by Photo by Guillermo Mijares

When someone hears "Eastlake", the last thing to come to mind is an active night filled with entertainment. 

Mood for drinks and dancing? Most likely Downtown or Pacific Beach is where you end up by the end of the night. 

Mood for high-quality gourmet food? Little Italy or Del Mar is where you'll end up dining. 

The Search Bar wants to change that, and it wants to make things easier for locals in the Southbay. 

Paul Padilla is the owner of The Search Bar in Eastlake, located at The District on 871 Showroom Pl, Chula Vista. And he says that the bar's objective is to bring all those features into one city, one location. 

"No one is really going to Downtown anymore because of the need to dress up formally, no one wants to drink and drive far away from the south bay like PB, so if you look at the way things are happening, people are staying in their local area for their nightlife place," Padilla said. 

Just before the 2021 Super Bowl, The Search Bar opened its doors in a "soft launch" opening, meaning that it has not hosted an official "grand-opening" and it is still testing the waters with its restaurant business. 

Paul's family are also owners of The Venue also located at The District, a location that often hosts events such as quinceañeras, weddings, sweet 16's, and its business helped give Search Bar a solid foundation to rely on during COVID's financial toll on local businesses. 

"If we wouldn't have had The Venue and just opened The Search Bar just like that, it would have been rough for us," Padilla said. 

Padilla says that what people will find most attractive is the ongoing change of themes every week at the bar. 

"Our restaurant will update every day. We won't stay in one theme. Corvette's dinner has the 50's theme, King and Queen has the Mexican theme, but with us you'll constantly be seeing new stuff and that's what people want, to see new things," Padilla said. "There's not a place that does it all, and the reason why we want to do it all, is so we can become accustomed to everything people are searching for, which is why we are called the search bar," he added. 

To this day, the biggest seller for The Search Bar is "El Toxico", an alcoholic drink that has watermelon, chamoy, and vodka all combined. 

"It was trending at the time with everyone labeling their relationship toxic, or people saying they like toxic men or toxic women," Paul mentioned "So why not call it toxico, because it tastes good but if you have too many, it'll get you messed up even though you always want it." he said. 

Going forward, Padilla says that their main objective for the new year of 2022 is to continue expanding their horizons as a restaurant.

"Our priority will be filled with entertainment, we have music, comedy shows, roller-skating nights, so that's going to be our main things this year," Padilla added. 

The grand-opening date will soon be officially announced by The Search Bar in the near future. 

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