Pacific Beach pub delivers flavor without frill

by Sandra De La Torre

Sam Sparhawk, Staff Photographer
Sam Sparhawk, Staff Photographer

It’s not common to find anything notable flanked by a liquor store and a gas station. However, between a liquor store and a gas station is exactly where curious diners will find one of Pacific Beach’s hidden treasures. Rocky’s Crown Pub, located on the corner of Ingraham Street and La Playa Avenue, offers San Diego burgers and brews at their finest.

This pub is small, with only four tables and the main bar. However, even with its unexpected location and unrecognizable faćade, people are not deterred from seeking out Rocky’s famous burgers.

Once inside, Rocky’s has a cabin-like feel and is decorated with memorabilia geared to meet the fancy of sports fanatics, including autographed pictures of baseball, football and track athletes. There are also three plasma TVs, all streaming different sports throughout the day.

Regulars know all food is ordered at the bar. However, for those who are new to the place, bartenders make a point to greet everyone and explain the process. Rocky’s has a relaxed atmosphere, as its staff makes sure everyone is taken care of. They talk to patrons, making jokes and exchanging stories like old friends.

While the pub has a sports theme, it is a place where patrons of all ages and interests can enjoy a casual night out. However, this wasn’t the case from the beginning.

Though current owner Patricia Rockwood purchased the pub in October 1977, it’s been a bar for decades and once the reputation for being a guys-only dive.

“No joke, my wife wouldn’t step foot in here because of that reason,” one bartender said. Fortunately, Rocky’s has clearly changed throughout the years as a diverse group of people can be seen mingling in the tiny pub.

Simplicity is what differentiates Rocky’s. Everything about it is simple, including its menu. Customers have a choice between one-third pound or half-pound hamburgers and cheeseburgers and fries. All burgers have soft buns, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles and juicy handmade patties.

This pub also serves wine and 9 choices of premium and domestic draft beers, including its own brew called Rocky’s Crown Point Ale.

The prices for food and drinks at Rocky’s are reasonable. Pints all cost less than $5 and burgers cost less than $6. The pub also offers lunch specials Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., which include a half-pound cheeseburger, fries, and either soda or a pint of domestic draft beer for only $9.75.

Don’t forget to bring cash to savor these tasty options. Keeping to its simple form, Rocky’s does not accept credit cards.

This rough gem does not need complicated menus or flashy signs to lure in customers. Rocky’s delicious food and service has created a following of loyal customers that keeps growing and will continue to impress for some time to come.