clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Historic Dive Bar Chez Jay Opens Big Back Patio to Celebrate 60 Years in Santa Monica

New, 1 comment

The seaside drinking den is adding a new patio, and more

New back patio at Santa Monica dive Chez Jay with picnic benches and tables
New back patio at Chez Jay
Chez Jay [Official photo]
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Classic waterfront-adjacent dive spot Chez Jay, a literal historic landmark, is finally ready for its big new mid-life reveal. The colorful, friendly 60-year-old hangout on Ocean Avenue is about to show off an updated back patio experience (called the Backyard, naturally) that comes complete not only with more seating and salty ocean breezes, but also an entirely new food and drink menu.

The plan to expand more thoughtfully into the Chez Jay back yard has been in the works since at least 2013, when the whole area around the bar and restaurant was being redeveloped by the city. The younger new owners of the place want to pull in not just tourists but young locals as well, all while keeping the same eclectic vibe that the bar has had for the past six decades.

Whereas the longstanding Chez Jay menu has focused on salads, sandwiches, and occasional throwback dishes like big steaks and sand dabs almondine, the backyard will offer dishes like kimchi guacamole, shrimp ceviche, truffle fries, fried chicken sandwich, and more traditional beach fare like fish and chips and a burger. There will also be all new cocktails, including plenty of classics like margaritas and an old fashioned. The opening menu is below.

As for the space itself, expect an outdoor lounge vibe complete with Adirondack chairs, a fire pit, and those all-important string lights. The Backyard’s opening is happening next week (Thursday, August 15 to be exact, starting at 4 p.m.).

Chez Jay. 1657 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica.

Fried chicken sandwich at Chez Jay.
Fried chicken sandwich at Chez Jay
Metal stools at the Chez Jay back yard. Acuna-Hansen
A table with pillows at the Chez Jay back yard. Acuna-Hansen