Steve Terry

Steve Terry is a Reader contributor. See staff page for published articles.

Blind Lady Ale House

In an e-mail sent yesterday to customers who'd subscribed through their website, the Blind Lady says: "...we are a half-a-block away from arguably the best pint of Guinness in all of San Diego (that would be at the Ould Sod)..." I like that. It's cool marketing. It reminds me of the movie Miracle on 34th Street: when Macy's doesn't have a product that a customer wants, they steer them to a rival store. A pub crawl from the Ould Sod to the Blind Lady (or vice versa) is in order!
— March 11, 2009 4:30 p.m.

Blind Lady Ale House

BLIND LADY ALE HOUSE (Part 2) Master Brewer Lee Chase holds a degree from UC Davis in Malting and Brewing Science. Formerly with Stone Brewing Company of Escondido, he has worked the past several years as a consultant to various local brewers. He can tell immediately if a beer is "off", and due to Lee's reputation, no questions are asked on those rare occasions that a keg must be returned. The two beers we enjoyed this day were definitely "on". I enjoyed a Lost Abbey Serpent Stout (Imperial). The sweet joy of this opaque black beer was very meaningful for me, someone whose favorite beer in the world is Theakston's Old Peculiar (a dark ale from York, England), enjoys Murphy's Irish Stout, and who believes that those who see good taste or any real pleasure in Guinness Stout would also see "the Emporer's new clothes." My companion had a Green Flash Super-Hoppey Pale Ale, which she said despite its truly being "super hoppy" she would without hesitation order again. The simple and authentic Margherita pizza we had was very fresh and tasty, a perfect compliment. One nice feature of the house is to be found at the very west end of the bar: a self-serve drinking water station with a stack of glass tumblers and a convenient bar tap. How was the name Blind Lady Alehouse decided upon? In looking at the history of the Wilkins Block building, the owners discovered that for 35 years The Automatic Venetian Blind Lady was a tenant. What's with the guy on the bike in the logo? Well, when visiting the Ale House, it's much easier to find a place to park on Adams Avenue if you've chosen to travel by two wheels instead of four. What about the cool-looking bicycles parked outside the front door? Just decoration to hook passersby into entering? Well, that may have happened in my case, but, no, those actually belong to Lee and Jennifer, who use them to commute from their home just several blocks away. More information about the other owners, Jeff and Clea, may be found at Video footage from our visit:
— February 20, 2009 11:58 a.m.

Blind Lady Ale House

BLIND LADY ALE HOUSE (Part 1) Normal Heights has always claimed such a very nice stretch of Adams Avenue. Thirsty ones can find satisfaction at such places as Ye Ould Sod, Rosy O'Grady's, and now there's a "new kid on the block": Blind Lady Ale House. We discovered the Blind Lady on the first day of its third week of operation, February 14, 2009. The day before had marked the Two Week Anniversary of this new tenant of the 1928 Wilkins Block building, located at 3415 Adams Avenue. (Though the Grand Opening was Saturday January 31st, the Soft Opening was the day before, Friday the 30th). It was the striking logo, designed by co-owner and graphic artist Jeff Motch, painted on the open glass door that first attracted my attention. The image of what appears to be a turn-of-the-century (when it turned from 19th to 20th that is) gentleman on a bicycle is sandwiched between the words Blind Lady and Ale House. The two vintage cruiser bicycles chained to a bike rack in front of the open door added their voice to the invitation as well. I had been strolling the street while waiting for my lady, who was getting her hair cut nearby at Hairdrezzers On Fire. As soon as my date emerged, I took her by the arm and we entered the Blind Lady for the very first time, on this the first day of their third week in business, Saturday the 14th of February, at about half past four. "How's business?" I asked co-owner and craft brewer Lee Chase. He replied that they are doing well. There was a huge rush the first couple of days, which he attributed to people in the neighborhood being excited about a new place opening up. During our visit we witnessed a steady stream of people coming in to place their order for one of the approximately 20 beers on tap. Pizza and wine are also available. In the space formerly occupied by "A La Francaise - French Bakery Cafe", the Blind Lady Ale House has a very pub-like atmosphere. And by "pub", I mean the authentic sort to be found in the British Isles, where one goes and buys his drink at the bar and then finds a place to sit and enjoy it. Blind Lady Alehouse is co-owned by four people, actually two couples, Jeff Motch & Clea Hantman, and Lee & Jennifer Chase. (Continued in Part 2)
— February 20, 2009 11:51 a.m.

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