If you say you'd like to be seated in the lounge at 3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro, the staff will take you literally. At this Ocean Beach eatery, “lounge” isn't synonymous with “bar”—it's an actual mezzanine-type place that sits between the bar and the outdoor patio, with the main dining area neatly tucked away in back. Here, there's a setting for just about every occasion, and 3rd Corner capitalizes nicely on the design.
But it's the wine bar, or, as this venue calls it, the Wine Vault, that'll especially capture your attention. You won't know whether you've walked into a bar that dabbles in retail sales or a wine cellar with a drinking license—such is the level of attention this establishment renders both services. Hundreds of bottles from around the world are there for the taking, surrounded by funky-colored walls and maps of the world's most well-known wine regions; many dinner patrons make a habit of ordering a meal and then visiting the racks to pick the wine that goes best with their food. The bar itself features a representative list of beverages (the 2006 Delheim Chardonnay from Stellenbosch, South Africa, is an interesting pour), and you can get your feet wet with a generous taste before you make your commitment. You'll come away with a very decent bottle of wine for $15 or $20, and you won't be paying an inflated price just 'cause you're at a restaurant.
3rd Corner touts its beachside charm from 2265 Bacon St. in O.B., at a busy three-way intersection. The bistro part is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.; the wine shop will serve you Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. The number is 619-223-2700. This full-service venue features some very interesting touches, with the wine bar pretty much leading the way.