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

La Gran Tapa

Image by Chris Woo
Place

La Gran Tapa

611 B Street, San Diego

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, Basilio Ceravolo, took over in 2007 and added some Mediterranean flair to the menu of over 50 organic tapas ($3–$14) as well as four types of absinthe ($7–$9), which are served in the “Bohemian method” by dropping a flaming sugar cube into the spirit.

Now you can catch live music any night of the week, ranging from flamenco to blues, samba, rumba, Balkan folk, world, and jazz. The bar offers an extensive selection of wine and beer, which are best sampled at the 5 to 7 p.m. happy hour (Tuesday through Saturday) for $3 a drink to accompany a list of $3 tapas. Be aware that 17.5 percent gratuity is added to every bill. Any additional tips go to the band.

On a recent visit, tables were cleared away after dinner as the crowd danced to latin/reggae band Todo Mundo. An Uruguayan friend and I watched mystified as a woman with the features of a mythical bird jutted hips and gypsy hands in front of the band. My companion turned to me and said as a way of excusing himself, “She needs a dance partner, mijo.” He arose from our position at the bar and, just like in a scene from Dirty Dancing, the crowd split as he Swayzeed across the dance floor and engaged the avian zingara in a feverish salsa to “El Cuarto de Tula,” which caused the woman sitting next to me to squeal audibly with delight.

“My inspiration and vision...is to recreate the feeling of the small, local bars of southern Europe,” Ceravolo writes on his website. “Places where the people stop and gather, to hear the news, catch up with friends, relax and enjoy a coffee and a fine pastry or a small meal and a glass of wine.”

Service can be difficult on busy nights, but then, this is not the place to go for a quick bite. The leisurely vibe is as much a part of the ambiance as the music, dance, and traditional Spanish decor. Parking is free in the garage two doors to the west with a minimum $20 restaurant bill (otherwise, parking’s $10).

Cover: no
Capacity: ~150
Hours: THURSDAY, 5 pm–11 pm; FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, 5 PM–12 AM; SUNDAY, 4 PM–9 PM

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Cobra Kai cassettes

Tijuana’s La Rola records noticed the increase in used cassette sales in 2020
Next Article

ConcertsCafe launches with consumable merch

“Our plan is to mix it up a bit and provide artists a revenue channel”
Image by Chris Woo
Place

La Gran Tapa

611 B Street, San Diego

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, Basilio Ceravolo, took over in 2007 and added some Mediterranean flair to the menu of over 50 organic tapas ($3–$14) as well as four types of absinthe ($7–$9), which are served in the “Bohemian method” by dropping a flaming sugar cube into the spirit.

Now you can catch live music any night of the week, ranging from flamenco to blues, samba, rumba, Balkan folk, world, and jazz. The bar offers an extensive selection of wine and beer, which are best sampled at the 5 to 7 p.m. happy hour (Tuesday through Saturday) for $3 a drink to accompany a list of $3 tapas. Be aware that 17.5 percent gratuity is added to every bill. Any additional tips go to the band.

On a recent visit, tables were cleared away after dinner as the crowd danced to latin/reggae band Todo Mundo. An Uruguayan friend and I watched mystified as a woman with the features of a mythical bird jutted hips and gypsy hands in front of the band. My companion turned to me and said as a way of excusing himself, “She needs a dance partner, mijo.” He arose from our position at the bar and, just like in a scene from Dirty Dancing, the crowd split as he Swayzeed across the dance floor and engaged the avian zingara in a feverish salsa to “El Cuarto de Tula,” which caused the woman sitting next to me to squeal audibly with delight.

“My inspiration and vision...is to recreate the feeling of the small, local bars of southern Europe,” Ceravolo writes on his website. “Places where the people stop and gather, to hear the news, catch up with friends, relax and enjoy a coffee and a fine pastry or a small meal and a glass of wine.”

Service can be difficult on busy nights, but then, this is not the place to go for a quick bite. The leisurely vibe is as much a part of the ambiance as the music, dance, and traditional Spanish decor. Parking is free in the garage two doors to the west with a minimum $20 restaurant bill (otherwise, parking’s $10).

Cover: no
Capacity: ~150
Hours: THURSDAY, 5 pm–11 pm; FRIDAY AND SATURDAY, 5 PM–12 AM; SUNDAY, 4 PM–9 PM

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

When burrito met Philly at El Pollo Grill

“You’ve never had better meat in a burrito.”
Next Article

One Season Brewing debuts within TRVLR Coffee

There’s kombucha, electric skateboards, and bicycles for sale too
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close