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The Balboa Makes a Triumphant Return to Bankers Hill

The burger bar is back and bigger than before

The bar at The Balboa Mike Newton

One of the many sad shutters that has occurred over the course of the pandemic was the closure of the Balboa in July 2020. With no option for outdoor seating, and amidst ever-changing regulations, owner Tom Logsdon made the difficult decision at the time to end the bar’s run in Bankers Hill. “We really thought we were done,” says Logsdon, “and we were.”

Logsdon, who took over the Fifth Avenue bar and grill in 2015, instead shifted his attention to running his larger version of the Balboa in Chula Vista, which opened a few months before the start of the pandemic. That is, until his former landlord reached out with a proposal that would help him return to Bankers Hill and even sweetened the deal by offering up an adjacent space that allows for double the seating.

And so, the Balboa is back in its original location and will officially reopen this Thursday, April 15 at 4 p.m. Logsdon, along with bar manager Rob Sullivan and general manager Justin Buchanan, has worked to revamp the cocktail list and pare down the menu to focus on the bar’s most popular burgers including the Original Balboa burger, the classic, and the barbecue bacon cheeseburger.

A side view of the BBQ bacon cheeseburger at the Balboa being stabbed with a steak knife. A pint of pale beer sits to the right in the background.
BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger
Courtesy photo

“It’s a win-win for everybody really,” says Logsdon. “We don’t have to sacrifice seats so we are able to keep our first location open, guests get more space to feel comfortable, the neighborhood gets their burgers and hopefully in the future more people can enjoy the Balboa.”

The Balboa Bar & Grill

1863 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

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