The Parish Publick House

Bar, Eatery

841 Almar Ave
Santa Cruz, California, 95060
United States

(831) 421-0507 | map

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Photo of scruz-xtina
Reviewed by scruz-xtina from California

4.9/5  rDev +17.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4
We are Parish regulars, but I wanted to particularly thank them for offering the World Cup matches. I have been watching matches in this bar - even as early as 7am - since 2010! In a town where most folks don't have cable TV but are futboll fans, it's a bonus to be able to watch the matches over coffee and beer at our local pub, Thanks!!!
Jul 02, 2018
Rated: 5 by Davit from California

Dec 15, 2017
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Reviewed by gcareaga from California

4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5
This place is at the end of a strip mall and doesn't look like much from the outside, but it has a nice feed inside. A little dark and a little noisy, but you can get around well enough.

They have a small selection of featured beers, maybe sixteen on the board on a given night. They keep up a good rotation and I usually find something I haven't tried before.

The waitstaff is friendly and attentive. I have never had a problem with service.

The food is traditional pub grub. The bangers and mash and shepherd's pie are both excellent. They make the best hamburgers in Santa Cruz.
May 09, 2015
Rated: 3.64 by B_B from California

Jan 08, 2015
Rated: 4.25 by mctizzz from California

Jun 13, 2014
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Reviewed by bouncepass from California

4.18/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4
All the previous reviews are 3 to 4 years old. They've really upped their game the last couple of years. Now there's usually about 16 taps going, with a really good mix of American craft and a few Belgians as well. No Russian River (nobody in Santa Cruz County can get it) but I recall Rodenbach Grand Cru, St Feuillen, some Deschutes, Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, West Coast, Bear Republic, Dogfish Head, etc. The taps are nice and clean, the beer always tastes fresh. I usually order a burger there and they're also much-improved now. While it can't compete with the selection at "burger" down the street, the food is much better and there's enough selection for most normal evenings. Well worth a visit!
Oct 12, 2012
Photo of DoubleJ
Reviewed by DoubleJ from Wisconsin

3.93/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4
PPH is at the end of a small strip mall, but is able to create its own character without it. The lighting inside is very well done, clean interior, wood and plaster interior that works well, and an all wood bar. It's wasn't particularly crowded, but the bar was.

Six beers on-tap plus a bunch of quality bottles. The draft list suppodesly rotates, but during my visit, 5 of them were from Santa Cruz Ale Works, and the last one was Guinesss. The Flying Dog, Anchor, Samuel Smith, Fullers, Franziskaner, Paulaner, Ommegang, Lindemans, Lion Stout, Speakeasy, even Hamm's. My SCAW Oatmeal Stout was poured nicely into a Guiness imperial pint glass.

Service was friendly. Nothing took too long to wait for. Food and drinks came out at a good speed.

They've got some good bangers and mash. I know thiis because that's what I ate. My brother went for cheeseteak, and he swears that it's a good one, especially with that toasted bun.

I'm going to give this one a thumbs up. This is not your "over-endorsed" pub. Well-manered with a good beer selection. Worth the trip.
Feb 07, 2010
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Reviewed by John_M from Oregon

3.4/5  rDev -18.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5
I really think you have to be from Santa Cruz to truly appreciate the public house, and as I haven't lived here in some time, I was initially annoyed by some of the idiosyncracies here. However, after a couple of beers, and after listening to KPIG all the way back to San Jose, I'm in a much more mellow frame of mind.

The PPH is located in a fairly small safeway strip mall, located on Almar, just off mission street/hiway 1. I gather it's run by a young couple just getting started in the restaurant/beer bar business, and is located in a surprisingly large facility, one I assume was once a good size restaurant. The dining room has to hold close to thirty tables, which strikes me as absurd. Given the location and the low key vibe, I'd be shocked if this place ever fills up, but whatever. The dining area is large, and is then complimented by a fairly good size bar area, consisting of a 12 to 15 seat bar, with surrounding bar tables and chairs.

As for selection, quality and service, I'll just start off by saying this is Santa Cruz, and so it goes without saying that things are often likely to be a bit unusual. There were 6 beers on tap and another 40 or so beers in bottle the day I visited. The draft selection is really pretty decent, this day consisting of prohibition ale, guinness, new belgium 30 degrees, lagunitas ipa, green flash red head ale and old rasputin. However, I saw no draft list anywhere, with the menu simply noting that they have guinness on tap and can make black and tans. When I asked the bar tender about the draft selection, he noted that it rotates, and then simply nodded to the tap lines. I guess that's fine; other then the Green Flash (which turned out to be the red head ale), I could see everything fairly well. I initially thought the chalk board next to the bar had all the beers on tap, but subsequently found out they were actually the current "special" bottle beer selections. When I then asked about the uncommon brewers siamese ale, the bar tender looked at the list, and simply commented that they were out of it. That concluded our disussion of that particular beer. Naturally, he didn't bother to erase the beer from the chalk board.

I ultimately tried a glass of NB 30 degrees, which was quite good and spice filled, and obviously very fresh. I also got an order of wings, which were half price on this Sunday. I asked to get them spicey, and at that point the bar tender told me OK, but that the regular version was pretty spicey, so was I sure I wanted them extra spicey. At that point I recalled where I was, and told him the house wings would probably be fine. In Santa Cruz when a restaurant tells you the wings are spicey/hot, most of the time you can be pretty sure they're going to be hot. The wings here were actually pretty good for the West Coast, and if they were any more spicey I probably couldn't have eaten them.

Service here was pretty much Santa Cruz non-existent. The bar tender checked on me periodically, but there was rodeo on the TV, and he and his buds were much more interested in watching that. Also, the blaring rock music over the sound system would have made it difficult for me to have been heard anyway.

Based on other reviews and things I'd heard about this place, I was sort of expecting happy hour prices on Sunday. That being said, I looked everywhere at PPH to see if I could learn something about happy hour here, but found nothing. When the bill came, it was pretty clear the price I was charged was not consistent with the menu prices, so I inquired about it. At that point the bartender mentioned that the wings are half price on Sundays. That's all he said. No comment about happy hour, no comment about discounts on anything else, no explanation about any happy hour pricing, just a brief comment about wing prices on Sunday. On the other hand, beer prices weren't discounted at all near as I could tell, though I couldn't complain much about the $5 price tag on my 16 ounce glass of New Belgium.

Obviously, a litte more information would be helpful here (regarding beers on draft, prices, happy hour, etc.), but this sort of laid back attitude is pretty typical in Santa Cruz (at least in my experience). Not every place is like this of course, but my experience at PPH is common enough that I wasn't surprised or shocked by my treatment here. Bottom line, this is probably not a BA destination, and my score/review reflects that. It mostly struck me as a local's beer bar, with a decent beer selection, but a place not going out of its way to be anything special or unusual. The young folks running this place seem very nice and personable, and I wish them the very best. I doubt they'd survive very long in many other towns or cities, but in Santa Cruz, they just might do OK.

This place is clearly not for everyone, but I'd probably stop by again if I was in the area or happened to live in that part of town. It's just a Santa Cruz kind of thing.
Jun 01, 2009
Photo of illidurit
Reviewed by illidurit from California

3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5
Pros: Nice bottle selection, situated comfortably between the eclectic and expensive menu at The Red and the large but boring menu at 99 Bottles. High keg turnover allows for something new every time you visit. Excellent happy hour, it seems like every time I'm there I get 3 dollar pints. Friendly service, pub-like atmosphere. Food menu lists suggested beer pairings for every item. Lots of parking.

Cons: Only 6 taps. Generic pub grub menu. Psychobilly or Irish punk on the speakers. Occasional server aloofness.

Overall a worthy destination. I'm definitely glad to have this place in town.
Apr 08, 2009
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Reviewed by Sandstone from California

4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5
I'm a big fan of the Parish, and have gone here pretty frequently since it opened 6 or 7 months ago.

First, the beer: Parish has 6 taps, all of which rotate whenever the keg blows. So, basically, almost every single day there's a new beer on tap here. I love it. Depending on your luck, you can find some real gems in this place. Some of the better ones I've managed to run into: Abyss, Racer X, and New Belgium's Eric's Ale here.

They also carry a standard list of about 80 different bottled beers, with a few more specialty beers that show up on occasion.

Food is typical pub grub, but I'm a pretty big fan of their buffalo wings... Especially if you go in during Happy Hour (Daily 4-6 & 11-Midnight, + all day Sunday). Not only are pints $3, but all the appetizers are 50% off. Nothing beats a giant plate of redhot wings for under $4.

Service? I understand if you sit in the restaurant area it can be kind of sketchy, but all the bartenders are great and attentive.

So, yeah, if you're in Santa Cruz and don't feel like dealing with the godawful service and crowd at the Red Room, it's worth giving these guys a look.
Feb 20, 2009
Photo of bradybeer
Reviewed by bradybeer from California

4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
Located in a strip mall on the West side of Santa Cruz off of Mission AKA Highway 1. Walking in, the bar is directly ahead with seating and dinning tables in front as you enter. Not much decor-but that is OK. Went for the beer and food. About 60 beers in bottles-all listed on a very nice beer menu. Also had Flying Dog Imperial Porter, Santa Cruz Mountain, Sierra Nevada Seasonal, and a few others that escape me on tap. Nice to find Imperial Porter on tap-nicer to find out that Sunday is $3 pints-extra nice.

Wife and I had a burger and another sandwich-both of which were pretty darn good and reasonable.

Service was excellent as were the prices.

Like this place a lot-I hope they do well-but they were kind of dead when I was there.
Sep 16, 2008
The Parish Publick House in Santa Cruz, CA
Place rating: 4.18 out of 5 with 11 ratings