On an otherwise mellow Monday afternoon, I decided that I needed some beach time.
That being said, it wasn’t a particularly inviting beach day. It was overcast for the most part with only occasional appearances by the sun. But I had worked the weekend leading into it and wanted to kick back and have a few late afternoon beers looking at the ocean. So I headed to Pacific Beach, the “hey dude” beach town in San Diego.
I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go have those beers with that view but with several choices, little brainpower was needed to find a place. Now, being a Monday afternoon, I knew the bars would be pretty quiet but I also knew there would be enough fellow beach bums in the area that I could enjoy myself. And boy was I right! I would up getting wasted (again) in Pacific Beach.
I started at PB Shore Club, which is a classic old dive a block south of Crystal Pier that has a line around the block on weekends. I got a bit of sticker shock when my draft beer was 10 bucks – no Happy Hour was in effect there – so it was a one-beer stop. I then went next door to Waterbar, a beautiful restaurant and bar that is almost too nice to be mixed in with the other classic joints in PB. It was nice, but quiet (it was Happy Hour there and the beer was $6).
Next, I was going to plop down at Baja Beach Cafe, a thatched roof bar right on the beach walkway but upon seeing I would be about the only patron there, decided to walk another block or so south to one of my favorite watering spots, Lahaina Beach House. This place looks like a lifeguard stand on steroids with a good-sized deck staring right at The Strand (sorry San Diego, I refuse to call the concrete beach walkway the Boardwalk, which is too Jersey-ish for cool Southern California!).
If nothing else, I knew the beers would be cheap because a banner on the balcony stated that Bud drafts were just $3.50. Well turns out they were 4 bucks but who can complain, right!? Lahaina Beach House is an institution in PB, a local landmark. It’s where you go to when you can’t decide between the 30 or so other places in the immediate area because you know you can get a beer for 4 bucks, be outside and see the ocean and people watch the always-changing activity on The Strand.
While there, I stuck up a conversation with a dude next to me and during it, mentioned a couple of favorite bars on PubClub.com to which another guy joined in and said, with much excitement, “you’re the PubClub guy!?”
Whoa! He proceeded to tell me how he has used this site for years to navigate his way through the crowded bar landscape at different destinations. “Let me buy you a beer!,” he said. (Note to readers, I’ll always say “yes” when someone offers to buy me a beer.)
Well that one beer led to another, then another and, well, you get the picture. We were all swapping stories about life in bars, places we had been to and events we had attended. To make things even better, a trickle of good-looking girls walked up from the beach and, well, more beers! The next thing I knew we were all watching a spectacular sunset.
We continued this impromptu fun and with the happy adrenaline pumping in me, it wasn’t until I got home that I realized that I was pretty buzzed. All I could do at that point was laugh.
Sometimes, you can have the best times when you don’t plan them, even on a mellow Monday. You just have to know where to go, of course.
From The Barstool is a blog from PubClub.com’s nightlife blogger, who has seen a lot from the perspective of sitting on a barstool in bars around the world.