One of Cassidy's radical regulars
One of Cassidy's radical regulars
Taylor Hamby

Cassidy's is Great, But its Clientele Matches the Balboa Bar's Infamous Nickname

[Editor's Note: We all know local music and dive bars go hand-in-hand. So in the interest of merging the two together on Heard Mentality, we bring you our newest nightlife column Dive, Dive, My Darling. Read as our bold web editor, Taylor "Hellcat" Hamby, stumbles into the dive bar scene every week to find crazy stories, meet random weirdos and guzzle good booze.]

"Hey, do you know how to [pole dance]?" a girl yelled at me from the back of the bus.

Her friend answered for me: "Well, obviously."

I had been dicking around on one of the stripper poles in this party bus, waiting for takeoff. I was the only gal there who knew how to do a few basic tricks on the pole, and no, it wasn't because that's what paid my way through college. But thanks to a few fitness classes I've been taking, I surprised my two friends, Nicole and Robb!

They had joined me on this adventure--a sexy shuttle picks you up on Main Street in Huntington Beach and carts your drunk ass to Newport Beach, dropping you across the street from dear old Cassidy's. Sure, the bus driver makes you listen to such club staples as "Get Low" by Lil Jon while lights flash and drunk chicks giggle, but hell, it's three bucks and only 20 minutes, so I was far from complaining. The staff is friendly, the bus is clean, the driver punctual, but there's no booze. It's only been in operation for a few months, but word must be spreading quickly because it was full.

We finally get to Cassidy's--or as the locals lovingly refer to it, "Catch-a-Disease," a commentary more on its clientele than the fabulous burgers my Mexican in chief swears by. That Cassidy's doesn't even have a sign over the door doesn't seem to hurt business at all--it was packed to the gills. I didn't understand the "Catch-a-Disease" nickname the first time I went--it's a dive, certainly, but far scummier places dot OC with nary an insulting moniker.

Then I went on a Friday night.

Cassidy's clientele is scandalous! I've never seen so many drunk, horny co-eds at a bar--and I've spent many, many a night in all of OC's main drinking strips. We were lucky enough to grab a table in the very back, and when Robb went to grab drinks, a token drunk blonde came up to me and complimented my blouse.

It was very sweet of her, but she continued to fawn over Nicole and me in that way that only drunk girls do. She told us we were the prettiest girls in the bar. Aww. She returned to her friends at a table a few steps away and said, "Look how pretty that girl is! Someone needs to go make out with her right now, but it's not going to be me." Sadly, no one bit.

Robb returned to the table a few minutes later, laughing. "Some chick just tried to make out with me!" he said. "She lost her shoe, and I picked it up for her, and then she said we should make out." He looked around and pointed out the female Cassanova. It was our new friend.

It was my turn to squeeze through. You can tell this place was not originally built for a bar--there's almost no walking space in the center, and the distance between the wall and where you order drinks is barely an arm's-span long. By the time you get from one place to another, chances are someone in the room will be carrying someone else's child.

I stood behind a longhaired dude, and just as he was pulling out of his space at the bar, he turned around and started flirting me up. "I'd buy you a drink, but I just closed my tab," he kindly said. I told him it wasn't necessary as a girl pushed her way in between us and put out her hand. "Hi, I'm his girlfriend." Just as I was about to apologize, she rolled her eyes and huffed off.

Then the nickname all made sense. You don't get a disease at the bar . . . you get one if you take a part of the bar back to your bed!

I didn't get this vibe when I went on a Wednesday. With its laid-back vibe and stickers slapped all over the walls, it was reminiscent of beloved beach establishment Wahoo's. Cassidy's seemed like a locals-only spot that did a good job of keeping the Newpz tourists away. Drinks are affordable, and the selection admirable.

I've been told by a respected dive-bar owner that Sunday days is the time when Cassidy's really shines. So stay away on Friday nights--unless you're looking to get laid, of course. Just make sure to go into battle with a helmet--and don't blame the bar if something bites ya.

Go Here If: You're looking to find a little beach-bum booty.

Must Try: The photo booth! You may wanna check the seat for any bodily fluids first, though.

Cassidy's, 2603 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach, (949) 675-8949.

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