The Greek Apprentice

When I arrived at Nick’s house by Grim and Upas in North Park around 10:30 p.m., all that remained of the day’s barbecue were a few slices of watermelon, a block of cheese, some burger buns, and a single short-rib. The party had been going since 5, and I sensed instantly that I’d missed a bulk of the revelry.

It had already been a large day. Just hours earlier I’d been schooled by a friend on the proper pronunciation of “quixotic” (my fault for being pretentious enough to use it in conversation), chugged a lukewarm blue raspberry Four Loko in lieu of proper sleep, and mustered the courage to order my first beer at Tobacco Rhoda’s — arguably the shadiest bar west of the 805. It’s the day crowd you have to look out for, my hyper-literate friend informed me.

So when I rolled up to Nick’s place to assist in the celebration of Tony’s 26th birthday, I wasn’t surprised to find myself pretty much on par with the swagger of the best of them, who’d been boozing most the afternoon. I stuck a 12-pack in the fridge and talked with Michael, a professional band photographer who shares my passion for the bass guitar. He even has bass clefts on his wedding ring. We discussed the prospect of starting a band with two basses — something we’ve both had in the back of our minds for years, as it turns out.

Robert joined the kitchen conversation. Also a bassist, Robert told us about the old Gene Simmons bass he once owned with a small scroll hidden inside the body that read: “By the time you read this my soul will belong to the devil — Gene.” He’d left the note in there when he sold the guitar.

On the front porch, a few guys smoked cigarettes and prepared to shotgun beers, wielding steak knives to puncture their cans. A newcomer arrived and they entreated him to join.

“I won’t shotgun with you,” he said, resolutely, “but I will hit the Dong Bong.”

The device, a ridiculous novelty beer bong with a giant plastic phallus on the drinking end, materialized from inside somewhere, and the newcomer slammed back his Tecate with the nonchalance of a seasoned sorority girl.

Back in the living room, the Misfits were on the stereo, and a few partiers played football video games. I talked with Tony, who told me about a Braid cover song he recorded with his and Nick’s band, Fever Sleeves. He denied all ownership of the Dong Bong but did admit some vague involvement with the genesis of the apparatus. It later came out that the beer bong was a gag gift from a bachelor party at a castle in Palm Springs.

“I couldn’t wait for his birthday,” Tony’s girlfriend Lauren told me, “so I just kept giving him things when I got them.”

The bounty included, among other things, a Jon Stewart coffee table book and a quality pair of earplugs.

I eventually warmed up to the Dong Bong and gave it my best on the front porch. Unlike others present, I had been denied the privilege of Greek culture, and thus the beer-bonging ritual, by the insignificant state university I attended deep behind the Redwood Curtain of Northern California — a school that gravitated more toward circus arts and horticulture than fraternal ceremonies of sudden intoxication.

The Dong treated me royally, all things considered, so I took off with a handful of others to finish the night at Bluefoot. ■

Crash your party? Call 619-235-3000 x421 and leave an invitation for Chad Deal.

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It's no wonder with Party crowds like these, that The Bluefoot is so very noisy and completely unfriendly to those that live nearby! When they next apply for their Neighborhood Use Permit (NUP); I'm sure it will be the local that will be cheering, not their late night customers!

To be fair, everyone was pretty mellow at Bluefoot that night. It's a great bar and they do their best to keep the place respectable (i.e. no drinks on the patio after 10 p.m.) Thanks for reading.


"Bass clefts"?

Sounds much more interesting than a bass clef (or "F" clef"). I reckon it's okay to blame that on the effects of the dong bong.

When I bought my North Park condo, I was drawn here by the vibrant local music scene & quality night life fostered by unique independent bars like Bar Pink, The Office, Whistlestop, Soda Bar. And now, thanks to our great craft beers, 30th Street has been recognized as “the nation’s best beer boulevard.” Let’s hope that the owner of Bluefoot understands that creating a haven for childish binge-drinking losers is not the business model that is putting North Park on the map.

The difference being Bluefoot does not serve "bitters" and soda?

When "indie" folk try to take the "scene" and homogenize it into "unique independent bars" that are cookie-cutter images of what they want and what they believe to be what everyone wants as well, not to mention of each other, the rebellious non-conformists will be called out as "childish binge-drinking losers". The punk rock movement was born out of such so-called independent thinking. Bring on the punks!! California Uber Alles!!

  • North Park Cite's -*

Bars and Clubs are all about the money That's why their business is always "Funny"

When those that are "indie" Continue to $pendie

While the so called "punks' Pay to drink like Drunks

Nobody minds loud folks watching an exciting game but when it happens after Midnight, it is insane

Selling you all the drinks you can buy Makes Owners happy, as you get high

So when it's at the end of your party and time for "last call" Make sure you are sober, so you don't end up, against the wall

Getting a DUI ticket "Nightcap" is not very nice Anybody know where you can get a Lawyer, at half price

North Park now has the most Police Patrols on site All of which are just looking for drinkers to Cite

MsGrant, I totally agree, and I already miss the grit & grime of the Radio Room. Trouble with your argument is that childish binge-drinking wanna be frat boys like those in the scene Chad Deal describes in the original article are anything but punk.

No offense intended to local indie band Fever Sleeves, btw, who play at my favorite unique independent bars like Bar Pink & Soda Bar.

I hear you, Indie. I'm just sort of a party and let party kind of girl. Of course, I can afford (and I use that word in the least-pretentious way possible because I could not for the life of me come up with something else and I also get the irony of the disclaimer;) to say that as I sit at my computer in the bar-free soccer-mom bedroom community area of Point Loma, where nary a hipster nor punk dare tread. The punkiest I get these days is wearing my Ramones T-shirt to Vons.

MsGrant, North Park is terrific because we have not traded away our music, art, small bars & night life for the sake of "niceness." But it's not an easy balance. I don't ever want us to become a bedroom community, but neither do I want strange drunk people vomiting on my yard outside my bedroom at 2 AM. And if "entertainment" in North Park is reduced to lowest-common-demoninator binge drinking and bar hopping from True North to Bluefoot--a trend that Chad Deal celebrates here in his column--then everybody loses.

Reply #8 - #10

RE: "that childish binge-drinking wanna be frat boys like those in the scene Chad Deal describes in the original article are anything but punk."

How about this: Have fun but Party Responsibly is the key here; forget the labels!

When anyone (lets use the term "Jerks") crosses the line of "fun" and enters the "disruptive zone" that requires Police resolution, then BOTH the Jerks and the Bar/ClubOwners that enable them, (and make money off of them) need to be called out and held responsible! Crime, DUI's and traffic accidents are no laughing matter and very costly for all those involved.

Everyone should treat others with respect or we deserve none ourselves!

North Park now has the most crime in San Diego and most of it is associated with Late Night Drinking and Partying. For all those that live nearby, these new Bar & Club Businesses that want to remain open until 2 A.M. have changed our quality of life and not for the better.

Who reading this would welcome lots of staggering, loud, disrespectful drunk patrons outside their homes until 3 A.M. (+ then have to pickup after them the next day) 3 to 4 nights a week? I know those in Point Loma would not!

Founder, my point here is that not all bars & clubs in North Park contribute equally to the problem. The bars I know and love stay open until 2 AM, but they keep the party inside the doors. The last thing I want to see is North Park rolling up the sidewalks at 10 PM just because a small group of loud, obnoxious troublemakers have chosen North Park as their latest hangout. There is a big difference between childish binge-drinking wanna-be frat boys and the rest of us. Just ask anyone who lives here and DOES frequent the bar scene.

Reply #14 IndieGirl agree with you.

I'm not promoting for closing all places at midnight just those that are causing the problems and are not good neighbors. Those that "keep the party inside their doors" are not causing the problems and are part of what makes NP, North Park. If the City started to do what they are doing in Ventura, reviewing licenses every six months and those whose patrons cause problems get their hour adjusted to insure an earlier closing... Owners there know if their Patrons behave like Jerks, they will lose money and or the right to operate their Bar or Club, now Ventura has well managed Clubs and Bars and that's what we need in San Diego...

"Trouble with your argument is that childish binge-drinking wanna be frat boys like those in the scene Chad Deal describes in the original article are anything but punk."

Please realize that the Donger was a novelty which was enjoyed not without a hint of irony.

While I agree that North Park does endure its share of belligerent Nabrolean Bronapartes, the crowd at this party was totally respectful and considerate.

"And if 'entertainment' in North Park is reduced to lowest-common-demoninator binge drinking and bar hopping from True North to Bluefoot--a trend that Chad Deal celebrates here in his column--then everybody loses."

Heyo! Who said anything about True North?

Reply #15 Again, nobody is saying anything about responsible drinking by Drinkers that are considerate to nearby Residents on the way to their cars...

But what do you all suggest we do about those Patrons (and Bar/Club Owners) that continually go beyond noisy after late night closing, while they spread their trash and bottles staggering toward their cars?

That's NP's dilemma and those are the Patrons that give everyone a tough time!

Well, I was going to point that out that Chad was only doing his job and is an equal opportunity party crasher, but it sounds like his party-goers were a well-behaved bunch of revelers who were kind enough to include him in their choice of after-party location. To pooh-pooh their choice of Bluefoot would have been terrible party crasher etiquette, as would have been turning down a try at "the Donger".

  • Binge Cringe -*

"Chad was only doing his Job" Why does that, make me want to sob

Someone getting paid as a Crasher Should not be, a Neighborhood Basher

When it comes to the Revelers What about all those Raise Hellers

As for terrible party crasher etiquette Promoting binge-drinking, is as low as it gets

If North Park is going to be really cool We don't need anyone acting like a fool

Come, have fun and spread some local Joy But respect Neighbors and don't Destroy

If that is something you really don't want to do Perhaps you should Party, with the Lions, in the Zoo


Nice one, Founder! I'm flattered to have made the rhymes, but - at the risk of sounding redundant - there was no binge drinking or neighborhood bashing at this party.

The problem exists, I realize that, but it's unfair to place the blame on yours truly or those at the party.

I love North Park and live just blocks outside of NP proper. In fact, I get a lot of bizarre post bar traffic outside my windows regularly.

Allow me to make a modest proposal.

A young healthy drunk well sloshed, is, at 21 years old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragoust.

Bon appetit!

Posted by boo

JESUS CHRIST. Is everyone on here serious? I invited Chad over to my house for my pal Tony's birthday BBQ. He came late, no big deal. people were drunk, no big deal. I have never used the DONG BONG, haven't shot gunned a beer quite some time, never have been in a Frat, nor have any of the other people at the party. Can't really help other people and their life choices as someone walks up to a house, but good for them I say! We drink to forget. ANYWAYS --- since everyone is super interested, like this is going to be a city council thing, it was around 1am when a handful of people went to the Bluefoot for a beer and the rest stayed behind (turns out a lot of people don't really like that place). We were quiet on the way there and quiet on the way back. In fact the cops came to our house to let us know that someone was in the area with a gun and to keep safe inside (maybe we should be worrying about that?) I too live in the area, so also don't want noise --- don't know when this turned into an article about noisey child loser people, pretty sure it's about regular people drinking crap beer really fast or something? So just so everyone can sleep a bit better tonight (of course not the people that bought homes next to a bar), NO ONE I KNOW FREQUENTS THE BLUEFOOT. I go there maybe once or twice a month if I need an IPA. And FEVER SLEEVES has no official opinion on binge drinking and really has nothing to do with the Braid cover song. But it does sound really good Tony! Thanks for reading and for the couple of band plugs! (I'm gonna do one too)


Let's not miss the larger issue here as well, none of you said: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TONY!


I prefer my drunk on a bagel with lox and capers and a delicate schmear.

ha. awesome. I was starting to get worried about you guys!

Happy birthday, bud! And thanks for hosting a great party, Nick.

Anytime Chad, it was good to see you. Good times. These Reader readers get kinda crazy!

ahem. (poem guy)

Happy birthday Tony! And by the way Chad, I would like a crack a your job ; )

To clarify a couple things in the comments here:

The reason that “poem guy” is acting kindof “crazy” is because Bluefoot’s permit is up for renewal. This is an example of someone living over 5 blocks away, close to University, who likes to make blanket statements indicating that every person who walks by his home late at night was overserved at Bluefoot and just peed on his tulips. If he gets his way, they will shut Bluefoot down, and he’ll just move on to complaining about the next bar with a permit renewal coming up. Seems to me these are high-class problems coming from a neighborhood that 10 years ago was crawling with prostitutes and drug dealers. Credibility for his argument against Bluefoot might be further eroded if I let you know that the Bluefoot’s location has been a bar since 1935 and 9 successful restaurants and other businesses have set up shop in a 1-block radius since it opened.

@IndieGirl, it appears you are unaware that Soda Bar is owned by the same people that own Bluefoot. They are both “unique” and “independent” bars that cater to different groups of people, so it’s not surprising you appreciate one over the other! In regard to who they cater to, in my opinion BF does a much better job of keeping out the binge drinking riffraff on the weekends than some of the other bars in North Park…but bars will always exist. It is the people who don’t know how to celebrate the weekend responsibly that create these issues.

@Founder, calling the owners of a neighborhood bar “enablers” who “make money off of” their customers seems a bit odd to me. What about the restaurants next door that enable people to eat a delicious meal out and make money off of their customers? I could continue ad nauseam, but I think people have already got the point. Dare I say that you sound like someone with an agenda, and it doesn’t take me pointing it out for it to be obvious. To say I'm tired of your tirades against local businesses in North Park would be putting it lightly.

@Origami_Astronaught, fantastic take of Swift’s Modest Proposal. May I suggest we set up the barbecue pits at once? I hear acrimonious curmudgeons are also delicious.

Reply #26 I see that this your first post, since you start by putting labels on me, here is one for you: Phobogger, a Phony Blogger, someone that is getting paid and or promoting Spin to disrupt a blog discussion. from theUrban Dictionary

That said, I don't know if you even live in NP, but I've been in NP for over 20 years and have been promoting for improving the Quality of Life all residents, not just those that want to come to NP and Party! During that time NP has now become a less desirable place to live and we are now sadly, #1 in violent crime in the City of San Diego. So when I read about increasing the Party scene in NP, I have real concerns, that more will only reduce the "fun" of living in NP.

True, Bluefoot's NUP permit is now up for review but I'm not "crazy" when it come to all the late night noise and the rest of the REALLY "crazy" stuff that happens because the Owner of Bluefoot is not neighborhood friendly!

Those that live even closer than I do, have years worth of unanswered phone complaints, video of stupid behavior and more because of the Bluefoot's Late Night patrons, and most of the problems that occur, happen after midnight.

RE:"you sound like someone with an agenda," yes I'm for Neighborhood Friendly businesses that treat their Residential Neighbors with respect, (think the Golden Rule, instead of just going for the Gold). That next door Restaurant you mentioned is a perfect example of a great local Business, that adds to the neighborhood rather than detracting from the neighborhood!

BTW: I have no tulips but if I get my "way" Bluefoot will not get an unlimited extension on it's NUP or be able to stay open 7 days a week until 2 AM; both of which would be like the City giving that part of NP, the Finger!

p.s. Happy birthday Tony, I did not know...

My best wishes to Tony on your birthday as well. And to respond to your comments about never having used the Dong Bong, and not being in a frat, I would invite you to read the article above that Chad Deal wrote describing your birthday party--the very article which I was responding to, lest we forget. The article's title "The Greek Apprentice," the photograph of two guys holding the Dong Bong, and descriptions of Deal hoping to keep up with "the swagger of the best of them," who had been "boozing all afternoon," and references to binge drinking like "I won't shotgun with you," have led me to completely misunderstand your party. My apologies. The thing is, I'm sure you guys are cool, and I have nothing against Bluefoot or the bar scene in North Park. But my complete misundertanding of Chad Deal's article has led me to believe that, regardless of what really happened at your party, Chad Deal was using his article to celebrate a type of frat boy binge drinking that I do not want to see take over the North Park scene. Once again, I apologize for my poor reading comprehension.

Interesting to watch people defend bad behavior. Even more fascinating is for them to deny it exists. The residents that live within 1 block of Bluefoot have owned their homes anywhere from 60 years down to 8 years. Yes, the corner that is now Bluefoot has been a bar since the '30's, and yes, we bought our homes knowing it was a bar. But it was not Bluefoot, and since Bluefoot took over the bar, the neighborhood has not had one Friday or Saturday night without some type of disturbance after midnight, and most often up until 2:30 or beyond. To try to share that with neighboring restaurants is pure ignorance---there is not one restaurant on all of 30th St. that stays open until midnight --most are closed before 11:00PM. The exceptions being the drive-thru's at Jack in the Box and Saguaros--and the last I heard, they weren't serving cuustomers alcohol. To say that Bluefoot is not responsible for these disturbances, litter vandalism, and in some cases theft is total denial. I'm no hypocrite here, they no doubt aren't responsible for all of them, but put a crowd of people who have been drinking for hours ( punks, urban hypsters, frat boys, or even old farts) on the street at once, and see what happens. Every time. Bluefoot management does absolutely nothing, with the exception of (maybe) the door man yelling louder than the loudest drunk to shut up. Calls to their 'complaint line' are answered by either a voicemail "apologizing in advance" or met with disdain along with "that's a police issue, and not Bluefoot's problem"

Personal, and professional responsibility isn't a suggestion. It's a requirement for a civilization, and a community. You may not like it, but like it or not, we all have to grow up one day and assume such responsibility. Drink your asses off, I don't care, just take your piss, puke, bottles and cans, screaming profanities, car alarms, ghetto blasters, and screeching tires silently away from my house--no matter how close it is to the bar--and utilize it all at your own homes. I'm sure your neighbors will love you as much as we do.

Reply #28

Great post, my neighbors and I share your desire for a North Park that is not taken over by "frat boy binge drinking" or any other kind of drinking to excess, especially after Midnight. There are many folks that have moved to NP in the last year only because they have had enough of the PB Bar/Club scene and all of us don't want what is happening to Grand/Garnet to happen here.


absotutely NP rick!!!

and ur reading it just fine Indiegirl...NP needs reasonable improvements and certainly not a binge bar atmosphere taking over

agreed Founder!!!

Reply #29 Perfect post that contains factual info about why almost all neighbors are not at all happy with the way Bluefoot is "run" late night.

Say what you want, it is not cool to be loud and disrespectful after midnight, often until 3:30 A.M., in a residential neighborhood. That is exactly the kind of behavior that we are speaking about and that has nothing to do with patrons having a good time, eating and drinking or treating others like we ourselves would like to be treated!

How about this concept: Have fun and a really great time BUT not at someone else's expense?

Sounds fair right, but not to folks that have had lots to drink and are rowdy as they stumble back toward their cars after Bluefoot's 2 A.M. last call. Then they don't care about anyone but themselves, and many neighbors have the video to prove it; too bad the On-Line Reader does not allow folks to post video because its real hard to watch Patrons acting like "Jerks" and then try defend them...

That is why so many neighbors are against Bluefoot asking for MORE EXTENDED HOURS and no more oversight on their upcoming NUP.

Enough is enough; North Park like other areas should reward Owners with extended hours if and only if they treat their neighbors with respect; that way everyone is being treated fairly, not just the Owners and their Patrons.

hey soundproof these kind of bars...then the "partay hardays" and the residents can be happy!!!

  • Absotutely NPrick -*

Reply #31 What you're drinking sounds like fun

I'm sure that "NPrick" Will love your word trick

I bet it was easy for you to say It's the funniest comment of the day

He will grow, in NP fame Everyone, will know his name

I'm sure, that his new moniker, will stick Good thing, his real name's not something, like Dick

I bet he will laugh And not have a calf

Why get mad or start to cuss Because now he is Famous

While some may think it is sick I say, "All Hail NPrick"


  • Bars to Cars -*

Reply #33 I guess this is hard to "SEE"

I'll now try to make this really clear When folks drink to much wine, liquor or beer

The trouble is not inside the Bars It occurs on the way to Patrons cars

That is happens almost every "Late night" Is something that gives neighbors a big fright

Living in North Park certainly has it's share of perks But that sure does not include dealing with drunken "Jerks"

When this happens over and over it really makes you sick That is why it is bugging everyone including NPrick


It was a PARTY, people. The point of the story was crashing a party. That's all. Party on, Wayne. Party on, Garth.

Reply #36 This Blog has "partied" itself into a meaningful discussion about when those that are Partying become something less than fun and neighboring folks have to deal with all the problems they cause. Nobody is implying that Chad, Wayne and Garth are THE folks stumbling around causing all these Late Night problems, but it makes good sense to call on those that are talking about Partying to at least remind their audience that it is cool to be responsible and NOT COOL to be part of the problem...

NP has been getting way too many of the Late Night NOT COOL Problem Party Patrons and the Residents are now getting PO'd because their right to "Party" is being taken from them! Who wants a Party Bus to dump a bunch of Club Crawlers near your house and then idle waiting to pick them up until 2:30 or 3:00A.M. anywhere near where you live? This is only "fun time" for Club Owners and those doing the Partying, not anyone that lives nearby.


hahahahahahahaha...actually that was unintended...and i just noticed it late to change it now...and SICK is a good thing in my vernacular...hahahahahahahahaha

and it was just a partay blog...but when the partay overflows and bugs the neighbors they have the right to give their opinions

a good host keeps his/her partay under control usually

@ indie girl: It was tony's birthday partay. happy birthday tony!

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