Some days, you just want to go where everybody knows your name. Or, if they don’t, at least it’ll be low-key. Bar hopping in Imperial Beach is still surprisingly underrated. Here’s my hop (in this order) and I suggest that if you go on a Friday, you catch the IB Farmer’s Market at the Pier right before you start:
Coronado Brewing (875 Seacoast Drive) is the latest and greatest of IB bar hopping delights. You’ll catch some dinner here too and some of their local brews. They, of course, have another location in Coronado which, since it’s debatable whether the island exists North of the 54, if you go to their second location, I’ll be good with it.
Barrels (710 Seacoast Drive) I’ve written about before. This is for a wine or beer experience. You can watch the game or you can go upstairs and peer through their glass window overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Sit here at the right time and you’ll be able to enjoy the sunset over the ocean.
IB Forum Bar (1079 Seacoast Dr.) As your evening progresses, you’ll start to want the dive bar. You’re almost there, but not quite, when you enjoy the IB Forum Bar. It’s located at the very tip of Seacoast Drive — which gives you enough time to walk off the beer you had at the other two establishments.
Mickies Bar & Grill (220 Palm Avenue) Don’t turn in now. Walk all the way back across Seacoast Drive. The point is to get a good walk in along the South Bay’s hottest beachfront resort property that still is somewhat undiscovered. Mickies has been around for 28 years and I suggest you hang out on their patio.
Ye Olde Plank Inn (24 Palm Avenue) Your last stop must be the oldest bar in San Diego. Stop here to play a few rounds of pool and ask the bartender about the sunken submarine nearby. It’s got a pirate feel, but don’t get too caught up in the kitsch. Instead, peruse the old photographs and memorabilia. I’d describe this place a little beyond its historical significance (and it is both historical and significant), but why? Many others have written about this dive bar before me: City Beat in 2010, the San Diego Reader in 2012.
After that, make sure to call for an Uber.