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Saturday, February 18, 2012


SAN DIEGO AFTER DARK—By Carissa O’Connor--If there is one thing I know from personal experience, it’s that being a single woman in this city is fabulous at times, but when the weekend rolls around, many of downtown’s clubs and bars become infiltrated with all sorts of douchebaggery. You don’t need to search far to find this male breed; they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and almost always attack when least expected.

Well, if you’ve had it up to here with the typical nightclub creep-fests, grab your gals and sip your way through these hot spots. From dinner and drinks at Little Italy’s newest addition, Prep Kitchen, to dancing your booty off into the wee hours at El Dorado, here are my top 3 picks to keep you steering clear of these obnoxious “mantourages”.

Always a top pick when meeting up for drinks with my girlfriends, Craft & Commerce, located on Beech St. in Little Italy, showcases a stellar bar scene and fantastic food program to boot – did I mention they were recently named one of Food & Wine’s Top 50 Bars in America? Word to the wise: forget about ordering a vodka-based cocktail, as the powers that be have banished it from their establishments.

However, with their incredible selection of handcrafted libations, combining fresh ingredients and strong flavors, the experts behind the bar will have you trying new cocktails in no time! If you’re with a group, I highly suggest ordering up a signature Craft & Commerce punch bowl. These 38 oz. cocktails are served in bulk and sipped out of adorable little teacups. Craft & Commerce is open daily offering lunch, and dinner and recently rolled out a new weekend brunch.

The new Little Italy hot spot, and largest addition to the Whisknladle family, opened doors earlier this month. It’s easy to fall in love with the venue’s cute, kitchy design, spacious bar, and airy atmosphere.

The restaurant, offering lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, serves up the same artisanal, seasonal and handcrafted selections as the other locations and also features a killer daily happy hours from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and late night happy hour from 10 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Did I mention, the bar serves $3.50 tapas from 4 p.m. to close each day, I’m there!

Tucked in between 10th and 11th on Broadway, this timeless East Village dive is known for a high-quality, expertly crafted cocktail experience, and you’ll find the personalities behind the bar to be as unique and refreshing as the cocktails on their menu. Built floor-to-ceiling by an ownership team of three brothers and a close family friend, the bar’s rustic aesthetic pays tribute to classic Western saloons of yesteryear.

The modestly-hip venue has garnered international recognition and an underground local cred for consistently showcasing up-and-coming DJ talent with near-nightly live sets. El Dorado is open nightly but be sure to stop in before 9 p.m. to take advantage of $5 cocktails!

About the Author—San Diego native, Ms. Carissa O’Connor, is a marketing and communications specialist based downtown.

Images: Punch bowl cocktail from Craft & Commerce; Buffalo & Juke from El Dorado.

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