This is not an Inn, it's a Bar, sometimes serving food. A typical, friendly, neighborhood bar.
It is the oldest (1886-1888) surviving building in IB, and the oldest (1969) drinking establishment in Imperial Beach and it offers the largest outside smoking patio in IB--but it's not that big anymore as the patio has been surrounded by a wall!. It is also one of the friendliest places you'll find!
Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays they offer food, breakfast, lunch and it seems they're sending out feelers about dinner. Every other Thursday is Steak and Lobster night and the prices are reasonable.
Operating Hours: 6 am until 2 am!
Dress Code: Come as you are! Everyone is welcomed equally.
If having a meal is not on your mind, at least stop for a drink from their full service bar and feel like a local. You can buy a souvenir shirt, jacket or hat with the Ye Olde Plank Inn logo or one of those Jimmy Buffet type hats with the shark if you want to remember your visit!
In the 1950's and 1960's going to the drive-in was a favorite thing to do at night for teens and families. There was a huge decline and all but one of the drive-in theaters in San Diego have closed. The one remaining theater is located in South San Diego just two miles from the beach in Imperial Beach.
The South Bay Drive-In has three screens offering two films at each a night. The films are sometimes the newest out and sometimes they have been out for a while. They used to charge one price per car, but now they charge, per adult, $7.00, per child 5-9 $1.00. The movies are now all digital and you hear the sound through your car's FM radio or bring a battery operated boom-box to get the sound. You can bring your own snacks or buy them at the Snack Shop there. The two films on each screen usually include a family rated movie first and the later movie is a film more interesting to adults, though not too adult.
The movies begin after the sun has set and it is best to get there about an hour before they start as there is oftentimes a very long line getting in.
Dress Code: You can wear anything you want. It is most common that the children wear pajamas and the adults were something that is comfortable rather than stylish. Also it is the custom to bring pillows and blankets for the kids to easily fall asleep while parents are watching the second film.
Night or day, "The Plank" is a must stop when in I.B. The atmosphere is always friendly. Unfortunately they no longer serve the killer breakfast on the weekend that they once had so if you're looking for a bite to eat The Plank isn't the place. They will however allow you to bring in food from outside. It's advertised as the "The Most Southwesterly Bar In The Continental U.S.". Again, unfortunately, the view from the patio has been destroyed due to a large condo complex being built right between it and the beach. Ahh progress!! During the day, the regulars stop in for coffee or a couple of drinks. It's normally fairly busy at night with a mostly local crowd. Friday, Saturday amd Sunday evenings the place is normally pretty crowded (and loud) with the younger set. Saturday and Sunday there is live music beginning around 4 PM and a good time is had by all. Drink prices aren't cheap by I.B. standards but they're not off the chart like downtown's Gaslamp district either.
Dress Code: If there is a dress code, I've never seen it! I guess beach casual would best decribe it.
Imperial Beach nightlife tends to be the impromptu "hanging out a the beach" type party. There are a couple of local bars, Ye Olde Plank Inn is one of the favorite local hangouts, ...