Mission Ave. Bar and Grill
711 Mission Ave.
Oceanside, CA 92054
While the Oceanside area has long had the reputation of being a Marine town, it is developing into its own community. A significant part of that has been accomplished by Oceanside embracing its roots as a beach and surf town. The city has also done a very good job of promoting and highlighting some of its past and current citizens, none more prominent than NFL Hall-of-Famer Junior Seau, who graduated from nearby Oceanside High, before going on to USC, and then a distinguished career with the San Diego Chargers and later the New England Patriots. What makes Junior so significant is that even with all of his success he never left Oceanside. He could regularly be seen around town, and was known to be Oceanside’s biggest fan until his untimely death.
I mention all of this because it is highlighted upon walking through the front door of the Mission Ave. Bar and Grill, where straight ahead, above the bar, front and center, is a framed photo of Junior walking out of the ocean onto the beach with his surf board under one arm and his free hand displaying the Hawaiian sign for “Hang Loose” which is a universal symbol amongst surfers.
The story only begins there. The bar is a recent addition to the area, having opened less than 2 years ago, but it is obvious that it is highly integrated. The art work on the walls is all ocean and surf themed and the audience is definitely local surfers, who seem to be coming in healthy numbers. The bar, Oceanside’s first whiskey bar, currently has a selection of about 100 different whiskies with plans of expanding that significantly in the coming year. Owner Marcus Diaz told me that his plan was for it to be a local’s bar with a big whiskey selection and a quality food menu at a reasonable price for their market.
The selection of whiskies there is good and growing. Marcus has done an excellent
job of bringing quality whiskey to the locals, and gotten them involved with raising their expectations for exceptional food, and an appreciation of fine whiskey. Unlike many owners, he has personally tried them all, and won’t bring in anything that he wouldn’t drink, assuring a nice selection and one that he can comfortably present to any of his customers. They offer whiskey flights and a healthy cocktail menu to go with their 36 tap California craft beer selection. This is all done at very reasonable prices, making it a nice place to hang out and spend some time with friends after a good day at the beach.
Hours: M-F 11am-1am, Sa-Su 9-1am; Happy Hour 3pm-6pm Daily