Back to Cool

Photo by Jeanne RiceOh, my! So grown up already, and just yesterday, Ronald Reagan was murdering nuns in Central America and you were being born! And now you're ready to go out and slop your bodily fluids over anyone who'll let you and drink until your lungs fill with vomit! We're so very proud of you!

So here are some young-people bars near the county's major colleges. We've tried to find, in as many cases as we can, 18-and-over clubs, but sometimes you're just going to have to take your chances with that fake ID that we advise you not—repeat, not—to carry, on account of now they're interpreting First Amendment law to lay culpability for criminal acts on anyone who dispenses information on how those acts might be carried out. For instance, we recently ran an article on GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate), and we were going to tell you how the drug is cooked, but our lawyers wouldn't let us. Maybe that's an issue for you to take up in your Civil Liberties prelaw class, hmmm? At any rate, to sum up, do not take a fake ID and get into a bar or club and have a rollicking good time. And also, while you're at it, do not accept $20 from a roommate to write a term paper on Ibsen's A Doll's House and then purposely dumb it down to make it “more in her style.” She will get a D, and you will be ashamed and have to return the money. It's a pity.

Anyway, we hereby provide you with a guide to just a few college bars. Check for addresses, phone numbers and special events in our fabulously comprehensive club listings in Calendar.

UC Irvine Kokomo's (ko'-ko-moze) is 16-plus on Saturdays and 18-plus the rest of the time. Very fun. Mostly naked teens sweating on one another in a positively MTV Spring Break kind of sardine-athon. Liquor could be had (if you were a criminal) by spitting on an overage friend's hand stamp and then pressing his hand to your own. We do not recommend this! No, seriously, we don't. There's really nothing worse than a bunch of puking little unable-to-hold-their-liquor pups. You will not be as attractive as you think you are. We know this for a fact. Hogue Barmichael's (ho'-ghee bar'-my-kulz) is 21-plus; the crowd's a bit older, but it's got the best steady stream of live music in the vicinity—which is empty save for the airport, har, har. But seriously, folks, Hogue's is the place to catch acts like Neville Staple from the Specials; Dave Wakeling from the English Beat; and the Missing Persons, who come through seemingly every three weeks. The beer here is extraordinarily wet. Accidentally spill it all over that special someone. They dig that! Sloppy Joe's (slah'-pee joz'). Frat. Cal State Fullerton

It's Geckos (ge'-koz), Geckos, Geckos! Unless your're under 21. Then, you should head over to the Hub (hub) and get some coffee; it's bohemian there. You'll like it. And if you feel like swinging over to Anaheim, you've got your choice of caverns: The Boogie (boo'-ghee) has lots of strippers (though that's not generally the best way to make female customers feel comfortable) with pipe cleaners on their nipples; Club 369 (club three six nine) has lots of crazy metal bands; Linda's Doll Hut (lin'-duz dahl' hut) features great roots, pop and post-punk punk; alcohol-free Chain Reaction (chane' ree-ak'-shun) plays aggressive pop and punk, and the Loose Moose Saloon (loos moos sa-loon') has hosted the best band ever to come out of Stanton—maybe the world—the Pocket Clowns.

Cal State Long Beach Live Bait (live bate). The name says it all, and what it doesn't say, we can say in three other words: homemade bikini contests! If we were a sorority girl, this is where we'd go. Que Sera (kay ser-ah') plays host to all the usual LBC suspects on Wednesdays and Saturdays, when the area's best live music goes down, and it also has dance nights, lesbian nights and an occasional soul night. Pine Avenue has a number of dance spots, like System M (siss'-tem em) and Jillian's (jill'-ee-uns) (are you Goth?). But for the discriminating sot, the Reno Room (ree'-noh room) has the best bar ambiance: eau de old drunk. And we're pretty sure it never closes. Chapman University

Well, there's that Lebanese restaurant just off the circle. That's good. And for entertainment, you can watch the Christian-church marquee and see if they've got a new movie pun (our fave: There's Something About Mary's Son Jesus). Aside from that, you're pretty much on your own, unless you head down to the nearby Fling (fleeng), though we'd rather you didn't. The ancient crimson cavern (with piano bar!) is much better with just old folks and a few rockabilly gods like Big Sandy hanging out there, so forget we said anything.

Orange Coast College

For God's sake, you don't need our help with this one, do you? You're attending school at Playboy's perennial party school, and you're asking us for directions? Try the Huddle (hud'l) for all your happy-hour buffet dining needs. Dance your silly little heart out at the Shark Club (shark club), seeing as how you subsist on free happy-hour food in order to pay $10 covers to strut your black-clad stuff. And then head down to the Newport Peninsula and hang with the beautiful peeps at Club Buzz(club buz). But you already knew that.

Golden West College Gallagher's (gal'-uh-gerz), Geckos, Rhino Room (ri'-no room) and Hurricane's (hur'-a-kanes). We wouldn't be caught in Hurricane's for all the free drinks in China, but that's just because we're old and boring and scared of all the hooting men. Don't be ashamed: it's all right. You'll grow out of it—unless instead you grow into one of those creepy old men who hang out on the balcony, which is the reason we won't go there in the first place. Saddleback College Liquid Lounge (li'-qwid lounj, ne Geckos) is right down the street, with good hip-hop and Top 40 spinning, though since El Toro closed, there aren't any cute Marines. China Beach (chi'-nuh beech) is sure-fire, with two dance floors packed into the tiny space. It's ugly. But exciting!

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