smuggle a soda into. The cocktails ($4.75) are so strong you’ll probably puke in your mouth a little — and like it. I once ordered a Red Bull vodka and got a pint of vodka with a full can of Bull. But the house special is the 23-ounce schooner of brew. Sure, it’s Budweiser, but at $4.25 a glass, it’s just good ole American beer — and the main reason I crash my bicycle four out of five times after leaving the place.

Cherry Bomb has a definite local, under-the-radar feel, but don’t let the haunted house decor scare you away, boils and ghouls. The bartenders and clientele are as awesome as you are. Warm up your ligaments and your lexis for a shit-talk intensive game of foosball with the diehard regulars. Or kill overweight zombies in the House of the Dead arcade game, which only enhances the bar’s macabre ambiance.

If you’re lucky, you’ll meet people like Maryteal, a Virginian Southern belle (more of a crash cymbal, really) who puts salt on her black beans and ketchup on her kidney beans and is “happy as a clam” to meet someone who enjoys Brunswick stew. Get your ass kicked at billiards by a talkative blonde pool shark who rants about yoga, India, and God between shots and swills of beer.

Though live music was cut six years ago due to neighbor complaints, Cherry Bomb’s legendary punk and metal-heavy jukebox is the next best thing. Black Heart Procession next to Nomeansno, Daydream Nation next to a rockabilly mix, and the Jesus Lizard next to Johnny Cash. The local compilation includes rads such as Tanner, Drive Like Jehu, Inch, Congress of the Cow, Heavy Vegetable, Jejune, and No Knife.

Parking is readily available, but you’re better off taking a cab if you plan on finishing your drink.

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Beware the talkative blonde pool shark who rants about yoga, India, and God between shots and swills of beer. - Image by Chris Woo
Beware the talkative blonde pool shark who rants about yoga, India, and God between shots and swills of beer.
Place

Cherry Bomb

2237 First Avenue, San Diego

If the Cryptkeeper opened a speakeasy, he’d lurch over to Cherry Bomb first to take notes. Wedged between a laundromat and a taco shop, the Banker’s Hill drinking dungeon sees black brick and red walls embellished with skulls, candles, gargoyles, skateboards, and tattoo art. Shot glasses glow red above the bar as industrial fans spin overhead.

“We’re pretty much going for dark and dirty,” says Josh Bilben, who runs the bar with wife Sondra Feuillet.

Cherry Bomb is the kind of place you’re liable to smuggle a soda into. The cocktails ($4.75) are so strong you’ll probably puke in your mouth a little — and like it. I once ordered a Red Bull vodka and got a pint of vodka with a full can of Bull. But the house special is the 23-ounce schooner of brew. Sure, it’s Budweiser, but at $4.25 a glass, it’s just good ole American beer — and the main reason I crash my bicycle four out of five times after leaving the place.

Cherry Bomb has a definite local, under-the-radar feel, but don’t let the haunted house decor scare you away, boils and ghouls. The bartenders and clientele are as awesome as you are. Warm up your ligaments and your lexis for a shit-talk intensive game of foosball with the diehard regulars. Or kill overweight zombies in the House of the Dead arcade game, which only enhances the bar’s macabre ambiance.

If you’re lucky, you’ll meet people like Maryteal, a Virginian Southern belle (more of a crash cymbal, really) who puts salt on her black beans and ketchup on her kidney beans and is “happy as a clam” to meet someone who enjoys Brunswick stew. Get your ass kicked at billiards by a talkative blonde pool shark who rants about yoga, India, and God between shots and swills of beer.

Though live music was cut six years ago due to neighbor complaints, Cherry Bomb’s legendary punk and metal-heavy jukebox is the next best thing. Black Heart Procession next to Nomeansno, Daydream Nation next to a rockabilly mix, and the Jesus Lizard next to Johnny Cash. The local compilation includes rads such as Tanner, Drive Like Jehu, Inch, Congress of the Cow, Heavy Vegetable, Jejune, and No Knife.

Parking is readily available, but you’re better off taking a cab if you plan on finishing your drink.

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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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