fitandsolid

53M.

Joined Sep 2011
4 Followers

Following 0 people

73 Loved Places

Listings

  • Hunter's Wilton Manors, Wilton Manors
  • Alibi Wilton Manors, Fort Lauderdale
  • Piranha Boutique Nightclub Paradise Fruit Loop, Las Vegas
  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Industrial Grind Coffee Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Comfy Cozy
    Blink, and you'll miss it. Grab a sleepy-eyed cup to go at the front counter, and you may still miss the interior charm of this tucked-away treasure. Those that have ventured all the way back to the sparkling clean restroom already know the appeal of the back patio and middle "parlor" areas. A small front patio is a tranquil alternative to the more bustling outdoor coffee options in Hillcrest. All this, and the coffee and customer service are very good too!

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Uptown Tavern Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Metrosexual
    When Ono Sushi occupied this space, it was 50/50 homo/hetero, and the new Uptown Tavern gets close to that ratio at times. Now that Gossip Grill has moved down the street, Uptown Tavern has a little competition with the patio seating on University (not to mention Sunday brunch). Live DJ's and unique menu choices enliven this chic bar/restaurant, which tends to have a great buzz of energy no matter what the mix of sexual orientation may be at the moment.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Chee-Chee Club Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Not really gay, try Gaslamp (or Hillcrest...)
    Located downtown, east of the Gaslamp District, with a busy bus stop right outside the entrance, this seedy dive attracts all sorts of downtown drinkers, but rarely gays. Hustlers, maybe. Those not interested in traveling 3 miles to Hillcrest or North Park would do better to shuffle a few blocks over to the Gaslamp District, which is touristy and mostly hetero, but still more likely to host the scattered gays getting off work, celebrating with straight friends, or living downtown and exploring alternatives to that 3 mile trip...

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Crest Cafe Over a year ago
    Loves it

    It's Hill-CREST, after all
    It's nice to see the long-standing Crest Cafe still thriving after all these years. Whether stuffing your gut at breakfast, stopping in for late-night coffee and pie, or anything in between, Crest Cafe has been as reliable as City Deli was and Harvey Milk's now is. With its art deco vibe, cramped-yet-cozy crowds, and cherished Thanksgiving dinners, it seems to change with the times without changing much at all, including its name.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Wang's North Park Over a year ago
    Loves it

    ...keeping North Park gay
    Used to be, North Park rivaled Hillcrest in the number of gay bars and restaurants, but one by one, places like Bacchus House, Shooters, and the never-duplicated Wolf's were replaced with not unwelcome heterosexual microbrew lounges (i.e. True North) where gays can be found, but not significantly. The few stalwart LGBT survivors were similar neighborhood hangouts Redwing and The Eagle. Then along came the younger brother of the legendary Palm Springs asian-cuisine-with-overflowing-happy-hour. Although Wang's has a large, inviting bar, it's dwarfed by the gigantic restaurant area which used to house Big Lots. The food is PF Wang's, which isn't a bad thing, and besides, the atmosphere is what really sells this place. It's not nearly as gay as the original, and the bar hasn't yet attracted the shoulder-to-shoulder happy hour crowds navigated in Palm Springs, yet Wang's North Park is an overdue alternative to the mostly-straight urbanization of good ol' 30th and University.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Hillcrest Brewing Company Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Newest member of Mo's/Baja/Gossip family
    Timing is everything. Hillcrest Brewing Company, billed as the first gay-owned microbrewery, opened at the height of the success of the trio of Urban Mo's, Baja Betty's, and Gossip Grill, and at the same time San Diego turned adjacent Blaine Ave into Harvey Milk Street and planted a giant Pride Flag at the corner of Normal and University. There wasn't a gayer block in the USA during that month of June 2012. And the Mo's free trolley quickly added HBC to its route, allowing those finished with and/or ready to enjoy signature crafted beers and square pizzas to bar-hop with ease. This is a casual, mixed environment with a larger patio than most. One request: more "bar food" options, even if it's only mixed nuts and chips. I mean, the pizza and salads are great, but...

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Hunter's Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Mini-Manor
    Boom is as close as any Wilton Manors club can come to the sprawling complex known as The Manor just down the street. Although Boom doesn't have as big a space, dancefloor, or crowd (most nights), the slightly smaller scale actually helps make it seem more accessible and enjoyable. It's well-designed, with an upper area looking down on the dance floor, two completely different types/eras of music usually playing in the segregated areas, and some great theme nights, especially Sunday's retro disco celebration, which eschews most of the obvious YMCA and Flashdance choices for more obscure chestnuts of the late 70s/early 80s that will make those who lived during that time smile with alcohol-assisted nostalgia as they dance the night away. If Georgie's Alibi or Bill's Filling Station aren't satisfying at any particular moment, this is a great third option in the same block, and there's some quick, delicious pizza available at Humpty's next door if you want a quick energy bite between bars instead of a sit-down dining experience. Boom is a welcome addition to the gayest shopping plaza in Wilton Manors.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed The Manor Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Complex, to be sure
    Not even "Warehouse Disco" can describe this giant building as well as "Complex". There are several rooms, balconies, levels, and a gigantic dance floor, all of which are used in versatile fashion for different themes (i.e. Latin in the side lounge while techno dominates the dance floor). The upper balcony is great for people/traffic watching on Wilton Ave while taking a break from the action indoors. Brunch is popular here as well, since those columns and decorations look as good in the daytime as when they are splashed with colored lights and fag fog. This is by far the largest gay bar in Wilton Manors, and it probably will remain that way (as well as one of the most modern) for some time, since its expansive scope will be difficult to replicate. Coming here alone can seem overwhelming at times, but it's perfect if you've got a crowd of rowdy friends that want to hit the dance floor after a few mojitos.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Alibi Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Usually a good time
    Georgie's Alibi can be inconsistent, especially as a dining experience, but often turns out to be at least pleasant (and sometimes provides a very pleasant surprise among the uninhibited patrons, especially in the bar area). When it's dead, other more popular options are a stroll away, but when it's busy, there's a high chance of meeting, or at least lusting after, someone you'll like. Then again, if cruising isn't your style, try one of the see-sawing benches on the patio for a decent meal served at a snail's pace (with possible errors, but always friendly apologies). Or stop by the attached cabaret for the less-common spectacle of drag queens performing LIVE vocals. Because so many in Wilton Manors have made it a habit to at least stop by Georgie's, even if they end up elsewhere, it's hard to avoid visiting here no matter how long you're in town.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Manor Inn Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Escape or be social (or both)
    Manor Inn couldn't be more convenient to the gay traveller that wants to walk to everything just a few blocks away in Wilton Manors. Yet it's located on a residential street that allows for peace and quiet on the premises despite the nearby disco speakers, restaurant chatter, traffic, and drunk pedestrians. The backyard is a lush, tiki-like area with a heated pool, secluded jacuzzi, and even an outdoor bathroom (named "Take A Leaky") and shower, which emulates a camping experience if used instead of the same facilities in the guest rooms. Kip Wingo is a great host, and his no-smoking policy, while a bit inconvenient for tobacco-lovers, is essential to the clean, tranquil, friendly atmosphere that he and housekeeper William maintain through daily labors of love. If you need a tour guide, or just want some company for lunch or bar-hopping, Kip is usually eager to join you, but he also respects the privacy of those that want to be left alone until they need assistance. Staying at the Manor Inn feels like temporarily living in your own apartment in the heart of Wilton Manors, with great roommates and a terrific landlord. Be sure to take advantage of the equally gay-centric FAB shuttle to and from the Manor Inn to save about $40 round trip compared to taxi service, while experiencing a luxury ride in a spacious Mercedes.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed West Street Beach Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Beats the bars
    Laguna's West Beach is one of the few remnants of the gay glamour of years past. Gone are previously popular clubs the Boom Boom Room and Woody's (formerly Lil' Shrimp), and although Bounce still exists (formerly Main Street), it's hard to settle for such a small, neighborhood bar when the club/restaurant tandem that used to be just across the street is now a distant memory (ditto for going to Tin Lizzie Saloon in Costa Mesa now that dance club Newport Station is ancient history). But whether one chooses to Bounce to the only bar in town, it's hard to debate more fun may be found at West Street Beach. There are certainly more gay people at the beach during the day than at any Laguna Beach bar (gay or straight) at night. And the bodies in speedos are often works of art. It's a relaxing way to sit back and watch the eye candy or jump in and join the frisbee, volleyball, or circles of gay gossip. There's usually a better chance of meeting someone than at most gay bars, also. Parking is tough, and the hike back up the steps is a mini-workout (though nothing like the cliff at Black's Beach in San Diego). Nevertheless, West Beach has been the most consistent gay presence in Laguna Beach's shrinking gay social community.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Bongo Johnny's Patio Bar & Grille Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Location, location, location
    Whatever this space has been over the years, it has always depended on the street traffic passing between the numerous bars and other GLBT businesses on Gay-renas Road. That's why it's unnecessary to distinguish with exceptional food, service, or value - as long as the tables are full of people to watch and be watched, they'll keep coming (but only when they're in the neighborhood for other reasons).

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Serious Food Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Less gay than might be expected
    Ironically, both Palm Springs and the franchise Hamburger Mary's are known for overt homosexuality, yet this is merely a standard hamburger-based restaurant equally suitable for "family" or families. Although you'll find more of a homo-element here than, say, iHop, it's nowhere near the level at gay-focused places like Blame It On Midnight, Wang's, or Rick's.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Wang's in the Desert Over a year ago
    Loves it

    5-Star Friday Happy Hour
    Wang's has perfected the indoor/outdoor Friday evening cocktail-before-dinner/dancing event much like Park Manor Suite's "Top Of The Park" in San Diego (without those rooftop views of the bay, of course). Wang's offers a conversation-conducive though still festive atmosphere in a huge outdoor area and an equally inviting interior separate from the restaurant where many end up after a few (too many) drinks after happy hour(s). Others have a short walk to the heart of the gay district after Wang's finally dies down. Perfect as either a warm-up or for those not wanting to stay out too late on Friday. And the locals are all too willing to meet and chat with visitors.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Tool Shed Over a year ago
    Hates it

    The Barracks' naughty little brother
    This small neighborhood leather-centric bar appeals to many of the same guys who frequent Barrack's, although there isn't enough room for a fraction of that Sunday beer bust crowd. Then again, Tool Shed is a bit more grope-minded than Barrack's, so the closed quarters and chain-linked indoor patio are part of the appeal. Deserted at most hours, pointless when too packed, but if there are just enough macho men cruising about, it can be a memorable afternoon/evening on Sunny Dunes...

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Toucans Tiki Lounge Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Worth the drive
    Located a bit far from downtown, Toucans has everything else to recommend it. Toucans offers a fun tiki atmosphere, friendly and efficient staff, diverse patrons, small but effective dance floor, lengthy patio, and enough events to keep things interesting between weekend floor-fillers. All ages, types, genders, ethnicities, and stages of sexuality can be found here at any given time, moreso than any other gay business in Palm Springs, which is saying a lot!

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed The Barracks Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Fault Line, The Hole, SFO Eagle (RIP)
    This is the place where you'll find the Sunday beer bust, some guys in leather, most out on the patio unless lined up indoors for the restroom or more beer, you know the drill. It's dead at other times, but always a masculine hangout with pool and that inescapable Palm Springs cruising.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Streetbar Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Gayborhood Bar
    Although it's next door to Palm Springs' most popular gay dance club, Streetbar couldn't be more different in atmosphere or clientele. Of course, hoppers stop here for a pre-Hunters drink at times, but mostly the stools are occupied by those who don't give them up for hours (save a few restroom trips between stiff drinks). Drag and similar events take place at times, but this place largely benefits from its location in the heart of (though not as much a part of) the action.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Hunters Palm Springs Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Most popular, for better or worse
    In any city, the dance club that has been most consistently popular for the longest time will undoubtedly have its share of critics, and usually will have earned at least some of that criticism. Hunters has managed to avoid most of the undesirable cliches, despite having long been the place that fills to the brim on Fridays, Saturdays, and any type of event weekend from Pride to Dinah Shore. Even on slow nights, there are bound to be more people here than most other bars, although the wide open space on the dance floor and adjacent area can be depressingly dull when it's empty. Late at night, don't be surprised to stand in a long line while those smoking on the front patio finish their cocktail to re-join the sweaty mass inside. Not as diverse as Toucan's, but a larger dance area and much later festivities (not to mention closer to downtown Palm Springs).

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Lotus of Siam Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Quintessential diamond in the rough
    Lotus of Siam is a justifiably acclaimed Thai restaurant that has received worldwide praise from some of the finest chefs. Regular tourists and locals love the flavorful food too! There are so many choices, helpfully segregated into regional and chef favorites, and the wine selection is as vast as the menu. Sure, the lunch buffet is quick, convenient, and inexpensive, and there are some great items available, but the true artistry is in the menu items, worth every dollar of cab fare for the mile or so from The Strip. And don't let the rough exterior of the condemned-looking Commercial Center fool you: not only is Lotus of Siam still open, but it's clean, comfortable, and worthy of its stellar reputation. The wait can be hours for dinner without reservations, and even the lunch crowd arrives right at 11:30 when they open, but your taste buds will thank you.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Charlie's Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Meet the locals
    Especially on Sunday late afternoon/evenings, Charlie's draws a great mix of more than just cowboys, just as more than a few pop/R&B/Latin songs are sprinkled between Strait and Swift (though the line dancers have steps for those too). The well-designed dance floor is large enough to accommodate plenty of two-steppers, but located away from the entrance/bars/restrooms/gathering areas, helping the thick crowd flow a bit quicker at the busiest times. Much like the same-named locations in Phoenix, Denver, and Chicago, the former Backstreet has learned how to incorporate country charm into a gay format that even disco bunnies can't resist every now and then, making this Charlie's as popular as the one in nearby Phoenix.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Las Vegas Eagle Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Worth a cab ride at peak times
    Every city that has The Eagle knows the crowd being catered to. In this case, it's the same crowd that has gathered at Buffalo several miles West for much longer, though surely all those Vegas visitors can support two macho gay bars, right? Unlike Buffalo, there's more room (and rooms) here, indoor and out, with more parking than the oft-congested area Buffalo shares with three other gay clubs. Also unlike Buffalo, there's no chance of wanderers from nearby establishments, because there aren't any. That distance from the action combines with the no-nonsense masculine vibe to give this Vegas gay bar some of the best odds of actually meeting and talking to someone (and more...)

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Piranha Boutique Nightclub Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Healthy competition
    Just like the casinos constantly try to outdo one another, Las Vegas gay clubs are better if there are several competing for the crowds. Piranha upped the ante on Krave just as it took the full house from Gipsy when it first moved into The Strip. Now, all three offer drinks, dancing, and entertainment designed to lure a similar clientele mix of club-happy locals and thrill-seeking tourists. Being the newest always helps in terms of architecture and appeal, and being in the gayest intersection on Paradise allows Piranha to benefit from the crowds circulating the 'Loop.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Freezone Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Aptly named
    The least distinctive of the "Fruit Loop" bars, Freezone is literally a free space where no zone has truly been established as consistently as the bearish Buffalo, or the more stylish Piranha and Gipsy across Paradise. There's something for everyone and often nothing for anyone here. Pool, slots, dancing, lounging, all types but not enough of any to dominate except on special events.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Jimmy Carter's Mexican Cafe Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Mexican food with a touch of gay
    Much like the Brian's location near Uptown, this restaurant benefits from the cruise factor, which elevates the otherwise standard (but reasonably-priced) Mexican fare. Because Jimmy Carter's is directly across from the uber-gay Park Manor Suites and just a block away from the mature homo dive The Caliph, the presence of gays in this section of Bankers Hill is usually sufficient to cause Grinder to crash. Breakfasts on the mornings after popular bar nights can be as cruisy as evenings (again, like Brian's in Hillcrest).

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Cafe on Park Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Creative and cramped
    Too small for its growing crowds, especially on weekend brunch/hangover-recovery hours, but worth a visit nonetheless. Clever touches from jar-glasses and asymmetrical pancakes mix with an artsy design replete with wall offerings from locals. Mixed gay/straight, and not much elbow room, but no one cares when they finally get their table at noon on Sunday. The food is worth waiting for compared to the closest (less crowded for a reason) options.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed San Diego Pride Over a year ago
    Loves it

    One of the best Pride events in the world
    No, it's not as well attended as Los Angeles (let alone Sao Paulo), and it hasn't lasted as long as some of the Stonewall Granddaddies of Pride celebrations, but San Diego Pride is one of the most enjoyable of the genre. Perfect weather every year never hurts, and the beautiful environment of lush Balboa Park is a perfect end destination for the Parade that crawls along University and down 6th Avenue every year. Entertainers as diverse as Erasure, Devo, Salt N Pepa, Kathy Griffin, and Bow Wow Wow have graced the main stages, while participants dance away at country or techno tents, or enjoy beverages in the beer gardens in between visiting food and community booths or taking a ferris wheel ride. As much an annual event for tourists to plan vacations around as City Fest (in August), San Diego Pride is much more than a gay celebration; it's a reminder of how fortunate San Diego's residents and visitors are to be frolicking in this Southwestern paradise.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed The Center Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Everything it should be, and then some
    The San Diego Gay and Lesbian Center is an outstanding example of what will hopefully exist in every major city. It is a beautiful building, with a comfortable, welcoming lobby where all the publications of interest can be read leisurely. A free computer lounge is available weekdays, offering over a dozen stations with high speed internet and printing at a nickel per page. Separate rooms become bingo lounge, church, food distribution center, record show headquarters, etc. as events arise. Practically speaking, parking is simple, information is readily available for anything gay-related, and the public restrooms are clean and convenient. Volunteer, visit, or just hang out, but don't miss The Center and all it has to offer, just steps from all the Hillcrest action.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Ocean Beach Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Not gay, but "alternative"
    Ocean Beach (the neighborhood AND the beach) is San Diego's Haight Ashbury. Ex- and current hippies, bikers, party animals, and other alternative-minded individuals keep this area very organic, counter-culture, and accepting of most alternative lifestyles, including homosexuality, though there's nothing specifically gay-oriented here. For those who indulge, there's a great head shop called The Black on the main strip of Newport Avenue, and the pier is one of the longest on the West Coast for fishers, joggers, or just sight-seers. Dogs splash in the water while their owners build beach bonfires with stolen pallets before breaking out their (presumably medical) marijuana to settle in the sand for the night. It's a unique alternative to the majority of San Diego beaches that cater to the SoCal sunbathers in designer bikinis and sunglasses crowd.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Coronado Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Not gay, but the best "beach"
    It's touristy, and everyone wants to see where Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe frolicked in "Some Like It Hot", but Coronado beach also has the most expansive sand and beautiful waves, with rows and rows of sunbathers not even coming close to covering every available spot (as they often do with ease in narrower sand stretches at popular sunbathing spots like Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and Silver Strand state beach down south). The Hotel Del Coronado provides a great backdrop as well, and just spending the day in Coronado gives the feel of taking a vacation somewhere else without really leaving the city. You can drive over the majestic bridge or take a relaxing ferry followed by a taxi to the beach. It's the most picture-perfect-postcard beach in San Diego, though not a particularly gay area.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Black's Beach Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Three trails: beginner, intermediate, and gay (advanced)
    Once you arrive at the Torrey Pines gliderport, you've reached the main (intermediate) trail. It's the easiest to hike down (none are easy to hike up, so be sure you're prepared for a workout on the way back), but it also drops you in the middle of the straight section of Blacks Beach. Like many nude beaches, mostly nude men who aren't in shape run around naked, but a few hot guys (and even fewer women) can be seen as well. Many more guys are found in the gay section about a half mile north. It can be reached directly from the advanced trail, which is merely a dirt path at the north end of the parking lot north of the gliderport. This trail is even harder to climb back up, without the assistance of ropes, railroad tie steps, etc. that are found on the main trail. The beginner route is accessed by taking Torrey Pines about a half mile south of the gliderport entrance to La Jolla Farms road, follow the signs instructing where you can or cannot park, then walk to the entrance where a paved path winds down to the beach for easy access (but you'll need to hike over a mile to reach the gay part of the beach up north). Due to the hike, this is an exclusive area that not everyone visits, but it's worth the effort if you like sun, sand, and a semi-naked environment (just stay out of the bushes; it's illegal.)

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Babette Schwartz Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Shop here first for greeting cards
    Whether birthday or divorce, this store has some of the most hilarious greeting cards, gay-friendly and otherwise. Many gag gifts are sure to please as well. You can spend an entertaining hour in here without even buying anything although that's tough since so many inexpensive items are tempting and will remind you of someone who would laugh if you gave it to them as a gift. The t-shirts are a bit overpriced, but for the most part, this is a clever little store with a lot to recommend it.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed 24 Hour Fitness: Mission Valley Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Runner up to Hillcrest location for "gayest clientele"
    It doesn't have the constant presence of overtly gay exercisers, but Mission Valley is the second-gayest 24 Hour Fitness location in town, with Horton Plaza, Stadium, and Point Loma runners up. Mission Valley 24 Hour Fitness is much more spacious and has more equipment than the Hillcrest fishbowl, though also more straight people (but many are very fit and may help motivate your workout nonetheless). Some gays who don't like the high cruise factor at the Hillcrest location come to Mission Valley to get away from that, which explains the homo-population here. Easier to park than Hillcrest as well, though that's true of all other locations.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed 24 Hour Fitness: Hillcrest Over a year ago
    Loves it

    The gayest (but also the smallest)
    There's no question the 24 hour fitness in Hillcrest has the most gay people by a landslide. It's not even close, when compared to the other locations. At peak hours, the Hillcrest location resembles a cruise bar where everyone is wearing workout gear and holding water bottles instead of cocktails. Other times, it's easy to get in a workout with only a few gay fitness fanatics to share the place, but you'll NEVER be the only gay person in there (nor will you ever be in the minority, compared to straights). The problem with the Hillcrest location is lack of space, and thus, lack of some equipment as well. For more exercise options (though less gay eye candy and cruisability), try the other 24 locations in order of gay-ness: Mission Valley (in the Mission Valley mall, very spacious, fairly gay at most times), Stadium (near Qualcomm stadium, some gays), Horton Plaza (near 1st/Market, some gays), Point Loma (on Midway, south of Sports Arena - very spacious and always a couple of gays, but mostly straight).

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Lips San Diego Over a year ago
    Loves it

    More popular with heteros
    A great irony of drag is that the straight following often exceeds gay fans. This is certainly true of Lips, where heterosexuals love to be served/entertained by female impersonators and one is likely to find more breeders than homos on any given night (excluding the employees, of course). Still, it's one of the few gay-inspired establishments that remains east of Hillcrest, in the North Park area (along with Redwing and The Eagle). Previously located in Bankers Hill on 5th Avenue, but still going strong for those who enjoy the appeal. The food is unexceptional; it's the flamboyant service and entertainment that sets Lips apart.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Bronx Pizza Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Love the New York style (pizza and service)
    When you don't have to experience it daily, it can be fun to get the "New York" treatment when ordering this excellent pizza by the slice just up the street from Urban Mo's / Fiesta Cantina (and adjacent to all-night taco shop legend La Posta). Don't ask to write a check or use credit, and don't hem and haw about your selection or you'll likely be passed over while the guy takes the order of the person behind you. The prior owner rarely shows up anymore, but used to have the best comeback lines (Customer: "What do you call this pizza with tomato?" Bronx Pizza employee: "We call that tomato.") Of course, the food is what keeps people coming back for more, and for a slice or two, it's a great value for a quick snack.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Inn at the Park Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Better known as a bar
    Just like Top Of The Park on the roof, Inn At The Park on the ground floor of Park Manor Suites is perhaps better known as a bar than a restaurant. The dining area is separate, and has a loyal following, as does the piano bar, which is full more often than the restaurant (though both are packed on Fridays when the rooftop happy hour spills over). Inn At The Park has an older crowd most of the time, much like Caliph across the street but with an updated interior and a bit more glitz. It's quiet most nights other than weekends.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Babycakes Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Champagne and Cupcakes
    Babycakes has great baked goods, decent breakfast/lunch items, and some good bar food, but it works best as a bar where food is secondary. The recent Sunday afternoon "Church" is a perfect example of indoor/outdoor happy hour festivities with a touch of cupcakes. Other times are less crowded, but even then, Babycakes has built upon the loyal following of its beloved though less glamorous predecessor, David's Coffehouse. A smaller satellite location at the Morley Field tennis courts had plans to shift all the way down to Imperial Beach in 2014.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Top of the Park Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Now at The Glass Door in Little Italy
    As the former Top of the Park (and Inn at the Park, aka "Bottom") this place was listed under restaurant (okay) and hotel (ditto), but was best known as a bar - or more specifically, Friday night happy hour. If you ever went, chances are you loved it. Was also open special nights whenever the rooftop was great for fireworks, including 4th of July and New Years Eve. But now, the party continues at The Glass Door, always one of Little Italy's best brunch options, now siphoning Friday crowds from "gayer" neighborhoods. Not since the late Moby Dick's has Little Italy offered such an option.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Baja Betty's Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Am-bar-dextrous
    Since the day it opened, Baja Betty's (formerly Margarita Mary's) was immediately filled with drinkers and diners on every night. Almost unheard of for either restaurants or bars, let alone hybrids, this instant success continues years later. It's hard to get a seat at the bar, but order an appetizer with the numerous drink choices and grab a table inside (where it's always a bachelorette-party atmosphere) or out (where the sidewalk-watching is as refreshing as the bottomless champagne on Sunday brunch). When no other place is busy on Mondays, Baja Betty's draws in the masses with a half-price menu that keeps the place as busy as ever. The food isn't top-rate, and the prices aren't low, but the mood is reliably festive, and flexible enough for a business lunch, a romantic brunch, or a night out with friends. Even the straight people love it (but they're always outnumbered)!

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed Inn At The Park Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Friday Happy Hour - 5 Stars
    This should be in the "bars" section for its packed-house happy hour Friday afternoons until 10pm. The rooftop view is spectacular, the crowd is friendly with a few new tourists visiting each week, the drinks and free food hit the spot, and the location is convenient to the rest of Hillcrest dining and nightlife options.

  • fitandsolid
    fitandsolid reviewed SRO Lounge Over a year ago
    Hates it

    David Lynch-esque
    Slightly off-kilter, eccentric, sometimes downright bizarre, but mostly just a quirky dive bar, SRO Lounge is truly unique. Drag queens spice up the festivities many nights, but the clientele is never dull when the place is full. If the cantina in Star Wars were mixed with a John Waters setting and decorated like a downtown Vegas slot palace, the result might look like SRO on Friday and Saturday nights. At other times, it's not quite as avant-garde, but still more entertainingly odd (and occasionally creepy) than any gay bar in San Diego. Or maybe the entire Southwest.

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    fitandsolid reviewed Spin Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Best dance club (when it's open)
    This on-again, off-again warehouse disco is the only club of its type in San Diego, though it might still be frowned upon by those expecting the more glamorous L.A. or New York dance universes. Once the West Coast Production Company (WCPC or Wussy Pussy), it morphed into Montage, then Spin, with each version incorporating the multi-level experience with a rooftop deck, second-floor view down to the dance floor, and multiple rooms/areas indoor and out. Cover charge, costly drinks, tons of attitude, but also lots of hot guys, great dance music, and after hours. When it's firing on all cylinders (including some great guest vocalist cameo surprises), this club can provide a fun-filled night of dancing, drinking, and people-watching, with quick escapes to the roof for that breathtaking San Diego skyline view. But the club is always closing, then re-opening, and different promotions are hit or miss, leaving Rich's the more consistent option for dancing with the stand-and-model night owls (albeit in a building not nearly as architecturally impressive as WCPC/Montage/Spin/(Next Incarnation)).

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    fitandsolid reviewed The Caliph Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Old-fashioned
    For better or worse, everything except the exterior paint is old here. From the decor to the customers to the Marilyn Monroe statue above the tiny patio. Piano acts and karaokee with mostly show tunes adds to the nostalgic atmosphere, and most younger patrons are one-half of a May/December relationship. Friday nights are not as busy as they used to be when they got spillover from the massively attended happy hour on the rooftop of the Park Manor Suites across the street (known as "Top Of The Park", now relocated in The Glass Door in Little Italy). Caliph also gets props for remaining opening during the 8-hour power-outage of September 2011, with many guests enjoying candlelit cocktails and sandwiches while listening to the news updates on generator-powered radio while all surrounding businesses were dark!

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    fitandsolid reviewed Cheers Over a year ago
    Hates it

    University Heights afterthought
    Never really an official lesbian bar (too inconsistent), nor a typical neighborhood joint a la the TV show (too small), nor a University Heights hot spot like Bourbon Street or Lei Lounge (too plain), nor a dive/lounge like the alternative Lancer's next door (too bright, clean, and quiet). Cheers is a good place to have a conversation with a friend, and at times sports teams or other groups gather here to give it that local feel, but it's mostly uneventful, with a largely unused jukebox, pool table, and patio. Cheers is best used as an escape from the hectic Friday/Saturday mobs at the more popular University Heights options.

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    fitandsolid reviewed San Diego Eagle Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Every city has one
    Like The Eagle in most cities (R.I.P. San Francisco, the granddaddy), this is a no-nonsense, no-frills, "back-room" beer joint with guys looking to drink and cruise (and maybe relax, but could be talked into more). Back when Shooter's existed around the corner (now the hetero sports pub True North) and Wolf's was down the street, The Eagle competed for the gay North Park clientele that it now shares mostly with Redwing. But the majority of Levi/leather/beer bust types still frequent The Hole and Pecs more than any North Park option.

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    fitandsolid reviewed Redwing Bar & Grill Over a year ago
    Hates it

    North Park Survivor
    Redwing is to North Park what Brass Rail is to Hillcrest: the still-standing institution not as popular as many that have come and gone, but beloved by its loyal (and diverse) following. No one goes to Redwing for a hot night of dancing or cruising--instead it's a place to sing karaokee or relax on the back patio, and sometimes a drag show or birthday or some other event might be happening, but the Redwing is not a "happening" spot (and proud of it, after all these years in the wake of Wolf's, Shooter's, and Bacchus House...)

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    fitandsolid reviewed The Loft Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Professional drinkers
    By day, it's just the regulars, but at night, many others join them for very strong drinks and very drunk comrades belting out the random jukebox tunes from Lady Day to Lady Gaga. The extremely popular Hash House A Go Go restaurant is steps away, with eye-opening double-sized portions of incredible food for those who may need something to soak up all that Loft liquor.

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    fitandsolid reviewed Flicks Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Fun Video Hangout
    There aren't many seats at Flicks, which makes sense because the focus is on the videos and patrons, both of which rotate at a brisk pace most nights (and some days) at this long-time favorite in Hillcrest. Free food some nights, great drink specials most nights, and lots of fun, friendly guys -and some gals- out to have a good time, particularly on the often-boisterous patio facing the University Avenue foot/street traffic. Many squeeze into here before heading down the block to dance at Rich's, though quite a few stick around on busy nights like Wednesday's college-oriented party.

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    fitandsolid reviewed Martinis Above Fourth Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Supper club with superb balcony
    Martinis: a block from the bath house, up the elevator, past the dining area, out to the balcony/patio, with views of that same bath house entrance. But that's not the attraction here; it's the great drinks, appetizers, servers that keep the happy hour guests filling the seats. Off-peak the outdoor section has a more relaxed, intimate feel. The dinner experience is an entirely separate area/atmosphere at all times.

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    fitandsolid reviewed Number One Fifth Avenue Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Dependable as ever
    This neighborhood favorite has never been "hip", yet everyone goes here occasionally. A great variety of seating exists, from the sidewalk views at the entrance to the horseshoe bar in the back patio, with the main lounge as inviting as most old-fashioned lounges where the bartenders have heavy hands. Weekends are extremely busy and happy hour is often dead, but even at its slowest, this reliable standard is a great hangout when you just want a drink without the dinner/dance/cruise element (well, maybe SOME cruising... especially on the back patio)

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    fitandsolid reviewed The Brass Rail Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Oldie, not always a goodie
    Just as the titular railing enclosing the sidewalk seating has been painted black, this oldest-in-town watering hole has lost some of its luster over the years. Still popular with ethnic-specific crowds on certain nights, and as packed as any 5th Avenue bar during events like Pride and City Fest, but on most nights the deserted dance floor is evidence of the disco migration to Mo's and Rich's over the years.

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    fitandsolid reviewed The Gossip Grill Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Size Matters
    Lesbians didn't have a place of their own in San Diego for many years after the gay guys took over (then abandoned) The Flame and the heteros turned Six Degrees into Starlight. Sure, Numbers had Bad Kitties night and Bourbon Street became a de facto hangout in between, but it wasn't until Gossip Grill moved into the old Cafe Eleven space that the gals had their own lively, friendly, always popular place with good music, food, and drinks. The small space used to be the main drawback, but moving into the old Eden a few blocks down University literally burst the place wide open, with a dance floor, multiple bars, segregated non-smoking patio, and plenty of indoor/outdoor seating. The guys still love the place, but they'll never wrestle it from the gals this time!

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    fitandsolid reviewed Pecs Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Improved Patio, but same old Pec's (thankfully)
    The patio is bigger and better, yet Pec's remains an unpretentious, masculine, partially Levi/Leather hangout, but mostly it's guys who like drinking, food, and sex. Free pizza lasts only a few minutes among these hungry bears and their friends/admirers. Like The Hole on Sundays, women are rare but not shunned, though the focus is on guys getting drunk and laid, or just kicking back with a beer, burger, and smoke.

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    fitandsolid reviewed Rich's San Diego Over a year ago
    Loves it

    Polarizingly popular
    Even those who claim to hate Rich's usually have been there and secretly know its appeal: Giant dance floor with easily cruisable perimeter, spacious front bar and patio with many hot, young, buzzed gays. The usual drawbacks of cover charge, pricey drinks, attitude, and unavailable restrooms can be ignored easily if a cocktail-induced trip to the dance floor segues into several of your favorite songs in a row. Many theme nights for different ages (i.e. bear nights), but mostly younger crowd with enough other elements to keep some diversity.

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    fitandsolid reviewed Urban Mo's Over a year ago
    Hates it

    Mixed, Popular, Crowded
    Mo's (formerly Hamburger Mary's and still called by that name occasionally) always has a full crowd on its patio dining/bar area, and sometimes a full dance floor inside (mostly on country nights and Sunday tea dance). When the interior is dead, it can be dark and glum, and even dining is best al fresco. More women and straights here, but definitely gay and sometimes a bit too crowded (as is Fiesta Cantina across the street).