Attention downtown dwellers: The Commons Bar has arrived. Located in the space formerly known as Lincoln Room on 4th & E, The Commons Bar is a new casual sports bar brought to life by Leigh Gibson and Jake Pescatello. As of today, The Commons is open for business, and the official grand opening party will be held on Thursday, September 20.
This week, Gibson and Pescatello invited in friends and family for taste testing dinners. And obviously, we here at DSD were happy to eat our way through the new menu. While seated, we recognized that the two-story space felt open and airy, partly thanks to the oversized industrial fan keeping the crowd cool. Flat screen TVs line the walls, and a central sports ticker above the bar tips you off to game scores and food/drink specials.
When dining at The Commons, you’ll find many similarities to the Dirty Birds menu, especially when it comes to the killer wings. And we’re not complaining about that. Gibson is San Diego’s official wing master, earning his first baby Dirty Birds a spot in the #10 Best Wings in America list by Yahoo Sports.
The Food: On the menu are hearty burgers, huge hotdogs, cheesy sandwiches, fresh salads, classic bar appetizers and a ton of delicious wings. You can get your wings in five, 10 or 20 pieces, custom made to your comfort level of spice (mild – really hot). But all the fun is in the flavor selection. Your options include the staples Buffalo, BBQ and Teriyaki, and surprises like Volcanic Honey Mustard, Drunken Garlic and Spicy Ranch. If you’re really craving the heat, we dare you to nosh on the Wicked Hot wings –habaneros roasted in hot sauce for double the trouble.
Stand-out starters range from Chili Cheese Tater Tots, to Dog Daze Nachos (yep, fried hot dog slices with fried cheese, chili and jalapenos), and the must-try Mac ‘n’ Cheese Balls – homemade mac ‘n’ cheese infused with jalapenos and bacon, breaded and fried with spicy cheese sauce. A Buffalo Popcorn Chicken Salad, Spinach and Beet Salad and Club Salad will provide a lighter bite.
Get down to business with a big ol’ burger, like the Bacon BBQ Bacon Burger (yes, bacon twice), Portobello Mushroom Burger, or the Danger Zone Burger (prepare for more jalapeno) – Angus beef infused with diced jalapeno, cayenne pepper and crushed red pepper, topped with pepper jack cheese and crispy onion rings. You can also find plenty of (humungous) hot dogs, Philly cheese steak sandwiches, healthy wraps and fish tacos.
The Drinks: There are ‘Uncommon Cocktails’ on the menu, plus a full bar for design-your-own spirits. Follow their lead with a Homemade Fireball shot (awesome), crafted with Jameson whiskey and Goldschlager. I’m looking forward to sipping on the Skinny Scorpion, a margarita-like concoction with Avion tequila, jalapenos (we’re sensing a theme here), cilantro, fresh lime, agave nectar and a splash of soda. When in doubt, trust in the Moscow Mule and the Brass Monkey with a local twist of Ballast Point Pale Ale.
Discover more new restaurant openings in our San Diego dining blog