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Chula Vista

Does anyone remember "The Westerner" bar

I visited the Chula Vista/San Diego area in 1982 with girlfriends. We went to a bar called The Westerner - I think it was near the Naval base. Just wondering if it is still there or is called something else now.
If it is still there would you know the address?



22 Answers


answered by
a VirtualTourist member from San Diego

The Westerner was located at 7th and National City Boulevard, in National City--the city just north of Chula Vista.--It was closed in 1986 because of redevelopment plans for that section of National City.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Los Barriles

OH YES, I remember going once or twice, as that general area was my old stomping grounds late 70s/early 80s, as my husband was a Marine, stationed on the OKINAWA......thanks Linda!




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from San Diego

You're welcome Trish!

I wasn't really paying attention the last time I was there, but I think the building is still standing. Just vacant.

The city has changed the area quite a bit. Of the two hotels first built there, only one is still operating as a hotel, the other has become offices/condos--not sure which. Also, the area has become sort of an educational center. They even have a Living Room Coffee House too. Still needs a lot of work, but the changes are interesting.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member

Are you kidding?. I was a sailor in 1951 and spent some time at the Westerner Bar. They had bands 7 days a week and every month they had stars from Nashville playing there . Like Ray Price, Marty, Faron Young, etc Etc. Rose Maddox and the Maddox Brothers played there with Paul Harper and his band. When I got out of the Navy in 1955, I became a musician and also played there. I worked with Billy Moon, Myron Cook, Ray Feno, Paul Harper and Rose Maddox some times. The Westerner was the place to be at that time. Up the street was the 21 Club and oh so many more. I am living in Florida now and would like to chat with any one that remembers the Clubs of that area. Give me a shout. Curly [email]




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from San Diego

I'll have to check, but I think that the Westerner has changed to The Trophy Lounge. I'll let you know in the next couple of days.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member

Yes the westerner was a bar aka duct tape bar. It was full of west-pac widows. I am going back to San diego in Feb of 2014 going to see if it is still there. another small bar was Mcdini's it is still there.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from San Diego

Yes, McDini's is still around. (105 E 8th Street, between A Ave & Hoover Ave) if you are looking for the Westerner type bar take a look at Trophy's Lounge: [original VT link]

It's very similar.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member

The Westerner bar has been gone since 1986, Another person said it turned into the Trophy Lounge. That is incorrect. There was a bar down the street from the Westerner called Antonio's which also shut down in 1986. That bar relocated to the Trophy Lounge. The Trophy Lounge had a farewell party last weekend, I did not attend but that tells me it is also closed but I will find out for sure. The Trophy Lounge was the last Sailor type bar left in the area due to the redevelopment sited by a previous poster. In its final years it was only opened on the weekends. The area now had a community college and a large hotel. They even got rid of the restaurants they had back in the day. Very Sad.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member

The Westerner bar has been gone since 1986, Another person said it turned into the Trophy Lounge. That is incorrect. There was a bar down the street from the Westerner called Antonio's which also shut down in 1986. That bar relocated to the Trophy Lounge. The Trophy Lounge had a farewell party last weekend, I did not attend but that tells me it is also closed but I will find out for sure. The Trophy Lounge was the last Sailor type bar left in the area due to the redevelopment sited by a previous poster. In its final years it was only opened on the weekends. The area now has a community college and a large hotel. They even got rid of the restaurants they had back in the day. Very Sad.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member

It is official, the Trophy Lounge is closed. They closed abruptly in January 2014. I do not know the reason why. I know for the past few years it was up for sale but no takers I guess. The Trophy Lounge was the last blast from the past. However in it's final years the patrons seemed kind of thugish. The city has wanted that place out of there for quite sometime. They finally got there wish. Now you would never even know there is a large Navy base next store.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member

my parents played there in the late 60s... they changed names and band members a few times... was either "The Nina Russell Show" or "Nina Russell and The Keys" at that time... I was to young at the time to go in...




answered by
a VirtualTourist member

I found out what happened to the Trophy Lounge, they failed to pay their taxes. The place was going under anyways so they just gave up and didn't pay. The building is still there unoccupied but still has the Trophy Lounge sign.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from San Diego

This is a typical story these days.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member

It was the only club I was thrown out of twice in the same night. Being poor sailors, my buddies and I would throw the cheapest possible beer in the trunk and when the band took a break, we would rush to the car and guzzle a beer or two, then head back in to mix it up with the west pac widows. I could see the big W sign (complete with cowboy) from the ship on duty days and it would kill me to see it and not be able to go. We used to call it the Big W. Sorry to see it go, but surprised it lasted so long.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from San Diego

Well, now we know why the went out of business. ! Maybe they would have lasted longer if they sold those bottle you put in your trunk.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member

I miss that place and the whole area the way it used to be. Now I can't even recognize it. It was set up for sailors. Now I don't know who it's set up for. Also it went out of business along with all the other bars in the vicinity due to a proposition to re vitalize the area in 1983.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from San Diego

Hi Nate,

Welcome to VT!

If you'll notice, this question has been batted around since Aug 19, 2011. When I wrote my 19 Jan2014 reply, it was based on my last pass by there, when it was still open. I didn't not know it had closed until later, when "scbb" wrote: Jan 29, 2014, "The Trophy Lounge had a farewell party last weekend,"

I hope you'll let us know when it reopens and I hope that the new venue is a bit nicer than the Trophy Lounge ended up being. Especially with all the improvements NC has been making lately.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member

NEWright57,

Why did the Trophy Lounge close? Was it unpaid taxes like I was told. Also who owns the building now, did the Trophy Lounge ownership sell it? Also is there a chance it may open up again as a bar similar to the Trophy Lounge with just another name?




answered by
a VirtualTourist member

The Westerner, the Mile of Bars on National City Boulevard , and a much seedier version of Downtown San Diego have been gone for decades.
The Lone Survivor on National City Boulevard, The Trophy Lounge, although a continuing steadfast Blast from the Past was well into it's ongoing death throes for years prior to the end of it's long run. How long was it there? 60's early 70's?
I've had some much longer retired Navy than myself tell me that it was there in the 60's when they first arrived in the San Diego area. Also the "word around town" for 10 plus years was that it will eventually close and it finally did in 2014. You pretty much had to be here in the 70's (or prior to that) and at the latest the very early 80's to experience what the Mile of Bars(Tahiti Club, Antonio's etc) on National City Boulevard and Downtown San Diego (Club Singapore, Orient, Real McCoys etc) were like. If you had some staying power and the good common sense to not get hustled too bad by the Barmaids or rolled outside after closing time a Sailor in those days had a very good chance of occasionally leaving with a real good looking girl but probably not suited for a long term relationship because they were probably already in one! .Also, and this was interesting. Return trips to those places were never exactly the same as the last time you were there, even if the last time was last night. Well, for today's era and without naming or mentioning specific locations there are still some "Diamonds in the Rough" in the South Bay Area. You don't have to look too hard to find them. Just be mindful that unlike yesteryear, in Today's world just to even try to get to First and Second Base with a girl from these places could require an all expenses trip paid courtesy of the Bar Patron to a local Casino!! Have fun everyone and as always be careful in these places, (there are still a few out there but not many) and stay safe.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from San Diego

I am surprised that this thread still attracts new comments after almost four years! It just goes to show that those old, stomping ground, hole- in-the-wall bring up nostalgic memories. LOL!!




answered by
a VirtualTourist member

Scbb, Yes indeed, those bars were good times back then,some of them that are still around probably still are but being younger helped also. I'll still stop by McDini's once in awhile and grab a bite to eat, but rarely, maybe once every 3-6 months... ,I don't know the Bartenders anymore but they seem to be friendly enough during general conversation and early afternoon there are only a handful of people in there.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Chula Vista

No I do not personally know or remember that place. I have been in that area and not seen the business anymore.





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