Suck up some ocean air along ever-groovy Newport Avenue.
5046 Newport Avenue, San Diego
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 meet. The Irish-owned-and-operated “public house” is decked out with Celtic detritus to the point of comedy. It feels like a theme park. Irelandland.
Accordingly, Gallagher’s offers flights from their collection of over 20 whiskeys ($21 to $45) and a mess of specialty cocktails such as Dublin Iced Tea (vodka, gin, rum, Triple Sec, melon, S&S, Sierra Mist), Irish Lasse (passion fruit and wild grape vodka, peach schnapps, fresh lime, S&S, Sierra Mist), and Irish coffee. Beer folk can choose from 22 bottles and 24 taps, including standard domestics and imports plus some perks — Humboldt Brown, Stone IPA, New Belgium Ranger, Firestone Honey Blonde, and Coronado Mermaid Red.
Wednesdays are Lady Dottie and the Diamonds nights, when a Jig shooter (Bolivian coca leaf liquor and Rock Star) and a pair of feet are all you need to join the Guinness-flavored whirlwind of couples from 20-somethings to geriatrics jutting hips on the dance floor. Afterward, grab a $4 Jack shot from the plaid-mini-skirted bartenders and suck up some ocean air on the patio along ever-groovy Newport Avenue.
Mondays and Tuesdays are game nights with Connect 4, beer pong, Guitar Hero, and giant Jenga. You can get irie to reggae every Thursday and rock out to live music and DJs on weekends, when Bloody Marys, Screwdrivers, Mimosas, and Greyhounds are $3 until 3 p.m. $30 gets you a house mug for the year, which includes discount drinks anytime, access to a members-only liquor shelf, and mug-club parties with free grub and whiskey tastings.
On September 10, Gallagher’s will be hosting live jazz all day as part of the 6th annual Ocean Beach Jazz Festival with Lady Dottie and the Diamonds stirring up trouble from 9 p.m. to close (festival wristbands are required for entry).
Hours: Mon–Thurs 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., Fri 1 p.m. to 2 a.m., Sat–Sun 9:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Happy: Weekdays till 8: $8 domestic, $10 micro, $12 import pitchers. $1 off all pints, $3 wells, $5 domestic pint and well shot
Credit cards: Yes