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Small Bar

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Taps: 42 / Bottles:
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

25 Ratings
Ratings: 25
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 4.64%
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]

4628 Park Blvd
San Diego, California, 92116-2629
United States
phone: (619) 795-7998

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: hophead4173 on 12-08-2009)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 25 | Reviews: 20 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4.14/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$

"Smallish" bar in University heights, the room is about the same size as Monkey paw.

Easy on-street parking, a few tables out front, and you enter from a side door/hallway, past the demonic-looking elephant logo on the door.

The standard chaulkboard held what I counted to be about 40 taps, a bit hard to read unless directly in front of you. A mix of communal and bar-height tables, and of course some room at the bar. Nice bar staff at this place, at least two of them asked a couple of times what we would like or if we would like another. Just the basics, but hell it counts for a lot when other places treat you like a lepper.
A good mix on the taps, nothing mind-blowing on our visit though. Plenty of hop-forwards as expected in SoCal, with some stouts, porters, and Belgians mixed in.
Black and red decor, and there was a serious mix coming out of the jukebox. Quite loud fairly crowded.
This one would be a repeat, good peeps and a very good selection.

10-12-2011 00:31:23 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of berley31
berley31

New Brunswick (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Dropped by (for what ended up to be 3 hours) on a Tuesday night around 7 pm...

A: Yep, it's small, but as the reviewer below noted, not TINY. Long bar, tables scatted along the side, and a small deck. The place was completely packed, but had a great vibe when I was there. Not douchey at all, everyone into great beers. Awesome jukebox.

Q + Selection: Lots of awesome taps; I had four in all, and they all tasted fantastic. Looks like they rotate very often (I can see why with a crowd like this).

Service: Pretty fine. Sat at the bar for two beers and then moved to a table. The first bartender passed us off to someone else, who ended up being friendly enough, if not overly chatty (they were very busy). One guy chewed out my brother for accidentally walking into the keg room.

Value: Seemed pretty good to me.

O: One of my favorite bars in SD, and easily one of the top ones in terms of atmosphere.

09-27-2011 21:44:53 | More by berley31
Photo of flexabull
flexabull

California

4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$

Second stop on my recent trip to San Diego, this came as a recommendation from BAs on the forums.

Great atmosphere, Small Bar is indeed small, but it's not tiny. There are a few tables outside for sipping a beer while soaking up San Diego's dang near perfect weather, and seating for about 30 people inside. It's dark, with quirky decor, and a great jukebox. The only problem, they have only one bathroom.

Quality is very good, all the taps were full of excellent beers.

Service was good, I was quickly acknowledged and served.

Selection was impressive for such a small place, they had everything from locals to Belgians, strong beers to lighter lagers.

I didn't have any food, but someone sitting next to me did, and it looked wonderful.

Prices were fair, I had a pint of Sculpin for $5, about what I'd pay for a comparable beer at home.

Overall this is a fantastic place. If I had more time on this trip, I would have made a return visit, maybe 3.

08-09-2011 03:59:39 | More by flexabull
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
ThreeWiseMen

California

4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$

Stopped in here for the first time on Friday night with a few friends. According to my roommate, Small Bar and Hamilton's are under the same ownership.

Small Bar is my kind of joint. Though crowded, our group was easily able to carry on conversations; no blaring music or obnoxious drunks. High ceilings and open windows kept the indoor temperature relatively cool. Beer and liquor memorabilia hung from the walls. The bartenders were very attentive and polite. And, oh yeah, the beer selection was phenomenal!

About that beer selection: expect to wide variety of beer styles, with a strong focus on hoppy ales and sours (perfect for a warm, San Diego night). On draft, I saw several Flanders red ales, a few wild ales (including Consecration), a Berlinner Weisse, and a host of local IPAs, imperial IPAs, etc. I stared at the list for quite awhile, eventually settling on a Hop Rod Rye. While I didn't examine the bottle list, there was really no need to; the tap list had everything I could possibly want.

As a new San Diego resident (I've only been here for a week at this point), I know I'll be cruising back to Small Bar many times in the future. This bar probably suits younger people (under thirty) more than older, but if you've never been, make sure to give Small Bar a try!

07-17-2011 23:50:10 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of FARGO619
FARGO619

California

4.72/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$

Have been in here a couple of times. It's a laid back kinda' atmosphere. Very urban. Didn't really care too much for their stout variety, but they did have a few good beers on tap. It was fun sitting at the bar, especially when someone would come in and ask for a Bud, Coors, or Miller. They didn't serve those beers their and that made it seem like my kind of bar to be at. Had a Belgian Imperial Stout that was a little bitter and sweet. Had two as their variety to choose from was small. I'll be back. It was a cool place to visit.

06-18-2011 08:44:01 | More by FARGO619
Photo of gerrick
gerrick

California

4/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

It lives up to the name for sure. This place is quaint to say the least. Very dark inside. The beer selection is great especially considering the size. The food is also really good and of high quality. This is one of the few full bars I can think of with a beer selection you can't believe. 42 taps is quite a bit by any standard. This is a nice place to hang out with a few friends. It does get crowded So I would arrive a bit early. Lunch is my favorite time to visit. Very low key and roomy. cheers and enjoy the beer.

05-27-2011 21:37:26 | More by gerrick
Photo of Ambiorix
Ambiorix

Kentucky

4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

This is really quite a place. Cool atmosphere, excellent quality, fantastic service. Both bartenders that waited on me were really friendly and attentive, especially Arlette. The 42 taps are all the highest quality from both American and European craft brewers. I had a glass of Russian River Consecration and a glass of Deschutes Abyss. 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."

01-11-2011 02:25:07 | More by Ambiorix
Photo of DeanMoriarty
DeanMoriarty

California

4.14/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$

This was the last of 5 bars me and my buddy hit last week, so my memory of this place is somewhat fragmented and foggy, but I know I really enjoyed this spot a lot and ran into a friend who happened to be bartending that night - thanks for the hooks!

The atmosphere in this place is quality - nice and dark, lit with only red lights, good juke box with a lot of classic rock, big wood bar (i think it was wood), a board displaying beer selections and a menu of old fashioned cocktails like - mint juleps, sazeracs, old-fashioneds, metropolitans and some of their own weird but tasty signature cocktails, which is what separates this place from the other beer bars out there - a very unique twist. The beer selection is ridiculous, which we should expect no less from the owner of Hamilton's. The service was on point, but the place gets packed after 10pm and if you don't have a seat at the bar, I could see it becoming an issue to try and stay up on your buzz.

All in all really cool bar with a great atmosphere, selection and service. They didn't name it the Small Bar for nuthin though, and I would try to get their early and get yourself a spot at the bar if you want to post up and drink all night.

12-08-2010 18:55:45 | More by DeanMoriarty
Photo of Eriktheipaman
Eriktheipaman

California

4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$

Went here for the first time yesterday although I spent over a year living down off Adams. Its a shame I finally got around to it just now.

Its a cool little set up and I enjoyed the bench tables in the middle. The beer selection was outstanding with some rare brews for sure. Big Belgium slection.

We ordered the mac and cheese and it was pretty good but not out of the ball park. I think it was about $7.50?

The one downside to this place besides the seze but come on even the name says its small, is that its a full bar. It took awhile to order some beers because the staff was taking forever making gnarly looking bloody marys.

11-29-2010 17:33:26 | More by Eriktheipaman
Photo of Norsebrew
Norsebrew

Colorado

4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$

We were on our way to Hamilton's Tavern, but we were told that Small Bar was closer to walk from our hotel. I'm glad we went to the Small Bar. It was the finale of my beerbar tour, and it did not disappoint. Great tap selection. There were some taps that were not at Toronado or Blind Lady. The atmosphere was dark and mysterious with great signs and very attractive servers. The place was hopping and the vibe was very relaxed and enjoyable. I had some great Belgium sour beers to end the night. We stayed at the Lafayette Hotel which is a very easy walk from Small Bar. Great choice to visit if you're in the area!

05-12-2010 19:19:38 | More by Norsebrew
Small Bar in San Diego, CA
94 out of 100 based on 25 ratings.