Saloon receives a historical facelift

by Staff

Lindsey Martin / Senior Staff Photographer

Stilt walkers, acrobats, face painters, fire-eaters, sword swallowers and a bearded lady will all be in Old Town’s State Historic Park on Saturday, March 22.Jolly Boy Saloon & Restaurant has been shut down for eight months. But now, it’s re-opening its doors with a different atmosphere – and the restaurant isn’t going about it quietly. March 22 will be an all-day celebration for the restaurant’s new look. The renovations play up the nostalgia of the restaurant’s first days in the 1800s when rowdy ranchers and seagoers pounded down drinks and gambled the night away. On opening day, organizers will have music reflecting the exhilarating and tumultuous times of 1854 San Dieg when Jose Serrano started selling booze from the same location.Along with singing, Jolly Boy guests can gamble alongside the bearded lady while sipping Absinthe. The drink is a diluted relative of its more potent eastern European cousin, but should still entice adventurers.Jolly Boy Saloon & Restaurant hopes the new renovations will instill a sense of adventure. Paying homage to times past, the restaurant will have antique gambling boards so guests can challenge each other, as well as functional ox carts outside the front door. On opening day the first 1,854 guests will receive a souvenir wood gambling chip.The restaurant would like to add value to the vibrant Old Town atmosphere by increasing the quality of cuisine in the historic state park. There will be dishes such as The Mahi Mahi Vera Cruz, a light filet sautéed in organic tomato sauce with onions, olives, capers, jalapeños, fresh avocado, and lime wedges served with Spanish rice. Jolly Boy doesn’t plan on serving the traditional Mexican fair that Old Town tourists believe to be traditional cuisine.Like the restaurant’s motif, the chefs at Jolly Boy Saloon & Restaurant are infusing the new with the old.”We pay homage to the original saloon’s vibrant past, offering not only seafood and steak entrees infused with fresh and organic ingredients, but also heirloom meats like Duroc pork roast which was characteristic of mid-19th century fare,” General Manager Mick Plemons said. Combining the new with the old in both food and atmosphere, Jolly Boy Saloon & Restaurant will be a great addition to Old Town’s State Historic Park. The re-opening will celebrate the new addition to Old Town’s neighborhood and pay tribute to its past.It’s not often that a restaurant celebrates its roots and a new stage in its life with such enthusiasm and merriment. The restaurant is not holding anything back for its grand re-opening celebration, which will draw crowds from all over San Diego. It’s sure to be an exuberant extravaganza.