2801 Leavenworth ~ WEBSITE ~ (415) 775-5110

(time TBA) Thursday 21 February 2008

Prologue: It says right on Chica Cherry’s list of the 40 things she is doing in 40 days before she turns 40: “Feb. 21 – Not My Birthday Celebration”, so it’s not her birthday. Nora Charles had her birthday in December, so it isn’t her birthday either. I have reason to believe they’ll both be there, though, since they are picking me up and we are going somewhere swanky for dinner…but it’s definitely not my birthday!

I mean, who would have her birthday drink at such a lame Bar as The Dirty Martini is surely going to be? Certainly not The Hostess. There will be no presents, cards, cake, candles, or other birthday paraphernalia there, so it’s not likely that it’s anyone’s birthday, much less mine. Besides, I’ve decided not to have any more birthdays until I can have what I want for a present, and that’s not going to ever happen, therefore this February 21st is absolutely, positively, categorically NOT my birthday.

Of course, if you’d like to swing by and buy me a drink for some other reason, I won’t stop you…(that is, unless you have been Banned until March for inappropriate commentary — in which case you know who you are, so don’t even think about adding any more egregiousness to my brief time at this tourist trap!)

Afterword: I had said…

Next up: The Dirty Martini — Thursday 21 February 2008 … the later, the better. The Hostess is pretty sure this place is going to be as heinous as Cigar Bar & Grill was; this Official Visit also to be saved only by the company — which is taken care of (minus the thrilling motorcycle ride Mother Nature is conspiring to deny me, but whatever) — so no one else needs to brave the elements. Really, I mean it.

I do so love it when I’m right! Although I am right so much of the majority of the time, you might think I would have gotten over it by now. But no, I still get a kick of having one of my hypotheses turn out to be completely the case.

OK, so I was wrong about the rain, which meant I missed out on the motorcycle ride unnecessarily. But I could tell from a block away, by the neon blue signs that The Dirty Martini was going to be just as awful as I had imagined. Walking in the door, I could barely keep the smug smirk off my face. What’s wrong with The Dirty Martini, exactly, you ask? Ah, where to begin…

For starters, the bar is in the center of the room, and it is a rectangularly-oval affair, which means there is no mirror behind the bar in which to check (and/or admire) one’s hair. One can, however, order food from the Hooter’s menu (oooh, goody…NOT!) and have it delivered to the Bar, “but it takes forever”, or so the pretty unimpressive bartender admitted. That was actually an amusing thing for him to say, given the time it took him to get around to meandering over to new arrivals to find out what they wanted to drink. And after the wait, cocktail napkins had to be specifically requested. It was thoroughly unsatisfactory barstooling, and that was before the obnoxious conventioneer crowd showed up, which certainly didn’t help matters any.

The Dirty Martini has a golf video game and two pool tables. There’s a small stage, with some dj paraphernalia, and a dance floor. They sell a variety of t-shirts, but who would want one? When Sigerson appeared, neither one of us could figure out why anyone would actually go to The Dirty Martini. A mere one block away is The Buena Vista Cafe, which attracts its share of tourists but still manages to be a delightful spot to drink. When my fizzy water was served in a plastic cup, we just shook our heads.

I will say this about The Dirty Martini: there seems to be a very favorable male-to-female ratio, that is, if you are a female, and you are actually looking for an obnoxious tourist for some incomprehensible reason. And I suppose it does function as a place to contain the tourists, where they won’t get in our way, sort of like Fisherman’s Wharf in general. It also has the distinction of being a Bar Where One Can Hightail It Out the Back, if necessary. (There are three front doors and two emergency exits behind either side of the stage — neither of which has a sign warning that an “alarm will sound” — of course one never knows, but depending on the circumstances, one might not care about an alarm sounding.)

Anyway, as predicted, Sigerson’s charming company saved the Official Visit from being too desultory for words. He bought me a drink (after pointing out a typo on his Bars By The Book free drink coupon — a party favor from at the one-year anniversary Deluxe gala event, which he wisely decided to save for a swankier occasion — not resisting the urge to say “Spell-check doesn’t know what you mean, but I do.”) and he politely inquired about what I would want for a present, if it were my birthday (which it obviously was not). When I said I preferred not to jinx my wish by telling it, he sagely reminded me that those who do not speak about what they want rarely actually get their wishes to come true. Given the very inauspicious location where Sigerson was dispensing his inarguably correct wisdom, I chose to remain coy for the time being. I mean, no sense having to look back on The Dirty Martini as an important venue in my perennially checkered past — or in spoiling my record of being on tropical beaches when I am persuaded to reveal my fondest wishes…

While some of the above description may suggest that the Official Visit to The Dirty Martini even verged on heady, let me assure you that any hint of giddy exhilaration was categorically (heroically, even) in spite of our surroundings. Chica Cherry and Nora Charles were visibly relieved to arrive too late to have time for a qualifying drink there, which should speak volumes. As a final warning, be advised that The Dirty Martini is sure to be even worse when it is packed with the sort of people showcased on its website. </shudder>

Bathroom Biography:
If the best thing about a Bar is its bathroom, well, what more really needs to be said? In the interest of due diligence, however, I will report that the ladies’ restroom is spacious enough to accommodate the hordes of clueless folk who apparently descend upon this place and think this Bar is a good one. There is also enough square footage of mirror for one and all to do the sort of adjustments these types are likely to need to make. (The Hostess does not mean to seem snobbish, but really, I defy anyone astute enough to be reading this to find one redeeming quality in The Dirty Martini, save for the aforementioned corralling of tourists.)