Dive bars are notoriously committed to their themes and San Diego dive bar Cherry Bomb is no exception, beholden to a relentless red & black palette that permeates every surface inside and out. Live music was crammed into the black brick shoebox of a dive bar but had to be canceled due to neighbor complaints, a move that likely saved an eardrum or two. The San Diego dive bar is wedged into the corner of a strip mall in between a laundromat and taco restaurant, which is about as ‘dive bar’ as a sentence can be.
The decor inside fits a punk rock / death metal vibe, down to the gargoyle-like decorations behind the bar that jut out of small perches wedged into the brick. Spotlights shine on artwork along the walls, one of the few sources of light in what is even by dive bar standards a pleasantly dark place to drink. Further glow comes from the jukebox stocked with punk and metal selections, many of them from local bands. The look and feel here is consistent throughout, down to the string lights along the bar, the red felt on the pool tables and the pleasantly graffiti-laden bathrooms that cap off the experience.