Maynards by the Sea – Pacific Beach’s “Animal House”

maynards in Pacific Beach

“Maynards by the Sea” in Pacific Beach across  from Crystal pier, took all that revolutionary bull shit, mixed the counter-culture by adding a zillion kegs of beer and floating the top with a army of 16-wheelers filled with hard liquor – Photo taken in 1972 by Jack Minteer

Maynard in 1959

Maynard in 1959

It was the 1960s, an era best described as the counter-culture with its social and sexual revolution and also a time as one of irresponsible excess and flamboyance.  Rampant drug use has become inextricably associated with the counter-culture of the era, as Jefferson Airplane co-founder Paul Kantner said: “If you can remember anything about the sixties, then you weren’t really there.”

Except San Fransisco, or anywhere else in the country, didn’t have Pacific Beach’s “Maynard’s by the Sea”, an iconic bar right across the street from Crystal Pier.  Maynard’s took all that revolutionary bullshit, mixed in the counter-culture by adding a zillion kegs of beer, and floated the top with a army of 16-wheelers filled with hard liquor.  It was joked, “More Jack Daniels was consumed in one day at Maynard’s than the rest of California did in one month.”

Maynard Heatherly was the owner that always had a cheap cigar dangling out of his mouth, wearing a Panama hat and Hawaiian shirt.  Maynard liked to drink and have a good time about it.  Maynard’s bar was a cocktail of trans-culture,  a kick-back tropical environment, Mexican/American/Italian food, and biker/beachboy/cowboy mentality complete with an occasional knock down, drag out bar-fight.

Oh Golly Geee whiz …  it was a lovely place to be when the muffled roars of 20-30 choppers with biker colors pulled up

The Hells Angels and Iron Horsemen did frequent the place … oh boy … more entertainment…

Maynards Left to right Eric Carpenter, Patti Brewer, Jack Macpherson & Dave Osborn circa 1963-4.. Also hiding in other door (behind Maynard's cartoon guy) Pat Shea & Fat Art

Maynards Doorway ( left to right) Eric Carpenter (RIP), Patti Brewer, Jack Macpherson & Dave Osborn circa 1963-4.. Also hiding in other door (behind Maynard’s cartoon guy) Pat Shea & Fat Art (RIP)

Maynard’s was THE spot in the ’60s and ’70s, that is,  if you were not a “Golly Geee Whiz ” type of person. National Lampoon’s Animal House’s crazy, booze-driven characters would have fit right in at Maynard’s, which makes one wonder …  if the script was written by Maynard and edited by David Osborn from the Red Mountain Inn? Hmmm, very interesting!

If you did not drink and drink hard, you did not belong.

Maynards in Pacific BeachBeside the fact of hard cord drinking, it was also known for its cheap and very greasy food specials that drew the drug-crazed hippies out of their flats in Mission Beach and gave the hangovers their daily nutrition with their 25-cents Spaghetti and Taco Night Specials during the week, and ending it with a Sunday morning Spanish Omelets.

“What a GREAT way to spend a Sunday morning on the Coast!,” Jack and company used to always say.

If you were underage, or just hungry and broke, like many of the hippies and beach rats were,  you could order from the outside window on Ocean Boulevard, which at times was almost a block long. A  spaghetti meal was delivered on a paper plate covered in noodles, smothered in a something “red” sauce, maybe one meatball,  and always two pieces of white Wonderbread, dripping in butter. The plate had to be held by two hands and then it became a balancing act trying to avoid slipping on the grease walking away.

You did not leave hungry. All the crazed weekend drunks ended up in Maynard’s.

It was where Jack McPherson & Bob Rakestraw made the first stencil for Mac Meda t-shirts using a grocery bag when they went down there on a packed Sunday’s noon breakfast.

Tiny Brain (sorry forgot his real name) was the real life Bluto (John Belushi in the movie Animal House) when he worked there and was famous for chugging a pitcher of beer by biting on lip of the pitcher and drinking it non stop with no hands. Tiny could chug a fifth non stop, but Rackstraw said it didn’t count as he saw him throw up once after downing a bottle.

After the Chargers lost a game, Pat Shea would come in. He’d sit down and didn’t want anyone sitting by him. One side of the bar was packed and the other side was just Pat by himself.

Maylan, the Chargers strength coach at the time, and who had the first gym in La Jolla, used to come in. He would power down an couple of shooters and turn to the stranger sitting next to him, with a shit-eating grin, grab the person glass and start eating it.

One day the cops came in looking for Maynard, he ran out the back door and they chased him down Crystal Pier, he jumped into ocean and hit his head and died, so ending the Pacific Beach legend.

Jack had ordered recreations of Maynard Cartoon logo t-shirts just before he died.

Thanks to Dave Osborn for some of the content and photos.


  1. Michael Couch says:

    I have a knife in my kitchen that was from this bar. I’m not sure exactly how but the owner was related to my family somehow. I remember hearing stories from my dad about this place in the 60’s. Dad was a biker type, go figure 🙂

  2. Dennis G. says:

    I lived in Claremont back when it was new. In the early ’60s I hitched to beach everyday during the summer, to lay on beach and have breakfast at Maynard’s. There’s all kinds of growing up stories… Nice to see the memory lives on.

  3. Jim Lewis says:

    Mind blowing. Maynard was my step-dad Roger Heatherly’s brother. Roger married my mother, Patricia Fowlie (Danny Fowlie’s older sister) in ’76 or so. Having been a PB surf rat, I often grilled Roger about his brother and the bar. He was a square and apparently didn’t approve of the life; never told me much. Fun reading this stuff!

    I don’t see much about my uncle Dan on the Mac Meda site, maybe he was older?

  4. I lived on the strand at MB and drove a 1946 blue Ford convertible. Also had a blue MG. Lived there around 63-65.
    I don’t remember Maynard’s but did get in the Cave a few times. It was a great time!!

  5. Jeff & Paula says:

    Incredibly fun time of life for Jeff& I (Paula). Jeff & I each came to Maynard’s even before we knew each other. The food was always great & cheap. Always a great crowd of biker friends to drink with & enjoy the day. We treasure all those memories. I worked at Security Pacific Bank at the time . Right up the street. When the conservative people I worked with saw me hop on the bike with Andy it really blew their mind. They saw me as this sweet little innocent girl. Well, I was sweet. Hooked up with Jeff in 1972 & we’re still going strong. Life is so great.

  6. I came upon Maynards in the summer of ’65 when at 23 I started my college years at SD Mesa after five years in the army, incl.30 mos. in W. Germany. Other dives were Tugs and Krishna Mulvaneys, et al. In the fall of ’66 I started at SD State and a cheap bar was the Rounders Room. I lived on Sea Lane and later on Playa del Sur up the street from the Pump House on Windansea. Great living then and cheap housing…furnished cottages, clean, all utilities paid for $160 plus. Sure beat my hometown, Riverside!

  7. 1962 or 1963 wandered into Maynard’s. A couple of just 21 nice girls looking for fun, but not THAT kind of fun. Met a couple of sailors who are friends to this day. A sad day when Maynard died.

  8. murphthesurf says:

    If you were a Maynard’s regular you eventually stumbled across the street to the Monkey Inn. Home of “beer with an olive”.

  9. jerry garich says:

    Oh, yeah; the PB crew was the Jenners, jerry taylor, bruce enns, the candalaria bros., francis thompson, the slaters (kurt and eric), bobby griebe, joe opeltz, george rotginns, bill shrosbee, john hayward, fred reiman, gary cook, tony schwartz, root and steve swan, larry gordon and frank smith (Gordon & Smith), skipper frye, hynson, mickey madden, rod sulprizio, steve manns, joe thomas, butch, lil hankie warner and many more great personalities that my present age and memorey allows forgetfullness that made the 1963-65 culture there unique and un-forgettable!!

    • Brad Johnson says:

      My aunt was a friend of joe Opeltz and i was wondering if he was still here or if he has past away. I met him in San Diego in 1979 and i think he was a plumber. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks

      • Donna Gibson Shuffler says:

        I think Joe Opeltz has been dead for about 10 – 15 yrs.

      • christy cramer says:

        Joe passed away many years ago…maybe 15 or so….he has a son who lives in North Bend, Oregon
        His friend Bob Shea lives in Campo he might know more

    • I was Tony Schwartz girl back then when he lived with Hynson on Grand. Would love to see those people again. They were my crew. We partied every single day. A lot of them worked at G&S

  10. jerry garich says:

    We were all the PB surf club pre Windansea SC days and loved Maynards. Me and Mike Jenner would never miss wednesdays spagetti dinner there. The garlic bread was great! Sometimes would hit weds there then hit a surf movie at the Roxy! The stories were rampant! I remember Butch VA carrying out a keg from there. And the Drama. Recall stories of Blah James, a hawaiian martial arts tough guy cleaning house on some marine along with Butch and Root Swan! Those were the days of real hard guys!

    • Joan M says:

      I hung out with all those people too. I miss them. I lived on the No.Shore when Butch was life guard then. I have a fabulous picture of all of us in Tiajuana…Tony Schwartz, Mike Hynson, Butch VA, Gary Cook, Francis, all those guys …we were all at the long bar. I still have the photo. I was Tony’s girl friend for several years in the early 60’s. fun times.

  11. Even though I was under age at the time, only 16, I frequently went into maynads, as long as I had my bikini on they didn’t say a thing. After a long night of partying the food the next day was fantastic. I was a “Surfer Rat” I belonged to the wind and sea surfing club. That greasy Maynards food kept me going. Best days of my life!!!!!!.

  12. Cyndi Elliott says:

    You are all making me hungry for a “Single, extra meat, extra cheese”. Think I will make one in the morning, being Sunday and all. Let’s not forget the “Red Beer”. Owen passed on the recipes to my mom Maria. I am so happy to be able to give my family a taste of Maynards. I still make the spaghetti on Wednesdays,( I have a great shot of my mom at Maynards, stirring the big pot of sauce, with a wooden paddle.)I stay away from rolling tiquitos though. After rolling 1260 every Thursday after school, either with my brothers and sister, alone or with a friend I might bring with me, I just can’t…lol. I’m sure that was where the first “Tortilla Toss” was started. When the tortilla would break while rolling it, it would just get tossed. I mean they were flyin! So,I think I will play a little Les McCann and Eddie Harris “Compared to What” to go with That omelet. Mom played that a lot in Maynards. When she opened Maynards in the mornings, she would always start the day by dropping a quarter in the jukebox and playing “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye. Love you and miss you Momma and Maynards!!! xoxo

  13. John Capoot says:

    I’m wearing my Tug’s Tavern T-shirt and it always makes me think of Maynard’s. I wish I could find a Maynard’s shirt. I ate a lot of doubles on Sunday morning after belly boarding the pier with my friend Tracy sharing a 26 ounce Pepsi from Food Basket. When I was a little kid, my mom rented surf mats on Ocean Blvd in the dirt lot next to where T.D. Hays used to be. I remember the constant stream of bikers circling Ocean Blvd on Sunday Mornings. My mom told me that one of them, someone named Jason would lay in the street and stop the bikes so I could cross and go to the beach. I think I was 6 or 7 years old. Thanks for the website!

  14. if knucklehead ron is still in touch, pass along my contact info

  15. scrounge and Ron Arnoldson, old roomates–got it right ! those were the days

  16. Bill Sowles says:

    Maynard’s had the best spagetti dinners for 25 Cents.

  17. Johnny the Shu says:

    Went here on Spaghetti night as a teenager in the summer of ’69 with my school buddy, John and his family (bikers). Had a great time – just watching people as I slurped my dinner up.
    Ah – the memories of our youth…this one is well-treasured!

  18. R.I.P Shorty

  19. Came here from Miami in “70” with a surfboard & holes in my pockets. Cash in a few coke bottels, I could eat every few days. It’s now 42 years later. Thanks for the cheap eats. Maynards & Tugs. That’s old school PB. Miss them both.

    • Kathie English says:

      Me too. You could eat on the beach all week for under $5.00. The most expensive was the T-bone steak at the Pennant in S. Mission for $2.50. You got a T-bone steak, baked potatoe & salad. You got to cook your steak on the firepit at the back. Always eat Owen’s breakfasts. the best.

      • Jeff & Paula says:

        Hey Kathie. Jeff & I remember all the great times at Maynards too. Some we may not remember (lol). Those years were some of the most fun & favorite of our lives. This is me, Paula typing. Also love remembering when I lived with you & John John. So many crazy fun times. Wonderful to be that young & carefree. Only worried about when the next ride was & where the next party would be. Life was and is great.

      • Kathie, did you have a sister named Ann? We hung out at the beach.

  20. anyone find out the book by Cyndi Elliott


  1. […] noticed in the discussion on Maynards that someone named Cyndi had written a book. Since it’s not mentioned elsewhere I’m […]

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