San Diego Padres Gameday Bars
Where Fans Party Before And After Games
Win or lose, they booze before and after Padres game; here at the Tilted Kilt.
It's a hit.
The pre-game party scene for the San Diego Padres is no slow-roller to third, a "seeing-eye" single, even a warning-track fly ball to left.
Instead, it's a sharply-hit line drive, at minimum a stand-up double, at best an exhilarating round-tripper.
The location of Petco Park on the edge of downtown's Gaslamp Quarter provides it with a pre-and post-game power alley for partying. This is where people gather before and after the games at the bars and restaurants throughout the Gaslamp.
If it's a night game during the week, then most of the bars offer Happy Hour specials, running from 4 or 5-7 p.m. Those games start at 7:05 p.m.
Rockin' Baja has big cans of Bud for $3.75 to warm up for the game.
A good place for that first warm-up pitch is the patio at Rockin' Baja (310 5th Ave), which entices fans with this home run special: A 16-ounce can of Bud or Bud Light, pulled from an ice-packed cooler by a sexy server, for $3.75.
Any other Happy Hour drink special at this bar must be ordered and consumed inside but the chilled Buds can be enjoyed on the patio. The special starts two hours before the start of every home game.
Another cheap pre-game beer place is Dirty Del's (499 10th Ave.), which has Bud and Bud Lights for the astronomically low price of $2. This isn't a ballpark special but regular Happy Hour deal, from 4-7 and 10-midnight Monday-Saturday and all day Sunday. This is a sandwich shop that doubles as somewhat of a cheap sports bar that's very close to the stadium.
There's live music and popular fish tacos at Tin Fish.
For food, people pack the patio of Tin Fish (170 6th Ave). This is a small chain that has five kinds of fish & chips ($11-15), but it is the fish tacos ($3.50-4.50) that keep bringing the people back for more. Framed by the Convention Center on one side and Petco Park on the other, it's in an ideal location. There is live music on the fairly large patio and for those who just want a beer, there's a side bar pouring drafts (a 16-ounce Bud is $4.50 and huge 20-ouncers are also available). Finding a spot to sit or even lean can be difficult, so if it's crowded, don't ignore the small sports bar in the back of the building. It's a place to sit down and get a bit of elbow room, plus it has TVs showing other games. It's just not outside.
By far the most popular place to party before (and after) the games is the Tilted Kilt (310 10th Ave). This is the Gaslamp's version of the Celtic-themed sports bar and restaurant. Certainly, it's location right by one of the stadium's gates helps its pre- and post-game attendance, but the real attraction is its lineup of attractive bartenders and waitresses, use uniform is comprised of a sexy white tos and a tiny Celtic kilt. It's $6 for a pint of Stella here, which is hardly outrageous but certainly not the kind of screaming deal available elsewhere. But the place charges what the market will bear, and at the crowded Tilted Kilt (there may be a line to even get in the place) it's a seller's market.
Just outside the stadium's outfield is the patio of the Proper Pub.
Before, after and even during games, it's hard to beat the Proper Pub (795 J Street). Next to the Kilt, it's actually above Petco, overlooking the grassy hill behind centerfield. Because of Petco's open section of the outfield, it even has a view into the stadium. Its patio is always packed two hours before games and it's an ideal spot to be for Friday's post-game fireworks. Some people, even with tickets, are satisfied to stay here during the entire game.
The Proper Pub closes during the week shortly after night games, but for those who want to celebrate another Padres win (or drown the sorrows after a loss), there is no loss of places to party.
It starts with the Tilted Kilt. And while that may be enough, it may be too much for some. By this time, the side garage doors have opened up to the street and the bar/club Basic (410 10th Ave.) has opened. This is a lounge-type bar in a warehouse with huge ceilings, a pool table and casual-club crowd. Anyone hungry after the game should have the pizza.
Those who want to party hard (and late) are advised to head to 5th Ave., between Market and G Street. There are bars and restaurant/bars lined up like the '27 Yankees Murderers' Row, ready to assault any pitch (or in this case, person) that comes its way. And, like that intimidating lineup, it's pick your poison – Whiskey Girl, Henry's Pub (the Babe Ruth of these bars), La Fiesta and Johnny Love's.
Other post-Padres places to consider are the East Village Tavern (930 Market Street) which has an indoor bowling alley, the classy lounge Fleetwood (639 J Street) and the comfortable Gaslamp Tavern (868 5th Ave). The East Village Tavern is also a place to go to watch the Chargers, considering it offers $4 drafts and $12 pitchers of Bud Lights during the games.