From the Archives: 10 Best

Katie Dillon of 10 Best, part of USA Today, wrote this post about Aero in September 2012.



“Yes, it’s a dive bar. The Aero Club has a local following that’s been loyal for decades. Located near the San Diego airport on India street, the drinks are reasonably priced, poured with a usually heavy hand, and the service is friendly. There’s no food, but there’s a tractor beam-like draw to the place once you set foot inside the door.Expect plenty of neon, a jukebox, pool tables and TVs playing old movies. The vibe is typically chill whether it’s day or night. Go to truly unwind in your casual garb. Leave the little black dress and attitude at home. Come here for a change of pace from the downtown scene or to continue on your usual one.

The bar stocks over 450 whiskeys. That’s 450 whiskeys available on a menu for you to order as you will. Flights of whiskey start at just $20 and about 20 beers are usually on tap. There’s a list of specialty and traditional cocktails, as well. The wall of liquor holds over 750 bottles!

The Aero Club is perhaps nicer than a lot of other dives, but it’s still a dive. Parking isn’t great, but patrons don’t complain about it. Just be mindful that it’s street parking, but with drinks like this you’re better off taking a taxi anyway.”

Click here for the original story:

From the Archives: UT San Diego

Early in 2013, Keli Dailey did a whiskey bar article — we were featured in it.


Here’s the blurb:

“Over the years it’s been a chancy place to let your guard down (nicknamed “The San Diego Gun and Knife Club” in the ‘60s), a cop bar, a long-haul driver clubhouse and a Yelp meet-up spot… The Aero Club–started by a female pilot, hence the Delta Dart aircraft on the neon sign out front–took off in 1947.

Right now it’s gloriously overrun with whiskeys.

Owner Bill Lutzius houses up to 600 brands, I’m told– those shelves are congested with bottles. I haven’t tallied up the barrel-aged bourbons, the Canadian blends, the Japanese whiskeys, the single malts, the fruity liqueurs, the peaty waters from Scotland and other styles beyond (blech! Irish whiskey). But it takes 50-plus pages to list all of Aero Club’s whiskeys (ask for this bound book at the bar).

There are tasting notes in that whiskepedia: For “spicy pepper, green wood and malt…together with a splash of rye whiskey,” find the entry from a top American distillery, Roughstock Montana Whiskey. Get their Cask Strength neat for $13.

Of note: The Aero Club has a jukebox (Johnny Cash), pool table, well-worn booths, whiskey flights, and a paper-lanterns-and-Christmas-lights sensibility. Maxim recently featured it as the magazine’s Dive Bar of the Month.”

The rest of the story is here:



Name: John

Where are you originally from? Boston

How long have you worked for Aero Club? About 3 ½ years

What shifts do you usually work? Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, & Thursdays – 7pm – Close

What’s the Best Part of Your Job? The customers and regulars, we have the best!

Favorite cocktail? Old Fashioned

Favorite Beer? Racer 5 or Sculpin

Favorite whiskey? Woodford Reserve, Single Malt

Favorite spirit? No, doubt…WHISKEY!

When you are off, where do you like to hang out? Go home and chill and try to be sleep by 5am.

Do you have any tattoos? What is it and what’s the story? Strangely, Chad and I have both have Geisha girl tattoos on our arms and we didn’t even know it until recently!



Name: Chad, the Bar Manager

Where are you originally from? Southwest PA

How long have you worked for Aero Club? 8 years

What shifts do you usually work? Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays – 7pm to Close

What’s the Best Part of Your Job? Working at a place that I’m passionate about

Favorite cocktail? Anything that’s shaken or muddled

Favorite Beer? The four rotating taps

Favorite whiskey? Generally, the Wheated Bourbons

Favorite spirit? Whiskey, for sure. But Gin is a close second.

When you are off, where do you like to hang out? Finishing a whiskey guide book. Hanging out with my fiancé Laura. We’re expecting a baby!

Do you have any tattoos? What is it and what’s the story? Yeah…
Traveling has been a great influence and my tattoos reflect my life experiences.



Name:  Annie

Where are you originally from? St. Louis

How long have you worked for Aero Club? Since September 2013

What shifts do you usually work? Mondays & Saturdays – afternoon shift

What’s the Best Part of Your Job? Being around all this whiskey.

Favorite cocktail? The Aero Cream Soda — I love it!

Favorite Beer?  Black Walnut Dunkel

Favorite whiskey?  Double Chocolate Bourbon by Pritchard

Favorite spirit? WHISKEY, of course!

When you are off, where do you like to hang out? I’m into photography — so you can find me shooting around town and at punk shows.

Do you have any tattoos? What is it and what’s the story?  A sleeve dedicated to Missouri.

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