4696 30th Street, University Heights
(Has gone out of business since this article was published.)
Kadan at 30th and Adams takes its name from the town where owner Chris Heaney met his wife at a smoky café in 1994. Inspired by a Czech discotheque that played eclectic music to a broad demographic, Heaney opened Kadan nine years ago and hasn’t closed doors for a single day since, holidays included. The full bar offers 12 taps and an assortment of bottle beers, harkening to its Czech roots with adornments including the Kadan coat of arms, medieval swords, shields, daggers, battle axes, and morning stars. To augment the mood, a three-quarter-sized knight lurks behind faux-trees on the shadowy dance floor.
Come in the afternoon for a booze-fueled game of chess on one of Kadan’s four sets. Stick around for choice groove weeklies most nights of the week, especially if you prefer the bar’s minor grit to Gaslamp’s pomp and peacock dance.
Saturdays rotate between Broken Beat (glitch hop, dubstep with DJs Miguel, Walker, and Puppy Kicker), Funk Deluxe (Latin, funk, afrobeat, soul with DJs Danny Massure and Jon Wesley), and Illfonix (acid jazz, funk, old school rap with DJ Sachmo).
On Sundays are the Bohemian Rap City hip-hop open-mic nights, followed by Monday’s open jam sessions. Go maudlin Tuesdays at Darkwave Garden (goth, ’80s, post-punk) with DJs Bryan Pollard, Heather Hardcore, and Pet M1. Sweat it out on Wednesdays with Evolution drum and bass or get down to your favorite one-hit wonders from the Reagan era on Club ‘80s Thursdays. Fridays rotate between SD Jump Off (dancehall, hip-hop) by DJ Unite, Underworld (gothic), and Moonshake.
“We’ve always had a hard time defining our sound,” says Moonshake resident DJ Mark E. Quark. “San Diego has a strong nightlife scene, but we felt something was missing. I wanted to hear house music be edgier, take more chances, be less safe.”
The consistently awesome dance night has become a tradition for many regulars who come out bimonthly for the upbeat mix of future disco and tech house from resident DJs Quark, Dr. Indulgent, Bob Dazzla, and guests. Keeping a tradition of their own, Heaney and his wife, whom he courted with hand gestures in lieu of speaking Czech, return to Kadan annually.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily
Happy hour: 5 to 7 p.m., $1 wells, $1.50 domestic drafts
Prices: $2.75 wells, $2.50+ drafts
The Deal: $2 PBR can
Max cap: 200
Cover: Never ($10 minimum on cards)