The fact that it has karaoke and flat screens doesn’t diminish the authenticity of The Ould Sod, a Normal Heights Irish drinking institution carrying the name since 1989. Channeling the Emerald Isles, the neighborhood icon salutes towns from Dublin to Tipperary with flagship taps by Guinness, Harp, Smithwick’s and Magners. It also nods to its U.S.A. craft beer turf with Ballast Point, Green Flash and Dogfish Head, while Irish whiskey flows for those preferring stronger spirits. Proprietors Tommy Quinn, Ron Stout and Mick Ward make certain that this isn’t merely a place where people go to drink, however; the pub oozes friendly Irish hospitality that draws regulars and newcomers to belly up to the bar, grab a stool and order a libation. While there’s no kitchen, patrons can quaff a pint with edibles from adjacent Heights Tavern and Country Kabob.
At Chorus Karaoke San Diego, seven private karaoke rooms await to be overrun by groups of friends looking to showcase their singing chops. These rooms vary in size?the smallest holds up to six, while the largest up to thirty. Once the room is chosen, guests perch on cozy banquettes as they clutch microphones and try to keep up with the lyrics onscreen or the one's they make up on the spot. To sustain their performances, patrons can order potent soju cocktails and dishes from an extensive menu of Korean food.
Guests ride into Surf Bowl under a glowing pink and green sign, and once inside, cast their eyes down freshly polished lanes. As an homage to their name and the local culture, a mural running parallel to the lanes depicts bowling pins engaging in beach activities such as lounging in the sand and testing their own buoyancy in the ocean. Players can stop in for classic games throughout the day, or enjoy Xtreme Glow-in-the-Dark Bowling once night falls. Between games, bowlers can break for a pizza, sandwich, or freshly fried snacks at Blue Wave Café, a casual, diner-style eatery with chrome-accented bar stools. The alley also boasts an arcade, bar, and billiards table.
Ibiza Bartending Academy's resident bartenders steer students through mixology classes designed for beginners and experienced cocktail constructors alike. Scratch mixology’s surface using highball glasses as makeshift augers in a beginner-friendly four-hour bartending class. Students learn the basics of bartending before trying their hand behind a real bar, which requires none of the advanced miming degrees required to mix behind an imaginary bar. Ibiza offers a four-week certification course for those with professional ambitions or more established spirit-slinging skills. Cocktail-conjuring crafts are honed through either four four-hour sessions or eight two-hour sessions. At the end of the course, pupils will have the opportunity to take the speed and accuracy exams and become a fully certified bartender.
Although Azteca serves staple south-of-the-border comfort food, the decor isn't what you'd find in a typical Mexican restaurant. To describe it in one word: Elvis. Aside from walls filled with King memorabilia such as bobbleheads and signed posters, Elvis impersonators regularly perform at the eatery's Bobby Vegas Karaoke Club. It's all a part of owner J.J. Jauregui's love for the legendary performer, a love that gives Azteca its distinct character. Nontraditional environment aside, the food itself traces its origins back to 1957, when Jaregui's Aunt Connie served family-recipe burritos on Garden Grove. Today, the menu has expanded to include pork tamales, taquitos, and strip steaks smothered in housemade garlic sauce.
Driving by Linbrook Bowl might inspire a double take. Not because of their classic and colorful neon signage, but because of what it advertises: the alley is open 24 hours a day. This means people can pummel pins or dance around like Fred Flintstone no matter what time it is. In addition to 40 lanes, Linbrook Bowl is equipped with an onsite coffeeshop that helps fuel players all day and night. Bowlers can also grab a drink or bite to eat at The Kopa Room, while watching a sports game on TV or listening to amateur crooners charm the crowd with karaoke.