The Bad Decision Bar: Where innocent plans to kill a couple of hours with a beer or two invariably end in the loss of your dignity and at least one article of clothing. Here are San Diego's best bets for making the worst decisions.
If the line of freshly minted 21yr-olds stretching around the block doesn’t already scream trouble, give it a few hours and you're guaranteed to see security throwing down outside with a few over-served bros who aren't taking kindly to the early end to their night. Hey, here come the handcuffs! Just another Taco Tuesday night at Typhoon.
The divey OB bar has the winning combination of strong drinks priced just right and free Goldfish crackers that don't do nearly as much to remedy the strength of said drinks as you think they do. A couple games of shuffleboard and, before you know it, you're talking to a divorcee about the kids she has around your age as the two of you pick out a few feel-good tunes for the juke box. This may not end well.
Gloria Estefan was right: the rhythm is gonna get you, specifically on Tavern’s dance floor, turning your Saturday night into a blur of whiskey shots, flashing lasers, and suspect dance moves until the house lights suddenly come up and you find yourself exhausted, sweaty, and cursing that rhythm... it did indeed get you, and your self-respect. You-0. Rhythm-1.
College night and $4 doubles always seem like a good idea until the sun is coming up and you’re face down on the beach with a mouth full of sand, no keys, no phone, no ID, no debit card, no pants, and no clue exactly what made you think night swimming was a good idea. That REM song is crap.
Any bar that has their clientele racing goldfish against each other in an all-out battle to the finish line is likely to play host to a bad decision or 12. Go ahead, suck down three or four of those giant Redbull vodka slushies as you celebrate your aquatic victory with an off-key rendition of "We Are the Champions". Bad mistakes. You've made a few. And you're about to make a few more.
Two words: Industry Night.
Why’d you wake up with whiplash, bruises, and 137 new Facebook notifications? Oh, right, you decided to give that mechanical bull a go. The video evidence is already circulating. Your grandma will have commented several times by the time you awake the next morning.
It all starts innocently enough. Minding your own business, doing your laundry next door like a responsible adult. Why not stop in for a quick drink to kill time between loads? Because: 1. One drink at Cherry Bomb is equal to three. 2. Convincing yourself you could just casually pop in for a drink isn’t the only bad decision you’ll be making that night. 3. Wait... weren’t you doing laundry? Say goodbye to your unattended wardrobe.
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1. Typhoon Saloon1165 Garnet ave, San Diego
2. Catalina Lounge4202 Voltaire St, San Diego
3. Tavern at the Beach1200 Garnet Ave, San Diego
4. Miller's Field4465 Mission Blvd, San Diego
5. PB Shore Club4315 Ocean Blvd, San Diego
6. Side Bar536 Market St, San Diego
7. Double Deuce528 F St, San Diego
8. Cherry Bomb2237 1st Ave, San Diego
Keep up with SF's once-golden boys on 30+ screens, while pigging out on their all-you-can-eat "Tailgate Buffet" starting at 9a, nearly six hours after that chick who only sleeps when it's raining calls Matchbox Twenty and tells them she's lonely... look, if a song's on Now That's What I Call Music 23, you listen to it, alright?!?
Catalina Lounge is a low-key dive with cheap pitchers, pool, darts, shuffleboard, inexpensive pitchers, and a nice array of big screen TVs -- plus specials on pitchers.
Tavern at the Beach can be found in Pacific Beach, offering a great beer selection, taps at the table, and a menu with double battered bacon.
Miller's Field is a huge, very popular (watch out for the line on Saturdays) indoor/outdoor spot that's great for catching a game, a mason jar of your favorite poison, or a bite to eat (or all three!).
Right on the Pacific Ocean, Shore Club's got great bar fare as well as boozy slushies sure to cool you down on any summer (or any other season) day. There's an open air rooftop patio, and the kitchen is open late night, slinging greasy yet elevated eats (think in terms of sauteed lobster tacos) from 9pm until close. It’s a good thing, too, because you can work up quite the appetite during those Wednesday night goldfish races, which don’t start until 10pm.
The coolest part about Side Bar is that if you don't feel like waiting around or sipping on a cocktail that's 87% ice, you can take a mixology class right here. Learn to make your own drinks -- use as much ice as you want, and wait for nobody! Because it's San Diego, and the majority of clientele is female, there is obviously bottle service. If that's not your cup o' whiskey, then just enjoy the music and see where the night takes you...
If you're a country boy, or girl, get down to the DD to ride the bull and take some shots. After you've completed those two tasks, repeat.