San Diego

Live Wire Bar Goes BIG for 25th Anniversary

Live Wire, the beloved North Park dive bar, is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a bang

Age might be nothin’ but a number -- but in the case of Live Wire’s 25th anniversary, it’s kind of a big deal.

Not only is the beloved dive bar (which straddles the line between North Park and University Heights at 2103 El Cajon Blvd.) celebrating their quarter-century birthday this November, they’re also throwing one hell of a party to boot.

Live Wire owners Sam Chammas and Joe Austin announced Thursday morning that come Saturday, Nov. 4, Rocket From the Crypt and the Meices will be on hand with Mariachi El Bronx to ring in their big anniversary with a celebratory show at the Observatory North Park. Tickets are $30 (plus service charges) and are on sale now at this link. It's guaranteed to sell out rather quickly, so get on it.

When asked about the show, Austin told SoundDiego: "[The] bands are made up of musicians who have been a part of our bar's history, and we're confident that it's going to be an amazing night."

Indeed. Austin also told us "there will be other anniversary-related happenings that weekend" and recommended out-of-towners book a room at the Lafayette Hotel, which is just down the street from Live Wire and not far from the Observatory. Pro tip: Mention Live Wire when reserving your room to receive a discounted rate ($175 for a room that typically costs $209). Interested? Call (619) 296-2101 and make those reservations. You can also visit them at their website here.

For those of you with better memories than me, you’ll recall Live Wire’s 20th anniversary that took place over three days in October of 2012 with a bartender reunion, a commemorative sold-out show headlined by aMiniature and No Knife at that same historic next-door hotel, and a bicycle/bus tour the next day to top it off. Who knew they'd up the ante five years later?

A little history: When it got its start in 1992, Live Wire (whose motto is, appropriately, "Cold Beer, Warm Friends") became a destination stop for craft-beer junkies at a time when it wasn’t the household blockbuster industry it is today. In fact, when Chammas and Austin started offering microbrewed IPAs, many patrons thought they were just too bitter. How times have changed, eh? Since the beginning though, they’ve remained a strict blue-collar dive bar with extremely amiable pricing, an unmatched vibe and arguably the best jukebox in town. 

Congratulations on 25 years, Live Wire -- here’s to many more.

Dustin Lothspeich books The Merrow, plays in Diamond Lakes, and runs the music equipment-worshipping blog Gear and Loathing in San Diego. Follow his updates on Twitter or contact him directly.

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