Dive bar casanovas

Ken Layne‘s post on Charles Shaw wine sent me to Google to see what I could find out about this suddenly vogue merlot. What I found was a blog that is perfect for all of us drunks — The Daily Intoxication.

The author seems to be a San Diegan no less, with information on some of my favorite dive bars, such as Pac Shores (opened Dec. 7, 1941), the Spring Valley Inn (Country Dick Montana‘s old digs), the Arizona Cafe, Pal Joey’s and Wong’s Dragon Inn. But he doesn’t have the Shamrock in Spring Valley, Pete’s Place in La Mesa, Tommy’s in La Mesa, the Lakeside Hotel (I think it’s closed now, but is such a legendary dive, it deserves a mention), the Chico Club in La Mesa and Manny’s in Spring Valley. There was also the Texas Teahouse in OB, but I think it’s defunct as well. Great dives all.

Of course, in San Diego one of my favorite places to drink was the American Legion Hall in La Mesa, where no drink cost more than a buck fifty, but you’ve got to be a member (meaning a veteran) to get in.

Speaking of dives, last night we found the best dive bar in Ventura. I can’t believe I never knew about this place before. It’s called the Sans Souci and is reportedly the oldest, continuously open dive bar in Ventura. It’s a classic with all wood paneling, all leather stools and a horse-shoe shaped bar. It’s also one of the friendliest crowds I’ve ever found in a dive. A great juke box and, later, live music. We hung out there and skipped the opening acts of the Blasters concert across the street at the Ventura Theater.

Layne, as an ex-San Diegan, should appreciate this post. And, hey, Ken, there’s a couple of downtown bars I’m trying to remember — do you remember the names? One you played one night with the Road Hogs and it seems like that same night we hit two other dives within walking distance of that place, including one that had this great, I mean GREAT, 1880s era bar (Billie thinks it’s “Beasley’s”??).

All these great old dive bars in San Diego brings back memories. Billie and I’s first date was at the Chico Club. We had a few liquid lunch’s at the Lakeside Hotel and I got shit-faced drunk at Manny’s the day the Evening Tribune went out of business. And I saw many a great Buddy Blue show at Pete’s Place (most recently only about two months ago). Billie and I were in the Texas Teahouse the night Gorbachev fell from power.

Layne, you need to make a road trip to Ventura so I can introduce you to Sans Souci.

Leave a Reply