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Next Door Wine Bar is almost all the way out at the end of El Cajon Boulevard, past the college and into La Mesa. That’s a long way to go from North Park for a glass of wine -- even if it’s just fifteen minutes down the freeway -- but for La Mesa locals, Next Door is a winner. It’s owned by the same people who run Treehouse Coffee Company, right... next door. You see what they did there?

The wine bar is, without exaggerating, adorable. The look they’ve achieved is a mix of bohemian and retro craftiness. Instead of just going for one, big space, the interior is segmented by angular bar partitions, and off-square spaces. I felt like wherever I sat would have been private and cozy.

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It’s not extensive, but the wine list is affordable and mostly available by the glass. Very brief tasting notes follow each bottling on the menu and, from my experience, they were accurate. Being given this information up front is pretty great because, for me as well as most people, identifying scents like “cedar” in a wine isn’t always easy and it’s always good to be able to practice matching words with smells and tastes.

As cute and fun as the bar was, the snacks left a bit to be desired. A flatbread with mushrooms, squash, and sage had good intentions, but they fell short of achieving any real synergy of flavor. Similarly, a pulled pork quesadilla was not much improved over one from TGI Friday’s. Nothing was outright expensive ($7-$10 on average), so there’s no real prohibition on eating at Next Door. But the ambiance and wine are certainly the biggest draws.

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7235 El Cajon Boulevard
619-741-5066
W, Th, Sun 4-10
Fri-Sat 4-11

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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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