Sitting in the Beauty Bar's signature vintage barber seats, I leaned forward to clink shot glasses with BB founder Paul Deavitt and his business partner Johnny Nixon at the bar's "soft opening" one recent Friday night.
No one was able to finish the gigantic shots in one gulp. That pissed off Deavitt.
"This is the type of thing that'll ruin a place," he said. "The bartender needs to learn how to pour a damn shot."
Over-poured shots notwithstanding (it isn't really a complaint in my book), the Beauty Bar is an unlikely addition to City Heights-can you say, "Next neighborhood to gentrify"?
Far from the trodden trail-located at 4746 El Cajon Blvd.-the place is already drawing hipsters and yupsters. Those familiar with other Beauty Bar locations in Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco know what to expect: hip décor and indie-friendly musical.
Manager Erica Jessup is still working on the décor part. Pulling me aside, she said, "We did all of this in 30 days-imagine what we can do in 30 more." But the music side of things is already underway.
The Moving Units and Fifty On Their Heals have occupied the stage of San Diego Beauty Bar, as have DJs Gabe Vega (he's the bar's music director), Morgan Young and Saul.
The drinks are relatively affordable and the crowd is, well, Deavitt put it this way:
"For lack of a better word, we get the cool kids coming out."
Check it at www.myspace.com/the beautybar or call 619-516-4746. The official grand opening will be held next month-no one is sure exactly when-perhaps the second week of February. Check with CityBeat to find out.