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

Behind the vinyl curtain at El Uno Bar

 There are things you will see at El Uno that you cannot unsee.
There are things you will see at El Uno that you cannot unsee.
Place

Uno Bar

3412 University Avenue, San Diego

There has been a lot of media buzz about Tijuana lately. With homicide rates dropping starkly from what they were a few years ago, the city has been reestablishing its nightlife along the renowned Calle Sexta, catering to throngs of local youth in lieu of tourism. The result is a thriving art, music, and bar scene that gives San Diego’s heppest hangouts a run for their money.

If you’re not ready to make the leap across the border, get your feet wet at El Uno Bar on University, just east of the 805. This bar actually sketches me out way more than anywhere I’ve been in Tijuana.

Never have a pair of laminated Chargers curtains felt so foreboding as those that separate the volatile cosmos of El Uno Bar from the outside world. Once you go in, there is no turning back. There are things you will see that you cannot unsee. Seriously, just go to TJ.

For starters, the bar offers nothing on tap, overpriced tequila that is always the last shot in the bottle, and cans of Tecate for a brazen $3.75 a pop. The menu operates on a haphazard pricing structure that once resulted in a bill of something like $9.67 for a couple of beers and a shot, so I suppose that could work in your favor if you’re in the mood for barter (Spanish only, güero).

On the bright side, I recently got a bottle of Victoria that was so cold, I thought I’d gotten a bunch of pulp in with the lime, but then realized it was simply frozen. The traditional salt took on a whole new meaning as I shoveled it into my beer, slowly melting the ice until the beer dislodged itself from the bottle.

Speaking of ice, the bathrooms offer a chance to enjoy the near-obsolete sport of ice-cube pissing in the urinal troughs.

The usual clientele is a grim assortment of vaqueros and transvestites — which really is the best crowd for karaoke Wednesdays.

El Uno is a welcoming venue once you get past your own inhibitions (though one Google reviewer asserts that their phone was stolen here — by the bartender!).

There is a saying south of the border that the best part of TJ is San Diego. But as El Uno Bar so unabashedly demonstrates, the best part of San Diego may, in fact, be TJ.

Cash only
The Deal: Bucket of beer for $14
Hours: morning till late

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

Previous article

Nora Vargas attackers under sex harassment shadows

California mayors Falconer, Garcetti, Breed, Schaff hide behind charities
Next Article

Head Lettuce and the art of the quiet lunch rush

Sealed bags and online ordering bring a virtual salad bar to La Jolla
 There are things you will see at El Uno that you cannot unsee.
There are things you will see at El Uno that you cannot unsee.
Place

Uno Bar

3412 University Avenue, San Diego

There has been a lot of media buzz about Tijuana lately. With homicide rates dropping starkly from what they were a few years ago, the city has been reestablishing its nightlife along the renowned Calle Sexta, catering to throngs of local youth in lieu of tourism. The result is a thriving art, music, and bar scene that gives San Diego’s heppest hangouts a run for their money.

If you’re not ready to make the leap across the border, get your feet wet at El Uno Bar on University, just east of the 805. This bar actually sketches me out way more than anywhere I’ve been in Tijuana.

Never have a pair of laminated Chargers curtains felt so foreboding as those that separate the volatile cosmos of El Uno Bar from the outside world. Once you go in, there is no turning back. There are things you will see that you cannot unsee. Seriously, just go to TJ.

For starters, the bar offers nothing on tap, overpriced tequila that is always the last shot in the bottle, and cans of Tecate for a brazen $3.75 a pop. The menu operates on a haphazard pricing structure that once resulted in a bill of something like $9.67 for a couple of beers and a shot, so I suppose that could work in your favor if you’re in the mood for barter (Spanish only, güero).

On the bright side, I recently got a bottle of Victoria that was so cold, I thought I’d gotten a bunch of pulp in with the lime, but then realized it was simply frozen. The traditional salt took on a whole new meaning as I shoveled it into my beer, slowly melting the ice until the beer dislodged itself from the bottle.

Speaking of ice, the bathrooms offer a chance to enjoy the near-obsolete sport of ice-cube pissing in the urinal troughs.

The usual clientele is a grim assortment of vaqueros and transvestites — which really is the best crowd for karaoke Wednesdays.

El Uno is a welcoming venue once you get past your own inhibitions (though one Google reviewer asserts that their phone was stolen here — by the bartender!).

There is a saying south of the border that the best part of TJ is San Diego. But as El Uno Bar so unabashedly demonstrates, the best part of San Diego may, in fact, be TJ.

Cash only
The Deal: Bucket of beer for $14
Hours: morning till late

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

Where is San Diego's local news going now?

Times of San Diego, Voice of San Diego, Union-Tribune, San Diego Community Newspaper Group, O.B. Rag
Next Article

Head Lettuce and the art of the quiet lunch rush

Sealed bags and online ordering bring a virtual salad bar to La Jolla
Comments
1

spot on review.

April 30, 2017

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town 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 Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new 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 Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week 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 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