It's Monday night, football's on, and I'm the only woman not working (and fully dressed) at Beach Girls in Westminster. No music is playing, just football noise and light chatter from about 10 male customers. A pretty black girl in a yellow string bikini ("Brittani," spelled with hearts above the I's) served us. I order a Shock Top from one of the 13 beers on tap with the full intention of easing into the harder stuff.
Without getting too cerebral here--this is a dive-bar review, after all--the interesting thing about bikini bars is it turns the female social structure upside-down. Guys can probably vouch for this: How many times have you been with a gal at a bar and heard her talk about what a bitch (or an even more vulgar synonym) the female bartender was? More than you've heard her complain about the male bartender, no doubt. Women hate women as cats hate baths, sure, but bikini bars have a different set of rules. The girls in lingerie behind the bar treat gals better because they're less likely to manhandle them, and as a minority in the room, ladies connect with female drinkers quicker. Hell, they may even tip them better here than at a bar with a higher male-female ratio.
But enough sociology. This is a bar that has "girls" in its name, so naturally, it's a dudes' bar. Beach Girls has liquor--sweet, sweet liquor--and four blue pool tables with Bud Light lamps hanging above. Men come here to watch their presumed two favorite things: sports and scantily clad women in the dark.
Brittani asked if I wanted another beer; I told her to serve me her favorite drink to make. Dat Ass was placed in front of me; it's a fruity cocktail made with watermelon and mango vodka, so refreshing it made me wish I was drinking it at 1 p.m. during our recent heatwave. Dat Ass, indeed. Brittani has a belly-button piercing and a lipstick mark tattooed on her ass, which is the best possible segue for the following: lipstick-stained kisses of all colors adorn the door of the handicapped ladies' room wall, along with "Taylor" written in lipstick (wasn't me, I swear!).
It's a dude-friendly place, for sure; the few times I've stopped in, men eager to give bartenders a real cozy hug filled the room, their tongues nearly hitting the floor. Thank God for the bouncers--and not just because they save the gals from lechers. The first time I went to Beach Girls, it was one of those days--few things bring a gal into a bikini bar at 1 in the afternoon, but life giving you a Reservoir Dogs-style beating is one of them. I walked in, marched directly to the bikini babe behind the bar and said, "Fuck this; pour me a stiff one."
The only other person there was the bodyguard, Lawrence, cracking jokes. He questioned me in a friendly manner, since I was obviously a queer sight for them: a young woman not dropping off an application. I explained I was having one of my worst days of recent memory. I explained my accomplishment of not drinking for a spell (a true accomplishment, given I write this column), and then confessed I was going to my favorite bar down the road as soon as some bullshit errand was wrapped up.
"Well, hell," Lawrence enthusiastically replied, "if you're breaking the seal, I'll be there tonight to celebrate after I get off!"
And you know what, ladies and germs? The blue-shirted bouncer was true to his word. He showed up at my favorite dive, and the two of us partied until closing. Cheers to Lawrence!
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HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT: Drunkenly explaining to anyone within earshot the merits of combative TV host Wally George because I've been researching him nonstop for a cover story. Yikes, the job is getting to me!
FAVORITE FLAIR: The far wall of the ladies' room is beautifully decorated with a giant gypsy woman.
Beach Girls, 15549 Beach Blvd., Westminster, (714) 248-9585; www.beachgirlsbar.com