143 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach
“I love the Belly Up. That’s kind of a home for me. We got our start there, opening for Buddy Blue.” When Steve Poltz says “we,” he is speaking to his breakout band the Rugburns. “And I love Java Joe’s [2611 Congress Street, Old Town], because you can play poker in the back room. Wherever Joe is, he always has a vibed-out back room full of posters and cool little lights, and Joe has this big, infectious laugh.”
8170 Ronson Road, Suite U, Kearny Mesa
For rehearsals, Poltz likes a place called Left Coast Case and Sound. “It’s the only place I like to rehearse because it still reminds me of way back when we auditioned a new bass player for the Rugburns after Gregory Page quit.”
In the spirit of full disclosure, Poltz, who lived in San Diego for decades and still gigs here, recently bought a home in Nashville. “I’ve made records around the world,” Poltz says, “and I could have gone anywhere to make Folksinger,” his latest. He chose Jeff Berkley in San Diego. Poltz says, “He has the best ears, and he has his own little Rolodex file full of great session players.”
Favorite eats in San Diego?
“I’m not vegan, but I love Café Gratitude. They have these shots — I quit drinking alcohol years ago — with, like, cayenne. Or, fish tacos at Ballast Point. If the Pads are playing, I like to watch the game inside on their wide screens. Bird Rock Coffee Roasters is in Little Italy, and I love the coffee there. I love the way the doors all open up and the planes fly by real low.”