On the Menu: A hungry diner walked into a GoodBar — Point Loma’s neighborhood hot spot
Attention, gastropub fans and folks who love the hoopla of karaoke, live music, big-screen sporting events and stand-up comedy with a warm and welcoming Point Loma vibe. GoodBar’s sure to be your new stomping ground. And that’s no joke.
Kenny Casciato, owner-operator of the hopping eatery, has been in the restaurant and hospitality industry since his youth, interrupted only by a short stint in the Coast Guard.
The native Philadelphian, who has a passion for classic comfort food, has transplanted the recipe and authentic ingredients of the iconic Philly cheesesteak to his Point Loma location to create “the style of cheesesteak that I grew up with and am very proud of.”
Casciato takes the sandwich seriously by importing the famous Amoroso rolls from Philly as the starting point, then building from there with a pile of shaved rib eye. The chef offers four interpretations: The Classic (topped with grilled onions and American cheese), The Aristocrat (a high-brow version decked out with grilled onions, mushrooms and provolone cheese), The Cowboy Up (lassoed with grilled onions, house barbecue sauce and American cheese) and The Buffalo Chicken (swapping in cluck for moo and topping with house Buffalo sauce, grilled onions, American cheese and blue cheese crumbles), all paired with a heap of seasoned fries.
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Casciato’s first foray in the San Diego restaurant scene was around 15 years ago in Pacific Beach with Old City Grill, which eventually merged into Ciro’s Pizzeria and Beer House. He then headed south along the coast, dropping anchor in Point Loma in 2017 when he opened GoodBar, originally planned as an entertainment sports bar with live music and comedy.
But then the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020 and he closed shop for two years. When GoodBar reopened recently, Casciato went full-bore into transforming the watering hole into a gastropub showcasing the selection of Philly cheesesteaks along with other popular menu items. Favorites include a pound of fresh, brined wings chargrilled and tossed with a choice of barbecue or Buffalo sauce; the handcrafted Angus beef GoodBurger dressed with American cheese, pickles and a slather of GoodSauce; a chicken Caesar wrap; and classic fish and chips with house-made tartar sauce.
These can be washed down with a rotating draft beer selection. And as the NFL season gets underway, GoodBar has a football brunch menu from September through February featuring weekend breakfast delights.
Happy hour specials run from 3 to 7 p.m. daily, offering $4 draft beers, $5 wines, $6 well drinks and $7 burgers.
Going from food to fun, Casciato has created a lineup of weekly events and activities for amusement of all manner. Tuesday evenings feature a trivia competition covering topics such as sports, pop culture and science, awarding gift cards to the winners. Then at 9 p.m., crooners can show off their talents during karaoke.
For laughs, the GoodJokes Comedy show promotes the San Diego comedy scene, as well as Los Angeles comedians and acts from throughout the country, at 8 p.m. Wednesdays, followed by a robust open mic session.
Diners can hear live music (no cover charge) at 8 p.m. every Friday and Saturday.
The entertainment at GoodBar is as eclectic as the customer base, which includes fishermen, military members, college students, seasonal tourists, comedy aficionados, sports fans, music lovers and trivia buffs.
The 10 flat-screen TVs strategically placed throughout the restaurant provide a front-row seat during games. Adding to the rustic and authentic ambiance, the bar is constructed with reclaimed wood from a pier that was submerged in the ocean for almost 100 years, while one entire wall is coated with a to-scale map of San Diego Bay. There’s also a covered outdoor patio, “giving diners a scenic view of Rosecrans Street,” Casciato joked.
The restaurateur, who also is part of KROW Management, a partnership that owns and operates several local hospitality and food and beverage businesses, said he’s thrilled “to have created an environment that the neighborhood embraces as a friendly place with hearty and classic pub food.”
Now, for my contribution to the comedy, here’s one for the road:
What do you call a frugal southern Pennsylvanian?
A Philly cheapskate.
Where: 1872 Rosecrans St., Point Loma
Hours: Open at noon daily; last call each night at 1 to 2 a.m.
Information: goodbarsd.com, (619) 642-0900
GoodBar’s Chocolate Espresso Martini
• 1½ ounces Uncle Ed’s Damn Good Vodka
• 1 ounce chocolate liqueur
• 1 ounce Dropkick Bold Brew
• Chocolate syrup, for garnish
• Whipped cream, for garnish
• Coffee beans, for garnish
• Chill a martini glass with ice and cold water.
• Dump out the ice water, then drizzle the inside of the glass with chocolate syrup.
• Combine vodka, chocolate liqueur and Dropkick Bold Brew in a shaker tin with ice.
• Shake and strain into the martini glass.
• Top with whipped cream and coffee beans.
Courtesy of GoodBar