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The Original Spike's
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
570 Higuera Street
San Luis Obispo
phone: (805) 544-7157
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Reviews by Rumrunner:
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $
We stopped in here for lunch. A great place for a quick bite and a pint or two.
This place is small and is made up of two rooms. The back room is somewhat dark and has large windows. The windows would be great if there was something eye catching to look at outside. The main room has the small bar which seats about five people and a few tables and chairs. Plenty of beer swag on the walls and the decor is a bit dingy. Still a warm vibe is felt upon entering this place.
At lunch time the bartender serves as the waitress or waiter. We had very good service. The bartender was doing a fine job of keeping peoples glasses full and taking food orders. She was very pleasant and helpful.
The food was good. The fish in the fish and chips were lightly breaded and the spices were nice. The chips were good as well. The menu is made up of burgers, salads, soups and a few other items. No spirits are served. A small wine list is available.
Spike's has twenty plus taps. They have a good bottle selection and magunums of Chimay. A good selection but nothing too obscure. Micros, imports and macros. Check the website for beers as the taps do rotate. A short list. Anchor, Lost Coast, Anderson Valley, North Coast, Chimay, Kostritcher and plenty of others. Everyone should be able to find a beer or two to their liking here.
Give this place a try. This is a gem in SLO. Good vibes all around. Especially if one is road tripping from SoCal to NoCal or vice versa on the 101 freeway.
A side note: Like the SLO Brewery, there are plenty of limricks, cheesy poems and lame comments written on the bathroom walls. Sadly there is nothing of noteworthy prominence. SLO Collage better up their standards for acceptance. It is just sad. Can't any of these people come up with anything creative? Paint the walls and start over.
07-06-2004 07:01:13 |
More by Rumrunner
More User Reviews:
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2 | $$
Spike's has changed a few times over the years. I used to go there weekly with some friends who have since moved away. Sometimes, the location at the Creamery on the south end of downtown SLO keeps the crowds thinner and less annoying, but sometimes it doesn't.
I've always had friendly, helpful, and efficient waitstaff when I was there.
I'm not a big fan of the food there. Some of it is good for drinking beer with, but to me, it tends towards the greasy side. Though the prices are reasonable for downtown SLO, which after so many years you sorta get used to.
But, this is a beer site. So, lest we forget, they hae had the best beer selection around for a while. I go there to drink beer, not to eat, not to go for an sweet time with my wife, and not to eat haute cuisine.
03-22-2011 23:15:15 |
More by sj660
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$$$
We've lived in San Luis Obispo for four years and have been to Spike's many times. While Wiseman Justin frequents Spike's more often than me, Wiseman Nick, I've decided to rewrite our original review (which was posted a year and a half ago) because my feelings about Spike's have changed dramatically since then.
Spike's is the only true beer bar in town. They offer a decent selection of domestic and imported micro-brews, and occasionally host events that showcase individual breweries and/or rare beers. The mood sways from mellow to raucous, but but things never get out of control. It's typically a good place to hang out and chat. They generally serve beer in its proper glassware, too. These are qualities that have always been true of Spike's.
Spike's used to have a great selection of rotating draft beers, ranging from Bear Republic Apex and Racer X to Green Flash West Coast IPA and Imperial IPA to rare Sierra Nevada offerings (Tripel, Brown Saison, etc.). They would also put local beers on from time to time, from brewpubs such as Dunbar of Santa Margarita and Santa Maria Brewing Company of Nipomo. That's how it used to be. It was nice. Ownership changed hands over the summer of 2009, and now the specialty drafts aren't very special: SN Celebration and SN Anniversary are as good as it gets. Also, Mike-aritas and Wyder's Dry Pear Cider have found permanent homes on the specialty bottle list. To make things worse, some of the better craft beers on the "Around the World" list have been replaced with imported lagers like Singha and Phuket. All in all, the beer selection at Spike's has gone way downhill.
Spike's has always had notoriously bad service. Anyone who's been there more than once or twice knows that. With the new management, however, service seemed to be improving. Seemed to be - and maybe it is... slightly. Last night was terrible though. We sat at our table for 45 minutes, and left without ever being served. To the waitress's credit, she was the only server working. The ONLY server, and the place was packed. Still, she chose not to write down our order, and as a result forgot it. Many people around us got up and went to the bar to get their drinks (which we contemplated doing), but once the table next to us got served within five minutes of arriving, we bounced. We told her to cancel our order, which she couldn't find anyway, on our way out.
Before I wrap up this review, let me also say that Spike's charges $5.00-$11.00 per beer, and there are no drink deals. The food is mediocre, and also overpriced (~$10 for a burger and fries).
I'll probably be back to Spike's at some point just because it's the only craft beer bar in San Luis Obispo. However, episodes like last night make it very hard for me to return.
UPDATE (01-04-2010): Spike's remains the same. The selection is still mediocre, the service is awful, and the prices are continuing to rise. If you're looking for a solid craft beer bar in San Luis Obispo, hit up Creekside. The service is great, the prices are fair, and the selection almost equals Spike's.
12-10-2009 23:16:12 |
More by ThreeWiseMen
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $$$
I went here on a Friday night around 9pm with some friends, walk in and the draft beers are immediately on your right, the bar is two sections and wraps around about half the place, good amount of taps and pretty much all craft, remember seeing Old Foghorn, Black Butte, Allagash White, and Old Rasputin to name a few, place was kind of run down and too busy, they had an average bottle selection but not great for being supposedly the best in town, I much rather go to one of the brewpubs myself, atmosphere is weak with a bunch of college kids being loud and yelling at the TV, I have heard they have some decent tastings once in a while, my main complaint is that they do not seem to support the local beer scene as I did not see anything from Cayucous, Dunbar, Santa Maria, Creekside, Downtown, etc., although there was a few Firestone brews which you can find at lots of different places these says, pints were expensive and like I said I would rather go somewhere else when I am in the area, decent for a bar on the central coast, but cannot say much more than that
09-15-2009 01:38:44 |
More by Floydster
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3 | $$
As stated with some of the other reviews, this one is based off multiple visits to Spikes, the good, the somewhat bad and the downright ridiculously bad.
The set up is you walk into the bar and face a L-shaped bar. Glassware wall is to your right and the taps are also to your right. The amount of glasses here is impressive and I've wondered many times if they even use the ones that are like 10' off the ground. The taps are all in a line on the wall with print outs of what tap is what posted above the tap. There are two main areas to the place. I'll just call them the bar room and the back room. I've never been in the back room, only looked so I can't comment too much on that. However, each time I visit I sit in the same place each time. There is a bunch of swag all over the walls. I've been there when the atmosphere is pretty chill and really enjoyable. However I've been there when it's a bit more crowded and it can get very noise very quickly. And I've been there when it's terrible, lots of people, noisy and just all around not that great of a place.
As far as the type of people go, you get all types. I've been in with college kids, locals who sit at the same place all the time (but I guess I do that too....), old, young, and all those in-between. Like I said, if there aren't a lot of people, the place is pretty chill and relaxing. As more and more people come however, it gets just a bit louder and louder and can get pretty annoyingly loud.
The beer selection is the best in SLO at any bar. They have an "Around The World" which consist of 40 beers in both bottles and on draft. The price ranges from $4 to $9 for the beers on the list. Most are in the $5 to $6 range. Their happy hour is from 5 to 6 pm and is a dollar off drafts. While it's not a lot, it does add up if you get all draft beers. As stated before, the beer selection is good but it's nothing that cannot be found around the area. They also have a Specialty draft and bottle board and while some of these are very good, again I've never seen/had anything too rare here.
The food here is standard pub grub and isn't have bad but can be a bit expensive. They do have specials for each day of the week but I can't say I've ordered any of these. They are decent deals based off their standard prices.
The service is what is always in debate about this place. As I said in the beginning, I've been in here with the good, the somewhat bad and the ridiculously bad service. The good service comes when there aren't a lot of people in and the waitresses can actually get to you in a timely fashion. I've had both a very informative waitress and one who wasn't too informative but was still very friendly. All the waitresses I've ever had are very friendly and nice. I've been waited on by what I believe is the owner and he was nice but wasn't too involved. The service really drops off as the place gets more crowded. Basically if you're sitting in Spikes and there are a lot of people in there, be prepared to wait for service.
I really like this place. That being said I have only been there a couple times where it's just been terrible. I usually go pretty early in the evening so service is good and it's fairly relaxing. If you're visiting and looking for a bar with a good beer selection, I suggest checking out Spikes. It is the best beer selection in SLO by far.
05-07-2009 04:47:18 |
More by Swimsum
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5 | $$$
This review is based upon numerous visits on different days and times over a period of one year.
I was expecting the place to be a little larger. Crowd ranged from college students, local guys(younger and older) having a casual beer. The local table tends to be the grumpy, obnoxious, know it all, who are you type leaving the atmosphere pretty crummy. I have caught many snide remarks from the regulars on the center table. Its more relaxing when they are not there. Most people that visit are not craft beer guys and all they know is Cali beer. Beer mags to read. Parking is on street or behind place. Servers range from good to terrible. The female servers are the worst! Place is small upfront with overflow in the back. L shaped bar that does not have to much room. TVs on the walls. The selection is not that great. A few brews I like to see on tap that tend to be regular are Anchor Bwine and of course Firestone stuff. They are brining in more local stuff now like Einhorn and Santa Maria Brewing. The selection on tap is pretty standard with SN stuff, Anchor, and Anderson Valley. Bottle selection is pretty good but then again nothing I cant buy in a good beer store. Prices are usually ok but sometimes you have to watch it. Food is good. Overall a good bar for the Central Coast with a limited selection and distribution, anyhwre else this place would probably fail as a "beer bar"
02-26-2009 23:43:28 |
More by barleywinefiend
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 3 | food: 3 | $$
I've been to Spike's on numerous occasions, so I will now review it.
First of all this is truly the place to go in town because there is nothing else. The beer selection on tap is average at best. With that being said, it's the only place in town with something other than Firestone, Shocktop, Nasty light, Widmer and Guiness. Out of all the beers on tap I would probably only drink 2-3 and none make me go "oh ah."
Food is good pub grub, nothing more, nothing less.
Service is where my problem is. The waitresses never come up and ask me what I want and god forbid I ask for a refill. So i have to go up to the bar and "wait it out."
Every time I have gone I have been treated less than expected by the "Owner." I was shocked to find out that this guy is actually the owner. He looks more like a Cal Poly grad that never left and inherited the business from his dad or something. He blatantly ignores me on most occasions while I wait patiently @ the bar for a beer. For example last night he brought a tray of clean glasses and put it away right in front of my face while I waited to order my beer. If he was one of the 7 dwarves I would call him "Grumpy/disinterested/not into his business dwarf." I find this very disheartening from the "owner."
I'm not going to trash the place but it would be nice to have someone that actually cared about the BEER and the service they provide to the "slocals." I'm not some punk college kid so don't treat me like one and I probably know more about beer than anyone in the place. I have plenty of cash to spend and don't mind doing so on a regular basis if I am treated with a little bit of kindness.
Going to a place like this makes me long to open a beer bar and actually do it right. Care about the beer, your customers and try to look like you are having a good time, otherwise don't get into the business. I don't go here except for BA gathering's and now I remember why. I'm out.
02-19-2009 18:07:07 |
More by Grabbin2nd
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 2.5 | food: 2 | $
I feel like I have been cheated on by a loving girlfriend of many years. . Me and my friends have been coming here literally at least once a week for the last year. The servers know us, we are "locals" here. This place is practically the definition of my college years. I loved this place. Some of my fondest college memories happened here. This is why I feel absolutely betrayed. Why did you cheat on me Spike's?
Maybe I am sounding a bit harsh, but let me run you through the night:
When we got here, it was busy, but I had been here when it had been far busier. We sat down at our table. Literally 15 (FIFTEEN!) minutes later, the server FINALLY came to our table to ask for our drink order.
Here are the straight facts. SIX for us were at the table. FOUR of us were eating dinner. The other TWO were there just for a beer.
We ordered our drinks, and our food. The wait for drinks took an additional TEN MINUTES. Food took the normal time to receive., but after that, service was literally nonexistent. Once our server finally did come to check on us, she again took some drink orders. Another TEN MINUTES passed for her to return with our drinks, but she had messed up the order and forgotten one of the drinks. At this point, I start getting annoyed. Already, in the countless times I have visited this place, this was by far the worst service I had ever received at Spike's. Unfortunately though, it only got worse.
After the messed up drink order, service was completely nonexistent for the rest of the night. One of us actually had to get up and ask our amazing server for the bill. To our lovely surprise, there was an 18% gratuity added to our bill. Let me remind you that there were SIX of us, only FOUR that were eating, the other two only ordered ONE BEER each, and we had this BS 18% gratuity added to our tab. Brace yourself, it got worse.
At this point I would like to remind you all that I have visited Spike's COUNTLESS times, often with groups larger than six, and have NEVER had a gratuity added to our bill.
So basically, I am fuming now. By far the worst service I have ever had at this place, in fact, close to the worst service I have ever had at any restaurant EVER. We grudgingly pay our bill. On our way out, one of us overhears our server chatting to another server saying "I had to charge gratuity because I knew they weren't going to tip me."
Words cannot express my disappointment. One of my friends decides to speak to the owner, but the owner only seemed to defend our oh-so-amazing server of the night.
I really feel as if I have been cheated on. Why Spike's? Why? This was really one of my worst dining experiences ever. It really is tragic to have such a disgusting taste in my mouth after so many amazing times. I have seen you here server, I know you are not new, that is not the excuse. I've spent hundreds of dollars here, and unfortunately starting to feel it was all a waste now. I am utterly disgusted Spike's. I expected so much more.
04-16-2008 08:56:48 |
More by N1CKOLAS
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
This was the first bar a buddy and I visited on our little beer trip up from LA to Santa Rosa. I was a little bit hesitant about visiting this place after checking out their website but I'm glad we did. It's not overly huge but it's got a front part with like 4 booths and 5 or 6 tables. There was a back part that people kept coming in and out of but I never went back to check it out. They had a pretty nice beer selection with plenty of taps with a fantastic selection of different brews. Some Firestone Walker, Lost Coast, Lagunitas, Bear Republic - amongst others. The coolest part about the place was the entire wall filled with shelves of different glass wear that they pour there beer into.
When we got to the place it was filled with college students (which was okay, but we'd been driving 5 hours and had been up since 8 a.m., wanted a little quite but no biggy) that we noticed didn't tip the wait staff at ALL. We even heard some grumblings from the bartender. We basically stayed until the placed closed down and even after getting F'd on the tips the bartender and waitress were both really nice. They said they'd stay open as long as we were drinking and I think actually meant it. This would be one of those great places to go on a Saturday afternoon for a few beers and football.
02-07-2008 22:08:18 |
More by younger35
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$
This is a frequent stop for me after a tough day in class. It is very hard to find a decent beer on tap in the college town-BMC drinking-beer wasteland of San Luis Obispo. But Spike's is one of the few places I can go in during happy hour and get a great beer while not having to surround myself with frat boys looking to get wasted for cheap. Every time I have been in, there is Old Foghorn on tap at the happy hour price of something like $2.50 a pint. A great deal and the beer tender is an attractive college aged girl who actually knows a little about beer. I actually comiserated with her this weekend about the dirth of beer knowledge of most people in town. That alone is worth the price of admission for me. If in town, I reccomend stopping in for a pint, then heading around the corner to Sandy's Liquor and Deli ( my former employer) and picking up a couple of rare bottles of import and craft domestic beers.
04-23-2007 08:08:15 |
More by bradford
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The Original Spike's in San Luis Obispo, CA