Bar Hopping in Julian, CA
Alcohol has played an interesting part in Julian’s 150-year history. As in any mining town in the early days, saloons were as much a part of the community as gold was. It wasn’t long before the townspeople earned a reputation for drinking too much. As the gold ran out, so did the alcohol.
In 1910, voters outlawed bars and the town went dry. Moonshine operations filled the demand. After prohibition ended, the Wrong Branch bar opened up. It was known for having a rowdy crowd up until the bar was shut down for a while in the 1970s and then permanently closed in the early 2000s. The Pine Hills Lodge, located outside of town, was one of the few places one could enjoy a drink at a bar. In the late 1970s, the Julian American Legion opened the only bar in town for members and guests. Bars and liquor stores slowly made their way back. In the early 2000s, multiple DUIs connected to local establishments led to a few liquor licenses being revoked. Over the last few years, the alcoholic beverage industry has been making a comeback with local micro alcohol brands emerging.
Locals often joke about how nonexistent bar-hopping is in Julian. We do have some great specialty alcohol brands and multiple establishments where you can enjoy a drink, but your options for getting served hard liquor across the bar are still limited.
Julian's first winery, Menghini Winery, was established in 1982. Just five minutes outside of Julian at 1150 Julian Orchards Drive, you can find Toni and Mike Menghini pouring guests a fresh glass of wine. This beautiful winery was once Bud Farmer's processing plant and apple orchard. Whether you're looking for great wine, in need of a venue, sightseeing, picnicking, or enjoying a combination of these, Menghini Winery is definitely worth experiencing.
Julian Hard Cider
Southern California's first hard cider company, Julian Hard Cider has built a wonderful reputation for itself. After seven years of producing their cider out of town, the company is now producing their award-winning cider in Julian at Apple Lane Orchard. Their tasting room, Julian Hard Cider Miner's Saloon, is nestled in an old apple-processing plant with over ten flavors on tap you must taste. You can also find Julian Hard Cider in local grocery stores around the county, at Julian Beer Company, and at Apple Lane Orchard.
Located in an old apple cellar, the Cooler is the coolest bar around. This popular hangout spot carries a variety of locally made alcoholic beverages as well as your name-brand favorites. They are also home to the Julian Mimosas! Julian Hard Cider and fresh orange juice make the perfect combination for a one-of-a-kind drink. This specialty cocktail can only be found at The Cooler.
Wynola Pizza’s Red Barn is home to one of the region's few full bars. Come enjoy yummy wood-fired pizza, drinks, and local art at Wynola Pizza. This place offers indoor and outdoor seating, craft soda, and vegan and gluten-free pizza options.
Located just off Wynola Road is Volcan Mountain Winery. The property has a beautiful apple orchard, vineyard, and picnic area—the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of locally made wine.
Calico Hard Cider
Calico Ranch has played a big role in the local fruit industry for over 80 years. Their hard cider has been years in the making. The ranch and ciderary are now open for the public to enjoy.
Jeremy’s on the Hill
Julian's very own Chef Jeremy Manley opened his first restaurant in 2007, Jeremy’s on the Hill. The menu here changes frequently in response to seasonal local organic produce. Their beverage options include large wine lists and local beverage brands.
Julian Historical District
Julian Beer Co. (JBC)
Formerly known as Bailey's BBQ, Julian Beer Co. is famous for its great food, award-winning beer, and social atmosphere. In addition to a large selection of house-made beer, their drinks list usually includes local wine, Julian Hard Cider, as well as guests from the Lost Abbey and Pizza Port beers. A large variety of indoor-outdoor seating options make this place a popular hangout spot.
Tucked away one block off Main Street, this elevated restaurant has a wonderful indoor and outside atmosphere. Here you can find unique and simple dishes that are loaded full of irresistible flavors. My personal favorites on the menu are their spicy watermelon margarita, Julian apple pie margarita, and the spiked horchata! They also have a good beer, wine, and craft cocktail selection.
Located in the De Luca House, built in 1893, Heroes is a multi-generational, family-run business. Don't let the size of this tiny 1800s house fool you. Their hospitality here is impressive. They have indoor and outdoor seating with a view of the town, meaning you don't have to leave your furry friend in the car. The menu has vegan and vegetarian options. You can find hooks outside for your motorcycle gear. They carry local and well-known alcohol brands.
The Julian American Legion Post 468
In the late 1970s, the Julian American Legion opened what was then the only bar in town for members and guests. Today, it remains as one of two full bars in the historical district. Friday night dinners and Sunday breakfast at the Legion are local traditions (no membership required).
The Julian Grill
This cottage restaurant is beautiful inside and out. Here you can find soups, gourmet salads, fine meats, seafood, and one of the two full bars in the Julian Historic District.
The Romano family has been in the bar and restaurant business since the 1920s when Antonio Romano opened his first restaurant. In the 1960s, Romano’s Deli in Pacific Beach was famous for Italian food. Then in 1983, the family opened Romano’s Restaurant in Julian. Here you can find chicken piccata, Sicilian steak (without breading), and so much more. With a large beer and wine selection, you are sure to find a drink you’ll enjoy.
Nickel Beer has been a prominent leader in Julian’s micro-brewery revolution since its opening in 2013. Founder Tom Nickel has been brewing beer since he was 18. They have 16 house-brewed beers on tap, one of them being their famous Apple Pie Beer.
PLEASE DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE.
There have been multiple local DUI accidents that have taken the lives of loved ones.
Rest in peace Ian Kenny (age 19), Nick Ackerman (age 19), and Sara Rapue (age 21). We love you.
**All information provided in this post was correct to the best of my knowledge at the time the post was published, but it may change without notice. Please double-check with the individual business for the most up-to-date information.**