Inside Oceanside: Around town and more

A South Oceanside bar with a colorful past has just closed down and a new owner is about to breathe new life into the place with a new staff, new name and a remodel. 

Look for The Pour House to open Dec. 5, the 80th anniversary of the end of prohibition. The Beach Club on the corner of Kelly Street and South Coast Highway closed for good last week.

Long timers will remember the building back in the ‘50s that housed a wholesale produce warehouse called The Oceanside Produce Company run by the Spano family.

Then, in the ‘60s, a beauty salon called The Beauty Bazaar took over the front of the building while the produce section stayed in the back.

In the early ‘70s the three Spano brothers, Mel, Anthony and Joe, turned the salon into a saloon and dedicated the whole building to The Brothers Three, a successful beer and burger joint.

The late Mel Spano founded the Red & White Market on Vista Way (his sons Damian and Anthony run it now).

Brother Anthony still runs the Red & White Market north and the adjacent Harbor House Cafe in North Oceanside.

When Brothers Three thrived, there were three beer joints with pool tables in South O. There was also Andy’s Mexican food on Coast Highway near Vista Way (now Don’s Country Kitchen), and there was the Embassy Room on Coast Highway (now Pacific Coast Grill).

The story has it that the Brothers Three was a big hit right out of the box as adult baseball teams and construction workers gobbled up the burgers and beer.

But then the Brothers Three opted for an “upgrade,” and went with a more expensive steak and lobster fare. The upgrade was a misfire. The blue collared crowd wondered what happened to their bar and they went elsewhere.

Next, in the early ‘80s came Schroder’s, named after new owner John Schroder who also had a beer bar called The Red Vest near the Drive Ins on Mission Avenue.

It was widely loved for its occasional outdoor authentic soul food BBQ mission. The continental format under Schroeder’s didn’t flourish either. The bar and grill eventually morphed into Molly Bee’s named after the owner/operator who was a country music singer best known for her 1952 hit “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and as a TV sidekick on The Pinky Lee Show and the The (Tennessee Ernie) Ford Show.

Then around 1995 the bar became Greystokes, one of two Oceanside gay bars at the time (now there are none). It has been the Beach Club since around 2000 until it shuttered Oct. 21.

That brings us to the Pour House. It is the concept of new owners David and Emily Rassel. Many know David from his years working behind the bar at Larry’s Beach Club in Oceanside and the Golden Tee in Carlsbad.

David says after a remodel he will reopen the bar and restaurant with an entirely new staff.

He says he will continue with live bands, playing both original and cover music.

Beach Shorts

It’s been over a year since Tsunami Skydivers started dropping people out of airplanes here in Oceanside. Their arrival was seen as a great step forward for the underutilized Oceanside Airport, which is where Tsunami divers take off.

It costs $210 a jump, and an extra $80 if you want a video.

There have been no accidents, but there was one incident that got a little sticky.

It seems two months ago a skydiver drifted too far to the north. He landed on Camp Pendleton.

It became immediately clear to the USMC that the Tsunami-launched fun lover was not a terrorist landing on an U.S. military base. But nevertheless the skydiver was escorted off the base by Marines with rifles drawn.

I am sure Tsunami will do everything possible to make sure it doesn’t happen again….

Interesting to note that the city of Vista is treating E-cigarettes like regular cigarettes. In other words, in Vista you can’t whip out your “Vapure” device indoors. That is unfortunate.

I have an establishment where people need to go outside to smoke. Sometimes people bring their E-cig rigs inside and puff on their ersatz Marlboro. When they ask me if it is OK if they use them indoors I say “no problem.” I tell them that I support them in their quest to dump the most addictive drug known to man. God bless ‘em, and keep up the good work I tell them.

Many cigarette smokers are nice people. But their habit is disgusting. I have compassion on them as they struggle with their addiction, but I happen to think the people trying to kick the habit (with E-cigs or patches or whatever) should get as much support as possible.

Not sure where the city of Oceanside is on E-cigs but I hope they don’t get outlawed for indoor use in our town.

Even worse are the bars and restaurants that don’t enforce the law that says when you smoke outside you must be 25 feet from an open door. These places are forcing their non-smoking patrons and their children to breathe in someone else’s poison.

Oceanside born and raised, Ken Leighton is an Oceanside business owner. He may be reached at


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