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Iconic Aero Club property sold to San Diego cousins for $1.4 million

Posted at 4:34 PM, Jan 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-04 19:39:03-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — One of San Diego's most recognized dive bars has been sold to two local cousins.

The Aero Club's property was purchased, along with its neighboring property occupied by the t-shirt company Dyno Brand, for $1.4 million by cousins Chad Cline and Jason "Rocky" Nichols.

The bar, formerly owned by Chinatown Bar & Grill's Bill Lutzius, will largely remain unchanged with its dive bar-style in tact, according to Cline. A sigh of relief to patrons after the possibility of moving the bar was floated last year.

RELATED: Exploring San Diego: Aero Club, or 'that' bar by the airport

"We had heard that the bar was in jeopardy for the past year, maybe a little bit longer. We figured if he moved it, it would get ruined," Cline said. "We don’t want to change anything, unless something breaks."

And the two aren't walking in without experience. Between the pair, they have roles running Midway District's Banzai Bar, Little Italy's Waterfront Bar & Grill, Point Loma's Harbortown Pub and Club Marina, Lakeside's Eastbound Bar & Grill, La Mesa's The Hills, and the Gaslamp's Werewolf.

The purchase itself was an easy price tag to swallow for Cline and Nichols. Cline said the two are dive bar fans and Aero Club held a special spot for them as they worked nearby at Waterfront.

"[Aero Club] was always kind of the spot that we felt was similar to what Waterfront was," Cline said. "We’re dive bar fans. All the spots that we’re associated with are kind of dive bars as well."

And, of course, there's the Aero Clubs massive assortment of whiskey at the bar — which isn't going anywhere.

"I started liking it even more," Cline joked of when Aero Club started collecting hundreds of varieties of whiskey. He added if any changes were to come, the portfolio of whiskeys could expand.

"That's our goal with the whole thing is to continue it and not ruin it," he said. "‘I think what Aero Club is in not because of me or Rocky but because of Bill and previous owners."

Dyno Brand is set to move from the neighboring property on April 1, Cline said. After that, he says they have yet to plan what will happen with the property.