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Slightly Stoopid Frontman Buys Iconic Bar Where He Grew Up

Singer Miles Doughty joins OB locals and friends Jeremy Diem, Tyson Green, and Steve Ashton to take over The Harp
Exterior of Ocean Beach Irish Pub The Harp on Newport Avenue in San Diego
Courtesy of Next Wave Commercial

OB is weird. And locals like it that way. Change doesn’t come easily to the beach town that prides itself on offbeat as the norm and counterculture as the status quo. So when the former owner of The Harp Anthony “Tony” Fleming passed suddenly last October, the fate of the beloved Irish pub seemed murky. 

Would it get snapped up by outside investors? Would it change the vibe of Newport Avenue? Would it turn into another quirky bar with moody bronze light fixtures, explosively kitschy patterned wallpaper, and ironically named $25 cocktails?

As of today, OBceians can rest easy. The Harp now officially has four new owners—all locals, all familiar faces. 

San Diego band Slightly Stoopid featuring Miles Doughty who recently purchased The Harp bar in Ocean Beach
Courtesy of Red Light Management
Miles Doughty (fourth from L) and Slightly Stoopid

Miles Doughty is the frontman and lead singer of Slightly Stoopid, an Ocean Beach–based reggae-rock band that Doughty started with Kyle McDonald and Adam Bausch in 1994. Jeremy Diem is the current president and CEO of Hodad’s, the OG best burger in SD. Tyson Green and Steve Ashton are longtime best friends and regular fixtures behind Ocean Beach bars like Mother’s Saloon (R.I.P.), Sunshine Company Saloon, and Aquarius Bar & Grille. 

The four friends initially banded together in order to get into the hospitality business, hoping to purchase Cheswick’s West on Newport Avenue. Negotiations didn’t pan out, and when Fleming passed away, Green says the opportunity to buy The Harp instead felt like fate. 

“Things happen for a reason, and that was a blessing,” he says, explaining that a larger space with a kitchen and live music element better fit the group’s vision. Doughty agrees, adding that he hopes to leverage his music industry experience to bring more bands and live music to The Harp. It’s all their first experience with ownership, but none of them are worried.

Interior of Ocean Beach Irish Pub The Harp on Newport Avenue in San Diego
Courtesy of Next Wave Commercial

“It’s cool to be able to do it with your friends that have been in the bar business for 25-years-plus,” says Doughty.

Green agrees, fully confident in the assembled team. “I have no fear,” he laughs. “It’s an amazing feeling to know we’re going to kill it and that’s just the way it’s going to be.”

Doughty is the only born-and-raised OB local, but everyone has roots in the beach town that go back decades, and they intend to keep the spirit of The Harp and Ocean Beach as it has been. However, Doughty adds, they do plan to eventually renovate and rebrand the space once they have a few months of summer service under their belts. But he assures me that everyone will still be welcome at the all-ages space with plenty of good music, food, and family fun. 

Open today, the new owners are taking on what has historically been The Harp’s busiest weekend—St. Patrick’s Day—as their first official debut. “We’re going to throw ourselves to the wolves and let it rip,” Green laughs. “We’re super fired up—OB’s in for some cool shit.” 

San Diego bar and restaurant The Lion's Share flyer about their "Irish Goodbye' special St. Patricks Day Pop-Up for 2024
Courtesy of The Lion’s Share

San Diego Restaurant News & Food Events

San Diego Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day This Weekend

Corned beef is a great way to sop up Guinness and Jameson, and there will be plenty of all three across San Diego this weekend. Pacific Beach’s Duck Dive is serving a corned beef egg and hash breakfast special and traditional corned beef hash for dinner Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. North Park Beer Company’s Bankers Hill location is running a couple Irish food specials (plus plenty of beer, duh) on Saturday and Sunday.

On Sunday, The Smoking Gun in Gaslamp is slinging corned beef tacos, Barleymash will have a Reuben sandwich special (plus plenty of Irish-inspired cocktails and green beer), and The Lion’s Share will host an “Irish Goodbye” pop-up menu of Irish bites and cocktails from Ian Ward (bar manager at Addison). 

Beth’s Bites

It’s the South Park Spring Walkabout this Saturday from 5–9 p.m., and there are, like, a bajillion amazing places to stop, shop, sip, and savor. If you’re not sure where to start, The Rose just released a handful of new spring cocktails, so that seems as good a place as any.

A new Mexican restaurant coming to Little Italy? Sign me up.

I finally stopped by Shawarma Guys’ new brick and mortar location in La Mesa to get their lemon cream chop fries and a Wagyu beef shawarma cheesesteak. Both excellent, although I think the cheesesteak could have been a little bigger. (Am I challenging myself to a Shawarma Guys versus Giorgino’s cheesesteak-off?) 

By Beth Demmon

Beth Demmon is an award-winning writer and podcaster whose work regularly appears in national outlets and San Diego Magazine. Her first book, The Beer Lover's Guide to Cider, is now available. Find out more on

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