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GoodBar serves up drinks and laughs in Point Loma

Comedian Steven Ho performs at GoodBar's GoodJokes comedy show.
(Courtesy of GoodBar)

GoodBar’s weekly comedy show has become a popular destination for comedy aficionados.

Philadelphia native Kenny Casciato, co-owner of GoodBar in Point Loma, claims to have the best Philly cheese steaks in San Diego coming out of the kitchen at the neighborhood bar on Rosecrans Street.

Something else he’s proud of? The weekly comedy show that’s become a popular destination for comedy aficionados.

“We wanted to make the place nice, clean and friendly,” says Casciato, a restaurant industry veteran who co-owns GoodBar and several other food-service businesses (Poke Vida and Prep Eaze) under the umbrella of Krow Management.

“We wanted to make a bar that was warm and inviting with entertainment that wasn’t just about getting drunk,” he said.

Tucked in-between a taco shop and a nail salon, Point Loma’s hole-in-the-wall watering hole, GoodBar, is serving up plenty of laughs alongside its wide menu of drinks. Operated by a group of young producers and comedians, the GoodJokes comedy show happens every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. and boasts a host of up-and-coming stand-up comedians as well as performances by members of the in-house production team.

After the COVID-19 pandemic forced GoodBar to close in March of 2020, the bar underwent a massive remodel, creating a sports bar aesthetic and adding a mobile outdoor kitchen. But the owners didn’t stop there: They added a menagerie of evening entertainment. Despite the fear of another forced shutdown, GoodBar reopened in March of 2022, having traded the dive-bar look for a more modern and local style: string lights hang from the ceiling, red clay bricks adorn the wall behind the stage, a map of San Diego takes up an entire wall and quirky Pinterest finds are scattered around the room as decorations.

In addition to comedy, the GoodBar hosts a back-to-back trivia and karaoke session on Tuesday nights, as well as live local music on Friday and Saturday evenings. There is no cover charge for the live music, making the GoodBar a convenient spot for locals to enjoy an affordable night out.

Diversity of voices

Walking up to the bar, it’s hard not to notice the smell coming from the parking lot — the smoky aroma of grilled patties hovering in the air and the warm scent of salt-showered fries drawing in anyone within a half-mile radius.

On a recent Wednesday, a small troupe of college-age boys sat closest to the stage, their table packed with assortments of finger-food and drinks, while tables on the opposite wall were occupied by middle-aged looking attendees, who were later revealed to be family members of the headlining comedian. The crowd wasn’t dense, but there was enough variety of characters to feel welcoming, not to mention a bar regular and his friendly dog Shiva sitting in the corner, flanking the stage.

Scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., the late arrival of the headliner at 8:07 promised a delayed start, which finally happened at 8:20. Opened by show host Clint Beishir, the rotating roster of in-house comedians each performed a 15-minute set until 9:15 when the headliner, Mikel Albagdadi, performed a 20-minute set.

The real heart of GoodBar doesn’t lie in its food or drinks, but from the young group of comedians rounded up by Beishir, the show’s host. Self-deprecating and self-aware of their role to warm-up the audience, the raucous group of 20-something stand-ups serve up a mix of old material and new, with an attentive audience eager to listen and laugh.

When asked about how he put together his diverse and hilarious team, Beishir said: “We like diversity and giving other people voices, so we found voices that can be different, but also be funny. One of our comedians is Mexican and Jewish, how can you beat that?”

The relaxed demeanor of the producers and the obvious camaraderie that emanates from them can seem a little goofy and amateur, but their friendliness is contagious and inclusive. The DIY-feel of the show’s organization is laid-back and homey, which accentuates the bar’s intent to feel like a local spot.

What sets the GoodBar apart from other bars is wrapped up pretty well in its motto — “not a great bar, a good bar.” The bar might just be “good,” but the comedy team is great.

GoodBar

Address: 1872 Rosecrans St., San Diego

Phone: (619) 642-0900

Online: goodbarsd.com

Le Calvez is a freelance writer.


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