Happy Half Hour / Starlight Lounge San Diego

Welcome back to the Happy Half Hour! At the time of this taping, indoor dining at restaurants in San Diego has been shut down for at least the next three weeks, and bars remain closed. We’ve been wondering what this means for the industry, and also how this will affect the live music scene and the venues that host them. So we brought in Tim Mays, who owns The Casbah on Kettner Boulevard—a landmark that’s been in town for over 30 years—along with Starlite restaurant, Krakatoa Cafe and Vinyl Junkies Record Shack. Tim is a serial entrepreneur: He’s also a partner in Soda Bar, and owned both Turf Supper Club in Golden Hill and Riviera Supper Club in La Mesa. He got his start in the industry by passing out flyers for concerts and booking shows in the ’80s before he opened The Casbah.

Tim shares his insights on what it takes to adapt a restaurant to social distancing rules, when live music might start up again (nothing is projected until next spring), and what the industry could look like in the near future. We talk about how local musicians and creatives are affected by this, and how some are changing in response; Tim also shared his top favorite bands that have performed at The Casbah. (Listen to find out!)

In Hot Plates, we talked about how Il Dandy changed its high-end Italian concept to a more casual one, Civico by The Park, that is serving pinsa—Troy explains what pinsa is and how it’s different from pizza. New things are happening at Liberty Public Market: the owners of Mastiff Sausage are opening a hot chicken and burger concept; Phillip Esteban (whom we just had on the show) is opening a brick-and-mortar spot for his Filipino rice bowls; and The Presley is opening at the end of this month, taking over the former Fireside by The Patio space.

For Two People for Takeout, Tim’s picks are Buona Forchetta, Small Bar, and Pizzeria Luigi. Troy’s pick is the döner fries at The Kebab Shop, and I picked the larb at The Original Sab-E-Lee. David’s pick is the fish and chips burrito at Beerfish, and he explains a fun to-go promotion the restaurant started that involves Smirnoff Ice.

Thank you so much for listening and for staying with us. We want to hear from you. Is there a guest you want us to book on the show? A topic that should be explored? Need a recommendation for takeout? Do you have a question for Troy? Let us know. You can call us at 619-744-0535 and leave a voicemail, or if you’re shy, you can email us at happyhalfhour@sdmag.com.

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