A bunch of Eater readers asked us to check out what was behind the door at The Tin Can; last month, San Diego CityBeat reported that the Bankers Hill bar, open since 2009, was undergoing a rebranding that would usher in a new name and concept.
Redubbed The Balboa Bar & Grill, the bar reopened this past weekend with a new proprietor, Tom Logsdon.
Logsdon, a former line cook who once ran an illegal food delivery service out of his Golden Hill home, launched the burger-centric Doods Foods in the bar in 2012. Burgers are still the focus of The Balboa's menu, which has been condensed slightly but is now available more hours, from 11 a.m. to midnight, 7 days a week, though Logsdon says the kitchen is now using a better quality beef.
When the bar's managing partners exited the business, he decided to take over and make some changes and upgrades to the bar, which included closing off the kitchen and adding a few more seats, a jukebox and artwork inspired by the history of the building, which was built for use during the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park. Live music, once a near-nightly occurrence, will now only be featured on Fridays and Saturdays, with a focus on longer shows for each band and quality over quantity.
Logsdon told Eater that he hopes The Balboa will fill a niche in the neighborhood that's somewhere between the Cherry Bomb and Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant. He's replaced the canned beer concept with an assortment of both bottles and cans and will eventually have six beer taps. There's also a new cocktail menu, crafted by the Turf Club's Jackson Milgaten, that ranges from the classic Aviation and Last Word to a tequila gimlet and a mezcal old fashioned.