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Out of towner planning a bachelor party for a friend - any place that is both lively and meets a chowhounder's standards

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Chowhounders - I'm planning a bachelor party for a friend in your lovely city. About half the attendees will be locals and the rest of us are out of town. It's a good friend so I'm happy to help but am hindered by the fact that I'm not a local and only know about 20% of the folks coming.

We're a fun bunch in our late 30's to early 40's...we're not looking for anything super fancy and steakhouses are out given about 4 veggies...including the bachelor. There will be 10-12 of us and it's kind of an eclectic mix of professionals, scientists, surfers, bohemians, etc. so I'm having a hard time pinning down a great spot.

Any places you fine folks can suggest that will have a fun atmosphere, not crazy pricey or pretentious and will also have good food. I wouldn't call us a sports bar or a Gaslamp crowd (although we are staying near there).

Thank you in advance!

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  1. Starlight might work for you. Attended a bachelor party there recently and it was fun.


    1. This place is a bit of a hipster joint but can be fun. Its kind of like the Regal Beagle from Threes Co.

      1. Maybe Wine Vault might fit bill for dinner and then you guys could head to Starlight for drinks. I know 10-12 is about the limit of what they'll seat for a large party. I also know they'll request you either come in early (530) or late (8+). If you talk to Chris he'll probably get the Chef to come up with some good Vegetarian dishes for those in the group who don't eat meat.

        5 Replies
        1. re: mjill

          All great suggestions guys...thank you and please keep them coming. I'm a little worried about going to a place like Wine Vault that only serves wine but I will check it out.

          1. re: vis

            I believe WV serves booze too. It is for sure an outside shot but I think it can keep a diverse group of people happy food wise. Alchemy is also a good choice.

            1. re: mjill

              It does - at the last tasting dinner I went to (June 11), they finished the meal with orange-scented cognac. As a restaurant, its great, but for a bachelor party. . .no. Seriously, no.

              1. re: jmtreg

                I agree, Wine Vault is a pretty bad suggestion not just for the party but for other restaurant goers. The scene there is about opposite that of any possible version of a bachelor party, regardless of dinner.

                1. re: MrKrispy

                  Yes, it's an outside shot thing for sure. I agree. But, this is a group of 30/40's somethings that range from lower income to higher and who aren't looking for a night of feeding the kitty at pure platnium. It seemed to me that dinner wasn't supposed to be an outrageous affair and since the wv can for sure cater to the different food tastes of the group without sacrificing quality... it could work.

                  Turf Club could be another alternative though.

        2. Cucina Urban
          Cowboy Star
          Water taxi over from Gaslamp to Candelas for drinks and dinner..
          Las Cuatro Milpas for Mex breakfast in the Barrio or El Porvenir.

          Dive bars..Waterfront, NuNu's, Lamplighter, Star bar, Aero Club, Pacific Shores


          1. The patio at Urban Solace.

            Urban Solace Restaurant
            3823 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104

            1. It all depends on your transportation - if you have a limo, then the Starlite would be fine because you can drink excellent cocktails, have a decent meal, pile into the limo and head elsewhere. Also, its fairly close to the strip clubs in Point Loma (*ahem*). Although, you could probably walk down India to hit the Aero Club (dive bar), then the Regal Beagle (beer bar), Shakespeare's (British Pub), and either dance at Club Dynamite, sing karaoke at the Lamplighter (dive bar with karaoke), or make your way to said strip joints.

              If everyone is driving, then I'd go with one of the places around 30th and University - The Linkery, El Take It Easy, Urban Solace, the Ritual Tavern, etc. - which have the benefit of being close to each other, and enable good pubcrawling. I'm not sure on this, but I think there's a strip club somewhere around El Cajon and 30th, if you are into that sort of thing.

              As much as I love the Wine Vault, its not a good choice here. The location isn't awful, as there are a couple of bars nearby, but its really more of a romantic setting. I'd also rule out La Jolla, the Gaslamp, and probably Pacific Beach. You could do an interesting night in OB, but I don't know where you'd eat.

              3794 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

              Urban Solace Restaurant
              3823 30th Street, San Diego, CA 92104

              3175 India Street, San Diego, CA 92103

              Ritual Tavern
              4095 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

              Point Loma Cafe
              4856 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, CA 92106

              The Aero Club
              3365 India St, San Diego, CA 92103

              El Take It Easy
              3926 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104

              1. Alchemy in South Park will fit the bill well (I know, my third Alchemy post lately). My wife and I just went there for dinner last week and came away pretty impressed. It has a fun, youthful atmosphere, excellent speciality cocktails, and a very nice menu with lots of good stuff for sharing - they emphasize locally sourced food, so I think it would appeal a lot to your crowd. They often host events for UCSD alumni, so it definitely holds an appeal for a broad cross-section of society.

                They are also very vegetarian friendly. Alchemy doesn't treat vegetarians like second-class culinary citizens, but offers well thought-out vegetarian options.

                The nice thing is, when you finish your meal, you can go next door to Hamiltons Tavern, which has one of the best craft beer selections in San Diego.

                Hamiltons Tavern
                1521 30th St, San Diego, CA 92102

                1. How soon are you looking to do this dinner? You may need reservations and some of the places listed don't do them or may not be able to accommodate you too soon.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: MrKrispy

                    Thank you everyone...even the guy who got straight to the point and brought up the importance of strip club proximity in my planning. I got a couple of spots that have availability - Cucina Urbana, Banker's Hill and maybe Starlite...still waiting to hear from them. Haven't called and asked Alchemy yet.

                    1. re: vis

                      Traditions must be followed.

                      1. re: jmtreg

                        No comment. (which I guess is itself a comment)

                        1. re: Josh

                          The quality of "burlesque" joints in San Diego makes our dining scene look like Manhattan's.

                        2. re: jmtreg

                          'Traditions must be followed'....absolutely!
                          Pure Platinum, Cucina Urbana and Starlite..makes the perfect 'isosceles'..
                          ; )