In 1952 Joseph, Gaspare and Big Frank Matranga bought this bar and named it The Tropics. Prior to this it had gone by many names, starting in 1935 as Vick's Cafe, and then Vic’s Place, Vick’s Cafe, Vic’s Tropics, and finally Vic’s Tropical Nuthouse.
The Matrangas were continually under the scrutiny of San Diego Vice. Employee turnover was so great, they had a standing classified ad for cocktail waitresses in the newspaper. Daily. And by 1965, they were advertising for go-go girls.
The building was razed in 1970 and in its place developer Conrad Arnholt Smith built his United States National Bank tower. The MTS Transit Store sits now where The Tropics once was.
*NOTE: Photo below was when location was known as Vick's Tropics (March 5th, 1947).