Tony Raso: Beer Man, Connoisseur, Entrepreneur

Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a creature of ambition. It drives me to borderline insanity! So, whenever I encounter anyone with the same level of drive, I definitely take notice. It’s even more considerable when its someone I’ve virtually grown up with. That person in question: Tony Raso. The aspiration he’s turned into reality: Bar Sin Nombre

Tony comes from a family with a restaurant history that stretches all the way back to 1955. He’s from the exact same neck of the woods that I’m from, and he’s working hard to share a passion he accentuated across the Pacific Ocean, namely craft beer.

A connoisseur in every sense of the term, Tony cut his teeth on the beer trade roughly ten years ago in Hawaii. First starting as a server for Cheesecake Factory, he eventually became associated with a Hawaiian wine distributor called Flavors of Italy and was personally responsible for bringing over 1,000 different craft beers in.

Never one to be content with standing still, it became obvious to him what his next move would be: “A lot of what’s involved is luck. Luck and hard work.”

Opened in November 2017, Bar Sin Nombre is not only a result of Tony’s devotions that have come to fruition, but it’s also the tip of the proverbial iceberg. 

 “This is only the beginning. I’ve got three other spots in Chula Vista planned out, and eventually I plan to go nationwide.”

Located on Chula Vista’s Third Avenue, it’s only a stone’s throw from me; so, naturally, I had to pay a visit. The first thing that caught my eye was its size and design. It has the layout of a high-end bar you’d expect to see at either Del Mar or Pacific Beach, which was impressive to say the least.

Next, the friendliness of the staff is far beyond what I’m used to, even at places I frequent regularly. I looked up and down the beer list, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it’s one of the most popular lists in all of San Diego, which to me was rather strange. After all, the South Bay, where I live, hasn’t had anything remotely close to the bar/pub scene in northern San Diego, which is why most residents have no other options than to commute 20-60 miles from home. One of the customers was adamant of that: “I’ve been waiting for a place like this for so long!”

When I finally got a chance to speak with Tony, he’s nothing like what I remembered. Both calm and focused, relaxed and austere, you can easily tell he’s a man on a mission.

 “Success should be judged by how well your friends and community can succeed. Treat people right with every opportunity, work as hard as you can, and you’ll be successful.”

I was rather pleased to hear that although Bar Sin Nombre has only been opened a short time, it has already exceeded Tony’s expectations by 30%. And, in my honest opinion, if he can keep up such momentum, it won’t be long before he revolutionizes the brewery industry in the South Bay.

Out of my own curiosity, I discovered that Hazy IPA is one of his best-sellers. And, luckily for me, they also have quite an array of red wines.

Before Tony resumed his management duties, I made sure to tell him that what he’s doing is no small feat, indeed, to which he just shrugged his shoulders and replied: “Attitude is everything.”

If I needed any other example that I was witnessing the next line of entrepreneurship in San Diego, and quite possibly the nation as a whole, that was definitely it.

Bar Sin Nombre is located at 253 3rd Avenue, Chula Vista, California- 91910

Opening hours are from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.

1 (855) 237-8392

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