I have, at last, found my local neighborhood hangout bar in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.
Oh, there are a few “go-to” bars that I like to go to on a regular basis: the rooftop of Fairweather behind Petco Park during Padres games, the casual and lively Trailer Park After Dark, Bootlegger Tuscaloosa West for Alabama football games in the fall, America Junkie for some of its “I’m back in college” nights including a spin wheel with shots on the bar and of course Barleymash for all occasions.
But not until this summer has one bar emerged as the place that’s a true, regular hangout place. Where I can go in and have a beer or several of them while jamming to a rockin’ live band. And that place is Patrick’s Gaslamp Pub.
Now as any long-time resident can tell you, Patrick’s has been around for decades, dating back to the end of Prohibition. Before it closed during the pandemic, it was the favorite watering hole for many old-school locals. But personally, I had never quite bonded with the place, particularly on weekend nights. It did have live music but not often a lively crowd.
Now, however, under new management it has become a nightlife hotspot with rock cover bands and a younger (mid-20s and up, a demographic it rarely attracted before) crowd that dances and sings to the familiar lyrics to the songs, and holds up their hands as if at a concert. That is precisely the kind of party atmosphere that was missing from its predecessor.
Led by smiling manager Cameron Brown, the bartenders wear Aloha (Hawaiian) shirts and now so, too, do several patrons, myself included. That hang-loose vibe hangs in the air like the last, lingering notes of “What I Got” or “Wagon Wheel” from the band.
Mondays are rockabilly nights, which includes a blend of Johnny Cash and old Elvis. If there were ever a surf band/TropRock night, I probably never would leave the joint.
I also appreciate that there is no longer a cover charge to go in and hear the music. This one little element takes away that do-I-or-don’t-I moment at the door: Is the band any good? What kind of crowd is inside? Now you can go in and find out without feeling the obligation to hang around a dull bar to “justify” the cover. Chances you’ll stay but it’s nice to have the option. Do, however, spend what you would have on a cover charge to tip the band.
Additionally, there’s tables outside and a small patio.
If you have not been to Patrick’s Gaslamp Pub since its reopening (and rebirth), I suggest you go in there and try it out for yourself. If you’re like me, it may become your Gaslamp hangout neighborhood bar, too.
Patrick’s Gaslamp Pub Address & Hours
Address: 428 F St, San Diego, CA
Hours: Noon-2 a.m., Fridays and Saturdays. 3 p.m.-2 a.m., Mondays-Thursdays
Live Music: Patricks Gaslamp Pub (@patricksgaslamppub) • Instagram photos and videos Seven nights a week, 9 p.m.-Midnight. Rock cover bands on weekends, rockabilly/Johnny Cash music on Mondays
Happy Hour: Monday-Thursday, 3-6 p.m. ($1 off draft beers, $5 house wines, $5 Espolon Blanca tequila & Screwball shots