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San Diego's downtown businesses get a boost from Padres playoff games

A mural inside R Place Sports Bar & Grill near Petco Park downtown, Oct 7, 2022.
Jacob Aere
A mural inside R Place Sports Bar & Grill near Petco Park downtown, Oct 7, 2022.

The San Diego Padres start their playoff journey against the New York Mets Friday night.

Some local downtown bar owners and managers said the team has brought more energy to the city and their businesses.

“It's been really, really busy — really hectic. With the Padres working towards the playoffs it's been like a fever," said Juan Carlos Flores, owner of R Place Sports Bar & Grill.


His establishment sits just outside the walls of Petco Park. While his bar only opened six months ago, he sees the cultural and financial significance the Padres bring to the town.

“With the playoffs this area is really going to rock," Flores said. "I mean the whole city of San Diego is, but us being across from the field — it's going to be extra special.”

Just around the corner from Flores’ business is The Blind Burro, a restaurant and bar. Bar manager Anna Disipio said business is very different from the last time the Padres were in the playoffs in 2020, during the height of the pandemic.

“Right up until they made the playoffs, it was getting much busier. Even those teams that aren't as popular, those games were really busy,” Disipio said.

She said downtown has come to life over the past year and having multiple local sports teams in the playoffs, like the San Diego Wave and Loyal soccer clubs, adds to the revival of ballpark business.


“I think during the playoffs, regardless of whether they're playing here or somewhere else, I think we’ll see a lot of fans in here, nearby their stadium," Disipio said.

The Padres play Friday, Saturday and potentially on Sunday against the New York Mets. They’ll need to win a pair of games to advance in the postseason and take on the Los Angeles Dodgers.