The return of Bars We’re Down With!

After months of delays, everybody’s favorite feature returns. That’s right….

Bars! We’re! Down! With!

I wrestled with the decision of which bar to induct next for a long time. After months of deep personal inflection, we all finally decided on inducting another recently deceased bar. Next one will be a bar you can actually go to, promise. In the meantime, feel free to patronize the original BWDW, Fat’s Grill and Bar. They’ve added 6 HDTVs since we inducted them and even revived their Happy Hour.

But I’m not here to talk about Fat’s. I’m here to talk about a place that came and went within the past year. After a controversial opening this bar overcame stereotypes to actually become a decent drinking establishment. Technically it’s still open, but has been rebranded as a country-western bar. Which means I’ll probably never set foot in it again. I’m, of course, referring to:

On The Beach

On the Beach was a personal favorite because it incorporated something I’ve been telling other bar owner friends of mine they should be doing for a long time, girls dancing in bikinis. It’s opening in Lockeford was fairly controversial as live entertainment requires a special permit, and the county was apprehensive to give it to them. I’d always wondered why, right up until the first time I went there.

When I heard the words “bikini bar” I naturally assumed it was going to be something along the lines of scantily clad women serving you drinks and mini-burgers. You know, like Hooters or Maxim’s (Tracy Maxim’s, not old Mallard’s Maxim’s). And it was kind of like that. Only if those establishments also had a stage, stripper pole, and VIP room. That’s right, One the Beach was SJ County’s second strip club. And I couldn’t have been happier.

Don’t get me wrong, Deja Vu’s is nice and all. It’s just that they’re the only game in town. Which sometimes led to them not trying that hard. With some competition in town, perhaps it would light a fire under their asses and force Deja Vu raise the quality bar (and it may have, Deja Vu remodeled their VIP room during the time On the Beach was open).

And On the Beach brought it too. Cover charge? While Deja Vu’s charges $10, On the Beach let you in for the low, low price of showing them your ID. And in what had to be the smartest move ever, drinking there didn’t cost you an arm and a leg. I’m not sure of the exact price of a Coors Light at Deja Vu’s (I think it’s around $6), On the Beach gave you Rocky Mountain refreshment for $3. Just like most other area bars, except your server not only expected you to be staring at her tits, he job probably depended on it.

One of the bigger knocks against On the Beach was it’s location. People heard “Lockeford strip club” and immediatly cringed. They assumed the dancers would be made up of the populous of Lockeford, which any regular strip club visitor like myself can tell you is never the case. Strippers don’t dance at the strip club closest to where they live because nothing’s more awesomely awkward than getting about 10 minutes into a lap dance and then realizing you went to middle school with the gyrating body on your lap. The last thing you want to hear after tipping extra to relax the “no touching” rule is “Say hi to your sister for me”.

So On the Beach wasn’t filled with a bunch of Lockeford’s finest, it was filled with women from all over Northern California. Including some girls I recognized from Deja Vu’s. (And including one girl who spoke with an accent and claimed to be both French and Canadian, but not French-Canadian. I would have asked why, but my question was muffled by her massive cans.)

In the end, On the Beach failed. If I had to guess, the main contribution to it’s downfall was probably the fact that it was in Lockeford. Nobody was really keen on making the 15 minute drive out to a place that was cryptically called a bikini bar instead of a gentleman’s club. I’m sure the county didn’t help either. For a place that overwhemingly approved heterosexual only marriage, they for some reason thought that a guy wanting some titties rubbed in his face wasn’t a good thing either. This county needs to make up it’s fucking mind.

In the meantime, at least we still got the old Richard’s Place.

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~ by El Duke on November 7, 2008.

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