An awesome new bar has popped up in Palm Springs in a spot you would least suspect – but, when you find it, you’ll find Paul Bar to be the cool, neighborhood bar that the Coachella Valley has needed.

The exterior of Paul Bar - just a sign that reads "Bar/Food" in Palm Springs
Paul Bar from the outside

It doesn’t look like much from the outside – just a sign reading “Bar / Food” – at a strip mall at Vista Chino and Gene Autry Trail in Palm Springs, but inside the place is pretty dope and they are slingin’ tasty food and great drinks for prices you are going to like.

After a day hiking up at the Palm Springs Tram, a friend and I decided to pop-in to the place, but didn’t realized it didn’t open until 4 (it was 3:45). So with a little time to spare, we went next door to the dispensary to pick up a little something for a later time and, when we came out at 4, there was a line to get in!

The line forms outside of Paul Bar before it opened at 4 pm in Palm Springs
The line at Paul Bar in Palm Springs before the bar opened

We were just able to grab two seats at the bar as the place quickly filled up – leading to a wait by 4:30.

My buddy got an Even Par from La Quinta Brewing, which came with a nice $5 price tag during Happy Hour and I got a Manhattan for $8 because I had just hiked 5 miles and had earned it. We also ordered a grilled cheese for $8 – which also came with bacon, because everything is better with bacon.

A Manhattan at Paul Bar in Palm Springs
A Manhattan served at Paul Bar

My cocktail was good and it was prepared by a bar staff decked out in dress shirts and bowties. I felt a little underdressed in hiking shoes and dusty legs, but no one seemed to mind.

Paul working behind the bar (and it looks like he is serving Heisenberg!!)

What I really enjoyed about the place is its lack of televisions (better find someone cool to talk to) and its fun little quirks like a wall full of photos of customers dogs near the restroom – you can bring your framed photo of your dog on your next visit for them to consider hanging up. I protested that they should allow cats, but Paul wasn’t having it.

The wall of dog photos on the wall at Paul Bar in Palm Springs
The dog wall at Paul Bar

The layout is cool – with a large bar and a few booths and really not much else because that’s all you need when you want to go out for a drink and a meal.  The staff is also on it – always there to grab you something if you need and to fill up your water glass (I was pretty thirsty because, you know, I hiked).

The staff working hard at Paul Bar in Palm Springs

The menu is simple but has plenty of tasty food options like a burger, wings, pork sandwich, calamari, and even schnitzel.

A grilled cheese with bacon at Paul Bar in Palm Springs
My grilled cheese from Paul Bar in Palm Springs

As for the drinks, there are frozen margaritas, martinis done right, and a “CosmoPaul,” to name a few as well as plenty of beers on tap, a nice wine list, and a connection to the movie Clerks as owner Paul O’Halloran’s brother Brian played Dante in the cult classic flick.

I honestly could have stayed all night, but after my grilled cheese, a cocktail and an IPA, and some fun bar conversation with some locals seated nearby, it was time to move on and let those waiting for a seat have their turn.

Overall, Paul Bar is pretty great and you will probably enjoy it, if you can get a seat.

Paul Bar, 3700 East Vista Chino, Palm Springs, (760 ) 656-4082 / 4 pm – 1 am everyday, except closed Tuesday / Happy Hour: 4 – 7:15 pm