Meet me at the Monkey Bar

Meet me at the Monkey Bar

A pink sunset over a building. There's a cut out of a diver that looks like a spinning rooster.

The aesthetics have radically transformed. And the vibe is decidedly livelier. For this reason, as a San Diego resident checking out eating alternatives in Mission Valley, you get the experience when location foot on to the revived City and County Resort that you’ve entered some faraway family vacation place suited to accommodate your eating and drinking desires right after a long, cramped flight.

The indoor-outside Monkey Bar and its adjoining fantastic-eating cafe, ARLO, are among the the new additions involved in a $90 million makeover the resort recently underwent. In eye shot resides still one more restaurant, but with a much more relaxed menu. It’s named The Lapper. That eatery is distinguished by a hovering neon determine of a female swimmer symbolizing legendary diver Thelma Payne, who earned an Olympic bronze medal in 1920. She turns fairly radiant after sunset.

A pink cocktail with an orange slice
The ‘Drunken Monkey’ (By Frank Sabatini Jr.)

All 3 venues welcome locals and vacation resort visitors alike.

I came to know the City and Country above the previous 15 years by way of a blend of family members customers lodging there, and as a recurrent purchaser to the previous Charlie’s, a informal bar and cafe that sported an unremarkable ambiance.

Back again then, the assets spanned almost 32 acres and encompassed 917 hotel rooms. Developed in phases starting in 1953, the grounds greeted with quirky statuary, crafty birdhouses, ivy-clad gazebos, and flourishing rose gardens. It was like stepping into a mid-Century Alice in Wonderland—an out of date and trippy panache I came to really like.

The new Town and Place Resort shows off a more refined and exquisite mid-Century style. It far too is rather lovable.

Its entrepreneurs, San Diego-based mostly Terry Brown and his relatives, and Lowe Enterprises, marketed off 10 acres to housing builders. Various structures have been razed (other than for a central cluster of two-story structures from when the house very first opened as a motel). The redevelopment ushered in a freshly built lobby, which partly residences the Monkey Bar and leads to a tiered out of doors seating space replete with fireplace options. There is also a considerably enlarged swimming pool with a h2o slide, and re-landscaped grounds flaunting tall, stately palm trees salvaged for the duration of the renovation.

Fifty percent of the Monkey Bar sits within the lobby, where the household furniture and other trappings appear straight out of a commodious living area from the 1950s. The other 50 % of the bar sits in open up air and verges into the roomy outside lounge.

The title “Monkey Bar” was encouraged by the advancement team’s selection of wallpaper viewed in the restrooms. The print reveals primates perched in lush tree branches.

A burger and fries on a white platter with a bowl of rocks in the background.
The char burger with fries (By Frank Sabatini Jr.)

I have but to dine at ARLO or The Lapper, but I’ve loved the creature comforts (which include stay songs) from Monkey Bar a several occasions in the latest previous.

If traveling to during content hour (4 to 6 p.m. Monday via Friday), you can help save 50% or a lot more on certain consumables. It is when pick craft beers on faucet, moreover specific wines by the glass, and the signature “Drunken Monkey” cocktail are only $5. In addition, wood-fired pizzas are $9.

The tall Drunken Monkey is remarkably tame in sweetness, considering it’s made with Kettle One Orange, Malibu Rum, orange liqueur, pineapple juice, simple syrup and grenadine. Probably it is the contemporary lime juice that prevents it from tasting like a cloying Mai Tai. Or probably it’s the engaging holiday vacation-like ecosystem that will make them go down so very easily.

A tan building with seating and lights that are all sort of monochrome.
Partial see of Monkey Bar’s out of doors seating place (Courtesy picture)

In excess of a couple of visits, the mushroom and Margherita pizzas requested with buddies proved to be shareable and satisfying. Just about every flaunted pleasing mantles of cheese and attractive, elastic crusts.

Right after switching after from the drunken cocktail to a pair of Hess IPAs, the “char burger” cried out. Priced at $21, it is a significant herb-infused flavor bomb topped with truffle aioli and Gruyere cheese. (Sure, a great burger like this in the course of these inflationary times will be expensive just about anyplace you go.)

Extra menu objects incorporate various other signature cocktails, additionally lamb meatballs, sticky brief ribs, and shrimp with ginger-soy ponzu.

Locals partaking in food items and beverages at any of the venues are entitled to complimentary parking in the resort’s freshly built parking garage located near the entrance entrance. The framework features a vibrant, dramatic mural comparable to other folks viewed all around the property—all of which ended up developed by area artists in the course of the makeover.