Community Relations and the OB Rassle House

by on November 4, 2021 · 16 comments

in Ocean Beach

by John M. Williams

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A born and bred San Diego native decided she would like to live by the sea in Ocean Beach. She now lives in an apartment on Niagara between Sunset Cliffs and Cable and is well settled into the semi-village lifestyle of Ocean Beach. Time flowed by without major incident until a wrestler from St. Louis, MO who had gravitated to Santa Cruz, CA with his wife, also a wrestler, relocated to San Diego.

Here they leased space which has access from the alley and opened an evening live presentation venue. Among the offerings are music and comedy, but the main event is wrestling, and OB Rassle House was established.

The 1,200 sf venue is open from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm. It seats 100 for live wrestling, with capacity of 171 patrons for other activities. The venue offers no booze, and DOES NOT allow BYOB [an earlier version of this post erroneously stated it did). You can find OB Rassle House on Facebook (Meta, today, I guess), Twitter or Instagram, and Google.


To go from so far so good with no problems to the “What-the-Hell?!!” board lighting up with citizen complaints required more than one misstep.

The venue’s draw is live wrestling which is by nature a loud, blood pumping event. The point of the thing is to get people excited. Would it be a wonder if, having just seen Mad Merry wrench off One Armed Ed’s other arm, an excited spectator might rush into the alley and let out a yell? No, it would not be.

The residents of the units which back the alley began to be bothered by people shouting in the alley and by loud noises coming from the venue. In at least one incident, someone urinated on a resident’s car. So, residents made calls as directed and got such satisfaction as they might from their efforts, that is to say little, and things continued to simmer but didn’t boil over.

Then, on an occasion, the Wrestler committed a transgression. He moved the evening’s live activities out of the club, and into the alley, property of the City of San Diego over which he had no authority. The event was MCed using an amplified microphone and the neighbors went wild. Three hours of screaming in your backyard. Bang! [An earlier version of this post mistakenly claimed OB Hardware had a relationship with OB Rassle House. This was inaccurate.]

The residents were in an uproar, SDPD did take some action, and there was at least one face-to-face interaction between the Resident and the Wrestler.

During a phone interview, the Resident acknowledged that she might have become a little over zealous in the encounter with the Wrestler and that she regretted any inappropriate behavior.
And, one evening an SDPD cruiser did roll into the alley, stop, and an officer with a bullhorn announced that those in the alley had 5 minutes to disperse. Having made the announcement, the cruiser immediately departed. Those who heard the announcement shrugged and carried on.

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Fault is not found here. There’s no evil villain or shining hero, no damsel in distress or wicked witch lurking either. A guy’s trying to run a business. Okay. Residents want to relax at night without bullhorns coming through the walls. Of course. SDPD has other stuff to do. Duh.

This reporter does not know who talked to whom or anything that was said, but the Wrestler remarked that he’d learned a lesson from the live outdoor event.

And, the Resident said among her final comments that on nights when the venue doors were closed, there wasn’t a problem. Unfortunately, she pointed out, patrons want to come and go so the door is open quite often, and that is a problem.

Ways Out

Three parties have an interest in this situation. First, the Residents, who have every right to expect quiet during certain hours of the night in their residential space.

Then, there’s the Wrestler who is trying to keep a business vibrant and do what he knows best, entertaining in his own ring.

Last, and least directly engaged in this discord, is OB Hardware, a venerable establishment, opened in 1919, and a living vestige of the village days. The changes in OB life, not to mention the world, brought by 102 years have made the store an anomaly and its continued existence has been in the balance in recent times.

So, in an effort to support the success of OB Rassle House, the rights of residents to the comfort of their homes, and with an eye to the solidification of OB Hardware’s future, the author offers these ideas:

1. The Resident should make sure the Wrestler gets an apology, and she and the other residents should understand that once patrons leave the venue the the Wrestler can’t be held responsible for them.
2. The Wrestler should take every reasonable step to diminish the disruption his business creates in the lives of his nearest neighbors. [An earlier version of this post said there was some formal lease or other type of relationship between OB Hardware and the Rassle House. That was inaccurate.]
3. The Reporter should keep his nose out of it. Haven’t been asked, but do wonder how much trouble and cost might be associated with adding an entry before the
door to the event room.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

JMW November 4, 2021 at 5:51 pm

Must acknowledge major error: OB Rassle House DOES NOT permit BYOB.


Jerry Loomis November 4, 2021 at 6:01 pm

You can see “OB Rassle House” for yourself. They have posted a number of videos on Youtube. Just search for their channel, FistCombatTV.


Mikey gordon November 4, 2021 at 6:25 pm

Hell yeah! The shows are awesome. We had 2 events in the alley, first one not permitted and the second was permitted by the city of San Diego. As we grow, we continue to learn while keeping our business moving forward.

Tons of ppl urinate on cars in that alley, an alley that has semi trucks loading and unloading at all hours of the day.

We are in constant contact with Detective Sara Calvert of the San Diego Vice unit and she keeps us in the loop for any infractions and we continue to work together to ensure we are following the rules set up for us. We have a 5 year lease and we plan to continue to bring our theatrical display of violence to OB.


jmw November 4, 2021 at 8:41 pm

Mikey, thanks for clarifying. Here’s to a successful and happy future for all concerned.


jmw November 4, 2021 at 6:49 pm

Jerry, thanks for your comment.


Sam November 4, 2021 at 9:11 pm

Yikes, I can’t believe they get people to pay to watch that garbage.


Chris November 5, 2021 at 8:14 am

Not my thing either but to each their own. I’m sure plenty of things I like and pay money for is garbage to someone else.


Ert November 4, 2021 at 8:41 pm

Creativity is great. But, no one would like it who lived next door. The person running it comments too and … writes such a comment? says a lot


Chris November 5, 2021 at 8:22 am

You gotta admire his forthrightness and that he owns it. I agree, it says a lot.


Chris November 5, 2021 at 8:28 am

Here’s a recent clip from the OB Rassle House:


J Kuchman November 5, 2021 at 9:27 am

Please note that this article is incorrect. OB Hardware does NOT lease or have any relationship with OB Rassle House. Please correct this inaccurate information immediately.


Frank Gormlie November 5, 2021 at 10:08 am

The article has been corrected.


jmw November 6, 2021 at 10:20 am

Mr. Joe Kuchman,
I am terribly sorry for having committed this basic error of connecting your business with OB Rassle House. Somehow that idea became part of my original understanding of the relationship, and I never thought to check it.
This ro0kie reporter has learned important lesson.


nostalgic November 5, 2021 at 10:19 am

Whatever happened to DSD zoning? The obviously misguided idea that garages are used to park cars has been corrected somewhere in the Municipal code. Any ideas where?


Sam November 5, 2021 at 10:45 am

I feel bad for the people who live in those alley facing apartments, however, what else could people possibly expect when renting an apartment that is literally 5 feet away from a commercial alleyway? This is a case of buyer beware!


kh November 5, 2021 at 4:03 pm

I won’t comment on the sanity of expecting peace and quiet while living next door to a bustling touristy commercial district, but we do have noise ordinances on the books they are entitled to.

I have to disagree on #1. The venue should absolutely be accountable for their patrons behavior and impact on the neighbors, whether they are gathering inside, outside, or even in the alley.


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