L.A.? Too far. Long Beach? Too far. I don’t have the money to go 50 miles each way every week and I don’t have the self-control to avoid going out. The bane of living in Riverside. Fear not! I have found some places to hang at, other than the guest room of my generous relatives.
Downtown Riverside has a pedestrian only section of Main Street between 6th and 10th Street. Most of the places I found were off of this mimic of the Santa Monica Promenade. Its currently going through renovations, so there’s not as much as there could be. It’s also dotted with peacenik crap like Gandhi and MLK. Who knew these guys had any connection to Riverside, California?
When I first parked, it was right in front of a place called The Hideaway. It looked like a simple coffee shop, so I moved on quick after paying for parking. I walked south on the pedestrian walk and found a Coffee Bean, some Chinese food and other tiny-ass cafes. I was getting close to a big building I assumed was part of the local university, so I turned around and went north. More nothing. Went east on the end of 5th. Nothing. Went south on Orange. Finally, at the corner of University and Orange I found two. Count it! TWO decent candidates.
The first looks like its connected to a closed-up lounge next door, but I’m not sure. Their decor look opposite. One looks like a normal sports bar (though with an anti-teenager, anti-gangsta dress code) and other like a beach themed cocktail lounge. The open bar has no name, at least on the windows or on the facade, so all I know is where it is. Right across from it is another lounge, but that seemed large. Its name escapes me (should of taken pictures). It looked like a decent place to move to if one’s date or hookup is hungry.
The third place, who’s name I do remember, is The Salted Pig. An English sounding place that has a 10p-1a happy hour. Sweeeeeet. It was off 12th and Market with street parking and a small parking lot next to it. Looked like a good place to start. If for anything, food and some beer.
When I went back to my car I saw The Hideaway sign again and thought… why not? I walked up to it and saw a sign for “ALL DAY HAPPY HOUR! $2 DOMESTICS!”. I realized that there was a coffee shop AND a bar in this building, both down the stairs. The decorations and the fact it was a dual place said to me bohemian. Hipsters. Cynicism. Laid back. May my curiosity reward me more often.
As I go to each of these places over the next few weeks, I’ll verify the addresses and report in detail about the atmosphere and the girls. I’ll go on Friday nights to maximize accuracy potential so if any of you are unfortunate enough to want to try Riverside nightlife, you’ll have some idea of what to do.