If there was a bar designed for debauchery, the infamous Dave Osborn’s Red Mountain Inn would literally win face down. It was named after the screw-top, rot-gut wine, Red Mountain, which was a must if you wanted to get drunk and had little money, because it was $1.50 for a gallon.
With that said, it seemed logical that the Red Mountain Inn became Mac Meda Destruction Co. Official Headquarters!
The bar opened in 1966 at 5525 La Jolla Blvd in Bird Rock. And what a day that was, over 17 kegs of beer were consumed.
The original bartenders were Jack Macpherson, Rick “Ricky Rocket” Johnson, Mike Wilson, Dave Schrader and later Reggie Hasley and Ron “Anchovy” Barca joined to help with the overflow of thirsty and fanatical customers.
You ordered by the pitcher or two. Unlike other bars, where drinking to much got you thrown out, drinking ONLY one or two beers was was considered taboo; the bartender would stared you down. And chances are you would get eighty-sixed for being a non conformist!
Friday and Saturday nights were standing room only. Cigarette smoke would bellow between the crack of the front door, and almost knock you down when opening it. A passerby could get a nice buzz just by the alcohol smell even from across the street.
Red Mountain had a band that drummed out enough rock to make your ears ring for the next few days. At first, Cookie Taylor was the singer, and leader of the band (see him in slide-show) and then ran dinner food specials for a while until he become the head cook at Bully’s down the street.
Stories were wild, people that drank there were crazy with one thing in mind, getting shit faced and having a good time. Its customers were all types, bikers (notice the Hell Angels and Iron Horsemen in the photos, before they become hated rivals), surfers, jocks, long hairs, girls, drunks, geeks, dirtbags, and just plain people who wanted to let their hair down.
One night the cops raided the place for underage drinkers. And the ONLY person they took to jail was Jack Wilhelm, who forgot his ID that showed he was 21 at the time. In other words, if you looked 21, or had a ID (regardless of whose picture was on it) that said, you were 21, you were welcomed.
Across the street (or within stumbling/falling down distance) was the Sip n Surf (or Hungry Horse depending on who owned it at the time) that served hard booze. And heading north, next door was the White Whale, a hippy bar where pot and incense bellowed out as strong as the cigarettes smoke did at the Red Mountain.
And Clear-Light acid and Mescaline was passed out like candy. The Make Love, Not War was exercised to the fullest … even a blind man could get his rocks off there.
It’s amazing no one got hurt or killed crossing La Jolla Blvd hop-staggering from one bar to another.
Bird Rock was the Barbary coast of La Jolla. Alcohol, drugs and good friends, what more did you need. Oh yeah, getting laid — farther down on Cass street was the “Touch of Class,” a 24-hr massage parlor that offered more then massages 😉
Oh my! It didn’t get much better!
Special thanks to David Osborn (RIP) for supplying the historical content and photos.