Photo by James BunoanIf you're a nice guy—a nice guy who's been feeling a bitdown, or perhaps a little bored, sickly, randy, or any combination thereof—here's what $5 can get you at the Green Girl Saloon: one (1) bag of peanuts, shells included; one (1) generous well whiskey and Coke; and three (3) nubile young bartenders in thigh-high boots, fishnet stockings and teensy, weensy, perma-wedge bikinis. Five measly bills and all this can be yours—but only if you're a nice guy.
See, there are no tough guys allowed inside the Green Girl, and it's really something they should advertise, lest a potential female customer—picturing only bulky bad husbands and angry wife beaters and the odd Larry H. Parker or two—sit outside in her car, as I did, and text message her girlfriends for 17 minutes until they arrive, and then linger in the parking lot for 10 more minutes, as we did, mustering the courage it takes for three young women to enter a bar where surely they will be preyed upon by sweaty, frisky, pockmarked former sailors whose ships sailed off long ago, men who have since sat guzzling their social-security checks and . . . well, you know.
In reality, though, there weren't any sailors or bad husbands at the Green Girl—at least so far as we could tell. Instead, there were only surprisingly not-ugly Huntington Beach skaters, some not-prickish recovering Cal State Fullerton frat boys and a few non-shady businessmen, and why? Because, duh, posted inside the Girl's entrance is a dress code that prohibits—in addition to the usual no-nos such as baggy jeans and concealed weapons—tough guys.
“We're an upscale dive bar,” explained one of the owners, a white-haired, red-faced fellow you'd want to call Pappy when you're wasted, and sure, the Green Girl, with its peanut shells—”On the floor, please!”—cheap drinks and distinct lack of a jukebox (read: satellite radio) is a dive bar. But it's also a family-owned-and-operated Irish pub with a splendidly drab interior, Guinness posters and portraits of terriers lining the walls. And friendly waitresses. In bikinis!
And that's the funny part: the Green Girl Saloon may be such a cute dive bar that it loses what it might have had with the tough guys—raunchiness. When you don't get the feeling the men at the bar view the waitresses as hot, smokin', bangin' babes—but rather sexy, hard-working gals worthy of respect and a good tip—they sort of became just like other bartenders, only they happen to be showing a bit more skin than most. And instead of being a scary tit bar, the Girl is, well, just a bikini bar. In fact, for all our fretting, in the end, it turned out the men weren't the ones we women had to worry about.
“Have you ever considered working in a bikini bar?” asked one of the waitresses, sizing up a petite, blond friend of mine. “I hadn't, either, before I worked here.”
“Oh, well, if you need work, I know some people at the Cheesecake Factory. You can make $150 per night in tips—and you get to be fully clothed.”
“Attention, attention” was buzzing through the intercomand over the thunderous chorus of rolling balls and falling pins. “Who here thinks Barry Bonds is on steroids?” Ah, Linbrook Bowl at 12:58 a.m. on a Saturday: there are few better places along Brookhurst to spend a raucous night with friends and, apparently, few better places to work the graveyard shift.
If you haven't yet been to Linbrook—the last remaining OC alley with a spinning neon bowling pin and those razzle-dazzle Vegas-style letters spelling B-O-W-L outside—you obviously don't know what you're missing, but I do. From the $6.50 Rolling Rock tall boys to the precious karaoke lounge—with darts! And Shania Twain tunes!—the Linbrook is the 24-hour bowl of your dreams, an endangered piece of Americana that everyone in Orange County should make a pilgrimage to at some point but never will because this is Orange County and Lucky Strike lanes is just up the road and they have macaroni-and-cheese balls and bowling-pin-shaped beers.
But what Lucky Strike may have in the way of designer bowling shoes, it also lacks in dirt-cheap rental fees, septuagenarians yelling, “Landslide!” and most important, wondrous repartee: “Attention, attention! Who here thinks a woman should be president?”
Green Girl Saloon, 14341 Beach Blvd., Westminster, (714) 897-8612; Linbrook Bowl, 201 S. Brookhurst, Anaheim, (714) 774-2253.