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Lighting Up the Gaslamp 

The owners of late-night karaoke favorites Lamplighter and Side Bar open The Gaslamplighter downtown
Interior of the new Gaslamplighter karaoke bar in downtown San Diego
Courtesy of Gaslamplighter

Everyone’s favorite Mission Hills karaoke joint, the Lamplighter, has brought its talents down the hill to the Gaslamp—and so has this podcast. The team, led by fourth-generation bar owner Frankie Sciuto, launched the Gaslamplighter, a new upscale cocktail and karaoke bar, in January. Sciuto joins us on the Happy Half Hour podcast today as we check out the bar’s digs.

Sciuto hopes the Gaslamplighter will become the go-to spot for San Diego’s nightlife scene, like its successful sister hangs, The Lamplighter and Side Bar. (In other words, it’s not just a joint for tourists.) “It’s an honor to follow in my family’s footsteps,” he adds. “After working through the ranks in the nightlife industry from a barback to a bar owner, I am incredibly proud to bring this concept to life.”

New karaoke bar the Gaslamplighter interior in downtown San Diego
Courtesy of The Gaslamplighter

Surely you’ve heard that the “mob wife” aesthetic is trending on the internet? The Gaslamplighter is that brought to life, and it’s a blast. Designed by GTC Design Studios, the 1,600-square-foot venue took over Ciro’s Pizzeria and Beerhouse. Sciuto says the bar pairs “classic style with a vintage-industrial 1920s flare,” which he hopes invokes nostalgia for better bar-drinking and song-singing days. It’s intended to look like an art-deco speakeasy, with shades of green and navy and plenty of rose-gold metal.

Of course, the drinks add to the glitz and glamor. Its cocktails have a luxury bent: Picture a white negroni topped with 24-karat gold, a carajillo, and an “Instagrammable” dirty martini with caviar. Guests will also find a mocktail menu and many more options.

Karaoke runs from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. You can sign up the old-school way by putting your name down on a sheet at the DJ booth, but you might want to warm up those vocal cords first—your rendition of “Sweet Caroline” may be followed by a surprise performance from a local underground star. Guests can book private booths or opt for bar seating, and the whole space is available for private rental.

Of course, the Gaslamplighter isn’t the only hot spot downtown. News today focuses on the neighborhood, especially with the Pads’ home opener happening this weekend. Otay Mesa’s Vega Caffe replaced Lolitas next to Petco Park with an expanded menu, and Puesto brought back cans of Clara, its 4.7 percent ABV Mexican lager, to Petco.

Plus, the owners of Verant Group (which is behind such lauded locales as Barleymash, Mavericks Beach Club, Tavern at the Beach, and Sandbar) are opening a new hotel called Casa Nova in Valle de Guadalupe with other partners.

By Jackie Bryant

Jackie is San Diego Magazine's content strategist. Prior to that, she was its managing editor. Before her SDM career, she was a long-time freelance journalist covering cannabis, food/restaurants, travel, labor, wine, spirits, arts & culture, design, and other topics. Her work has been selected twice for Best American Travel Writing, and she has won a variety of national and local awards for her writing and reporting.

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