The Raglan Public House: a welcoming place to be when going out on the town
by Terrie Leigh Relf
Apr 17, 2013 | 6195 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alex Cunningham, assistant manager at the Raglan Public House in Ocean Beach, serves up a drink with a smile.                                                              Courtesy photo by Willow Katsumi Relf-Discartin
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The Raglan Public House, or Raglan for short, opened its Ocean Beach location a year ago, and is located at the corner of Bacon Street and Niagara Avenue. In 2006, owners Phillip “P.J.” Lamont and Matt Baker opened their first restaurant, the Bare Back Bar & Grill, in Pacific Beach.

Their second restaurant, the Bare Back Grill, was opened in the Gaslamp District a few years later. In about three weeks, Lamont and Baker’s newest restaurant, the Queenstown Public House, will open in Little Italy. Local architect Michael Soriano designed the Ocean Beach Raglan, as well as the Queenstown Public House.

When guests first arrive, they are greeted with a genuine smile. While the servers are busy, busy, busy, they still create the time to stop by tables to see if guests need anything or to ensure they are enjoying drinks or meals.

Raglan is family-friendly, and children will find much to entertain themselves with the magnetic chalkboards and plastic toys while they make up their minds about which fries they want. There are also other kid-friendly and healthy-menu choices. If guests have a well-behaved dog, he or she is also welcome, but they will be seated outside.

Now that the weather is warming up, the open-air patio offers several picnic-style benches beneath a vine-covered trellis, complemented by an exterior wall with alternating panels of grass and ivy. There’s also a bar-style table with additional stools that faces Bacon Street.

Inside, there are a variety of seating arrangements. The assorted wood tables, designed and built by bar bevarage manager Kyle Jaworski and kitchen manager Robbie Valdez help to create a laid-back atmosphere without sacrificing comfort. Jaworski and Valdez also created the wooden caddies that hold napkins and bottles of Raglan’s variety of signature aioli.

No matter where you look, there’s something to discover. Whether it’s the newspaper collages and magnetic chalkboards, the hanging-surfboard light fixtures or the skateboard rack. There are wide-screen TVs above the bar and throughout the restaurant. Need the surf report? They have that, too. There’s also a crayon sign on the wall that reads: “Raglan Rocks. Thank you from the OBE Kids!” which was given to Raglan in gratitude for sponsoring an event, according to assistant manager Alex Cunningham.

“We have over 500 beers from all over the world and train our staff to assist customers with finding alternates to their favorite beer,” said beverage manager Pat Souza. We also like to provide opportunities for learning about new beers.”

If one prefers a nice glass of wine, Raglan’s selection includes California wineries and Australian and New Zealander imports.

If one is looking for something a bit stronger, there’s a full bar. Offerings include Red Beer, Snakebites and shan-dies, along with craft cocktails made with Pisco, rum, whiskey and more.

“Our goal is to go outside the box with cocktails, which range in price between $8 and $11,” said Jaworski. “We try to do something that people wouldn’t just order off the cuff. There’s a double shot of alcohol in our cocktails, too, which is a bit different than with other places.”

It’s clear why Lamont and Baker’s restaurants earned “Best Burger in San Diego” for 2009-12. Not only are there a wealth of styles and fixings to choose from, but they even sport a lamb burger, complete with mint jelly.

“All the beef is grass-fed — no pesticides,” said Jaworski, “and we grind our own meat daily in the morning. This way, the flavor is always fresh and juicy.”

The “gnarly big burgers” range from the “bare burger” at $9 to the “big, bare and dirty burger” for $15.90, with two beef patties, two friend eggs, bacon, Edam cheese and beetroot. There is also a vegan veggie burger and the contents are printed directly on their menu.

Raglan’s chicken menu ranges in price from $9 to $10.90. There’s variety here, too, including a choice of grilled or fried chicken. The munchies menu ranges in price from $3.50 for matchstick fries to $15.99 for a Munchie Feast, which includes several of their popular appetizers. There’s also tomato basil soup and four different types of fries, each with a unique flavor palate.

One regular patron said, “It’s the nicest place in OB proper.”

His favorite meal? The traditional British fish and chips with malt vinegar. “I really like the tartar sauce,” he added. “It has a noticeable kick.”

Another patron said, “people from all up and down the coast come to Raglan because they’ve heard it’s a cool place.”

In the mood for dessert? There’s the Old Float 7 — ice cream and Young’s Double Chocolate Stout for the 21-and-up crowd. Under 21? You can have the Virgin Float 7 with IBC Root Beer. Additional dessert offerings involve chocolate chip, oatmeal or peanut butter cookies with ice cream.

Specials include a burger of the month, a weekly Wednesday Farmers Market special and a Saturday and Sunday happy hour drink special from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. General manager Mikey Zouroudis said, “on Sundays after 8 p.m. until closing, our entire food menu is half off. This also includes some select beers.”

Raglan also has a Saturday and Sunday happy hour drink menu from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with $3 drink specials. Since they do change-up their specials on a regular basis, be sure to ask your server what’s new.

In addition to sponsoring a soccer team and hosting the 2012 award ceremony, Raglan also hosted a charity benefit for the two women who fell from Sunset Cliffs, according to Jaworski. Zouroudis said they also hosted a Big Brothers and Big Sisters event this month.

“We want to continue to grow and excel at providing quality food, quality beer and offering something new for our customers to enjoy,” said Jaworski.

The Raglan Public House is open Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. It is located at 1851 Bacon St. For information, call (619)-794-2304, or visit www.raglanpublichouse.com.

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