When you turn 21, it’s a real milestone, as a whole world of legally sanctioned drinking opportunities opens up before you. When you turn 30 you can... run for Senate? But you can’t go to any of these San Diego bars anymore. Well... you can, but you shouldn’t.
Mission Hills More club than watering hole, Bar Dynamite’s most comfortable patrons are sporting innovative facial hair, pierced tongues, and sleeve tattoos. You, likewise, have a sleeve, although yours is prescribed for tendinitis. At least the music is too loud for you to hear anyone making fun of your tendinitis sleeve.
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Gaslamp When did the fleet come in? San Diego’s military rep is in full effect at Whiskey Girl, with armed servicemen deservedly letting loose. Next to them, the contradiction is painfully obvious. Where they are young, motivated, and driven, you are slovenly clothed and still finding yourself. Head elsewhere.
Encinitas Unless you ride a beach cruiser or skateboard on a regular basis, chances are you don’t belong. True, D Street has a cool vibe, but face it, cool said “goodbye” to you sometime around age 28.
Pacific Beach Typhoon is loud, dark, sticky (because of spilled beverages, hopefully?), and crowded, a combination you can deal with when you’re too young to know any better. It also invariably has a line, and once you’ve had a bit of seasoning, you’re well aware that few things in life are worth standing in a cattle call for, and this bar is not one of them.
Del Mar See “where North County residents go when on break from college.” Apparently all these people had a great time in college, because it’s one big high school reunion at Jimmy O’s for these 20-somethings. Yes, the girls are good looking and the guys are well groomed, but they’re more interested in waxing nostalgically about Mr. Livingston’s physics class than giving you a fake number.
Rolando This place was not without its charms in your younger days, but Tower Bar’s “rusticated” décor loses some of its luster as you (presumably) hit a more sophisticated age. You’re not so snooty as to require a valet, but on the other hand you’re not looking to tangle with a local who thinks you looked at him funny or get yourself a tattoo upstairs, either.
Rolando Mouthwatering cheesesteaks? Check. Modestly priced pitchers of beer? Check. Hordes of patrons coming directly from their intercollegiate fraternity council meeting and wondering what you’re doing there? Check.
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