Splach Bar stays true to its roots and neighborhood
Published: July 18, 2012
When I told a close friend of mine about my impending visit to Splach Bar, she gave me these words of advice, "Don't go alone and don't ride your bike there alone." She also corrected me when I mistakenly referred to the bar as Splash and said, "I think it's Splach, not Splash." Always one to jump at the opportunity for an ill-advised adventure, I hopped on my bike and pedaled all the way down to Nogalitos. To be quite honest, I was a bit nervous, but I was also curious about what kind of characters I would meet at a seemingly rough-around-the-edges kind of place that had a Texas-sized Spurs emblem painted on the front of the building. I had somewhat of an idea, but there was only one way to find out. I locked up my bike, took a deep breath, and brazenly walked in alone.
I headed straight for the bar as I felt eyes grip me from every direction. I asked the bartender for a Lone Star and hoped for the best. Halfway through my beer, a regular named Joe sat down beside me and started making small talk about the pool tournament that was happening. Soon the topic turned to the bar and what keeps bringing him back. "This is home," he said proudly, adding that the familiarity of the place is worth the long drive from the northwest side of town (Sea World area to be exact). As we carried on I learned that there was a ping-pong table at the back of the bar, because Splach owner, Hesam "Sam" Mesbah, is a "ping-pong king" and enthusiast.
I had already spotted Mesbah working hard behind the bar, hauling buckets of beer to tables while laughing and carrying on with patrons. His daughter, Crystal Mesbah, was working behind the bar. Family-owned and operated, Splach has been a neighborhood watering hole since 1996. The name itself means family, Mesbah's to be exact: the first letter of each member's name packed together with Sam's "S" leading the pack. The patriarch's charisma radiates throughout the bar. "People really like our hamburgers a lot," was about his only explanation for the lively family atmosphere that inspired such loyalty. I thought to myself, "I think it's more than just the hamburgers that keep people coming back."
I was about two Lone Stars in when Debbie, another regular, struck up conversation and confessed with a smile, "I've been coming here too long." She then shared the same sentiment as Joe. "I won't go anywhere else alone, but here you feel at home." I may have showed up awkwardly alone and a little more nervous than I would like to admit, but I left feeling like I had been a regular for years.
Homespun dive bar and grill where everybody is family, the drinks are cheap, and the service is stellar.
Hub for pool and ping-pong enthusiasts, catching a game on the huge projector screen, and chatting away with neighborhood regulars.
$2 domestics; $3 imports; $3 wells; nightly specials