An apt name for this place as the bar itself is quite small and pretty crammed. There are a number of seats at said bar, as well as some tables on the perimeter of the room. There’s also a big communal table in the middle. All of this seating in such a small space makes it feel even tighter. It’s also dark as hell.
Impressive draft list. Lots of special and interesting beers from primarily local San Diego breweries. Stuff I’d not even heard of from Monkey Paw, Lost Abbey, Stone, Green Flash in particular caught my eye to try. I don’t believe they do tasters here (other than maybe a quick taste of a beer to try), I didn’t really ask given how busy it was and that I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d get a seat. Prices are pretty reasonable, if not cheap, on most beers, too.
A really top notch place. I’m a bit bummed I had not made it here before. I would come back in a heartbeat.
Marheb (376) San Diego, California | January 3, 2015| Updated January 24, 2015
*Un des rares endroits ouvert pour le 31 décembre, seulement 24h après mon arrivée à San Diego. Plusieurs lignes de fût, rien qui sort de l’ordinaire mais en Californie, ordinaire c’est souvent suffisant pour arroser une soirée. L’ambiance était conviviale et assez bruyante, encore une fois suffisant pour passer une bonne soirée.
*J’y suis retourné dans l’après-midi pour les cask et j’aime bien cet endroit, la bouffe est décente et peu couteuse et la taplist plus qu’adéquate.
Visiting SD and wanted a place near Mission Valley with decent beer and food. Did the research and ended up the Small Bar. Found a seat at the bar and was well taken care of. Decent set of taps with a west coast bias....duh!!!, Resaonable selection of IPAs and DIPAs.
It is a small place ...duh #2.... and has a dive kind of feel but based on the locale and the patrons that was only an appearance. Reminded m a LOT of the Federal in Durham NC.....’cept for that tap list.
This is literally a small bar in the University Heights area of San Diego. The exterior is aesthetically pleasing with it’s black color and accents of red. It distinguishes itself from adjacent bars with it’s sinister appearance. Looking up from the street seating, one will note a series of red, three dimensional elephant head designs that create a horizontal border. Once inside the bar, it gets cozy. The dim lighting combined with the black with red accents creates a soothing atmosphere. One that dovetails with the collective spirit of the staff and patrons and physical closeness of everyone present. The staff are friendly and accommodating. Even the doorman was pleasant. I had requested that one of the beers I was trying be served in an 11 oz. tulip because I wanted to try several without ruining tomorrow (an epic San Diego brewery tour) with a hangover. He honored my request even though it is sold only in pints. He also discounted the already cheap price of $4.50. All the beers are, at worst, reasonably priced. There was a pretty impressive variety of taps ranging from brews like Allagash to local offerings from Monkey Paw. Food was of average quality, reasonably priced, and served quickly. We enjoyed our time spent here.
Visited this bar for a beer while in San Diego. The bar had a nice selection of beers on tap and bottle, which were written in chalk on the wall. Did not try the food. The staff was friendly and allowed for samples, while the prices were leaning toward the higher end.
Good draught selection that seems to focus one more normal, quality stuff and less special release. I like the gothic feel and long tables, plus the order-at-the-counter food is good. A small place, but a good beer bar/pub.
Another great spot in SD. Good selection of beers on tap but no bottles available. The service is always great when I’ve been there. I’ve never tried the food, but the menu looks good and features a couple of old favorites from the Liar’s Club. Nice ambiance with an Asian restaurant turned neighborhood bar sort of feel that actually works.
They should rename this place to Fucked up Bar, that would be more honest. Ordered some food that 45 minutes later still did not show even though I was told repeatedly that it would come right up. Beer selection was mediocre, clientel mixed, had its share of aging hippies tha tried a bit too hard. Walked out without eating, caused quite some consternation on the staff They are either clueless or they seriously expect you to put up with their incompetence. They did not try to please the customer, they rather copped an attitude Easily the worst experience I evee had in a beer bar
This is really quite a place. Cool atmosphere, excellent quality, fantastic service. The 42 taps are all the highest quality from both American and European craft brewers. Prices are very reasonable. I only had the fried pickle appetizer, but if it’s an indication of how good their main menu is, I’d guess that the food was awesome. A definite "must stop."