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Last Call

“Everyone’s happy to smile for a Polaroid,” just look at Last Call’s walls. - Image by Chris Woo
“Everyone’s happy to smile for a Polaroid,” just look at Last Call’s walls.
Place

Last Call

4977 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego

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 a welcoming neighborhood joint that owner Rich Walker calls an “oasis on the Boulevard.”

“I opened Last Call eight years ago with a friend from when I worked at Dick’s Last Resort,” says Walker. “We were looking for a name that would catch and were surprised to find that ‘Last Call’ was available. There were only four nationally, though now there are a ton.”

Is it the quintessentially terrible karaoked “Don’t Stop Believin’,” the oddly inland tiki surf decor, or the walls adorned with Walker’s own artwork (made with recycled, reclaimed, and natural materials) that gives Last Call its convivial locals’ bar charm?

“We’re all family here,” former bartender-gone-regular Mike tells me. “We look out for each other.”

You can spot family past on Last Call’s “Wall of Shame,” a collection of over 500 Polaroids on film that went out of production two years ago.

“It’s just regulars, some guy acting stupid, girls...whatever,” Walker says. “If you take out a digital camera, girls think you’re a pervert, but everyone’s happy to smile for a Polaroid.”

Making light of the venue’s location, Last Call offers $1 kamikaze shooters when sirens pass, though some nights it has to be limited to east or westbound. A handful of taps include Manzanita IPA and Red from Santee, both excellent brews at $4 a pint. Otherwise, 22 bottled beers include Stone, Manzanita, and New Belgium selections, but the house special is the Sunken Sailor, a shot of Sailor Jerry’s rum dropped in a glass of Monster energy drink.

Catch karaoke on Wednesdays and Thursdays, live bands on Fridays, hip-hop Saturdays, and football on Sundays and Mondays.

“I first came here to play fantasy football,” says J.T., a traveling carnival electrician. “Once you’re in here, it grows on you. It’s the greatest little bar in San Diego.”

As an added incentive, the worst fantasy football player of the week merits their photo attached to the Douche Bag of the Week award, which is, in fact, a douche bag.

Says Walker, “Just come out and belong.”

Hours: Monday–Thursday, 4 p.m.–2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 12 p.m.–2 a.m.; Sun 12 p.m.–12 a.m.

Happy: weekdays 4:30–6:30, $2 domestic bottles and wells

Prices: drafts, $4; bottles, $3–$7; cocktails, $4–$7

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1

Last Call is a welcome Oasis. Rich, the saloon owner is a class act and a decent artist too...I even bought one of his art pieces for my home. Awesome joint!

Dec. 18, 2011

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“Everyone’s happy to smile for a Polaroid,” just look at Last Call’s walls. - Image by Chris Woo
“Everyone’s happy to smile for a Polaroid,” just look at Last Call’s walls.
Place

Last Call

4977 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego

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 a welcoming neighborhood joint that owner Rich Walker calls an “oasis on the Boulevard.”

“I opened Last Call eight years ago with a friend from when I worked at Dick’s Last Resort,” says Walker. “We were looking for a name that would catch and were surprised to find that ‘Last Call’ was available. There were only four nationally, though now there are a ton.”

Is it the quintessentially terrible karaoked “Don’t Stop Believin’,” the oddly inland tiki surf decor, or the walls adorned with Walker’s own artwork (made with recycled, reclaimed, and natural materials) that gives Last Call its convivial locals’ bar charm?

“We’re all family here,” former bartender-gone-regular Mike tells me. “We look out for each other.”

You can spot family past on Last Call’s “Wall of Shame,” a collection of over 500 Polaroids on film that went out of production two years ago.

“It’s just regulars, some guy acting stupid, girls...whatever,” Walker says. “If you take out a digital camera, girls think you’re a pervert, but everyone’s happy to smile for a Polaroid.”

Making light of the venue’s location, Last Call offers $1 kamikaze shooters when sirens pass, though some nights it has to be limited to east or westbound. A handful of taps include Manzanita IPA and Red from Santee, both excellent brews at $4 a pint. Otherwise, 22 bottled beers include Stone, Manzanita, and New Belgium selections, but the house special is the Sunken Sailor, a shot of Sailor Jerry’s rum dropped in a glass of Monster energy drink.

Catch karaoke on Wednesdays and Thursdays, live bands on Fridays, hip-hop Saturdays, and football on Sundays and Mondays.

“I first came here to play fantasy football,” says J.T., a traveling carnival electrician. “Once you’re in here, it grows on you. It’s the greatest little bar in San Diego.”

As an added incentive, the worst fantasy football player of the week merits their photo attached to the Douche Bag of the Week award, which is, in fact, a douche bag.

Says Walker, “Just come out and belong.”

Hours: Monday–Thursday, 4 p.m.–2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 12 p.m.–2 a.m.; Sun 12 p.m.–12 a.m.

Happy: weekdays 4:30–6:30, $2 domestic bottles and wells

Prices: drafts, $4; bottles, $3–$7; cocktails, $4–$7

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Comments
1

Last Call is a welcome Oasis. Rich, the saloon owner is a class act and a decent artist too...I even bought one of his art pieces for my home. Awesome joint!

Dec. 18, 2011

Sign in to comment

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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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