Article by Chris Mosher:
The strange and fanciful Euclid Tower, which looms over the midtown stretch of University, was erected in 1932 by David H. Ryan. Now home to one of San Diego’s most famous dive bars, The Tower Bar, it was initially a sandwich shop. When inside the first floor you can still see a board secreting away the dumb-waiter, once utilized to lower meals from the second floor kitchen. In an infamous accident in ’64, a drunk driver ran a red light and crashed into the tower, unfortunately resulting in the death of a patron. The bar was then moved to the east side of the building, where it remains today. In 1993 the tower was colorfully painted to reflect the diverse cultural demographic of the surrounding area. Adding further to the charming decorum are hand-painted tiles by local school children which still adorn the second floor of the building to this day.
By 1999 the tower, which itself was made of plywood, began leaning and thus became a safety hazard. Being more costly to refurbish rather than replace, it was rebuilt in 2009 with a grant from The City of San Diego Redevelopment Agency. The building would go on to win an Orchard Award for historic preservation that same year. These days the second floor is complimented by The Tower Tattoo Parlor, owned and operated by Dwayne Norton; formerly owned by Morgan Pennypacker, who appeared on TLCs “Miami Ink” and has since relocated to Love Hate Tattoos.
The Til-Two Club is also of historical significance: In the 1940’s it turned into “The Playhouse” which was a strip-club that later became a neighborhood biker bar. Rumor has it that there was a target painted on a tree out front at which the bouncers would aim the heads of unruly bar patrons. In 2003, the bar become a part of The Beauty Bar chain. It would, in 2010, change hands yet again, as Mick purchased the establishment. He decided not only to return it to it’s original namesake, but to recreate the original facade from photos dating all the way back to 1948.
Mick Rossler, the current owner of both The Tower Bar and the Til-Two Club, has made it his personal focus to maintain the historical integrity of these landmark venues and he has done a remarkable job.
Both The Tower Bar and Til-Two host an array of respected and regular events chock-full of national and local performers. We are privileged to be party to such dedication and intrigue in the face of cookie cutter buildings and one size fits all nightlife. So let’s raise a glass to Mick and all he has done for our city and its music scene. We’re lucky to have people that give a damn about the size and shape of our community and not just the amount of money and renown than can be wrung out of it.