Most West Coast cities have their skeletons, like maritime kidnap in Portland, or the metal one of Sacramento’s governor, sent by Cyberdyne to assassinate the economy. Learn about ours (while stuffing yourself along the way), with Brothels, Bites, and Booze: a Culinary Tour of SD’s Questionable Past.
SD’s favorite lifestyle tour co’s newest explores the delightfully raunchy past of the late-nineteenth century red-light hood dubbed the “Stingaree District”, which was chock full of opium dens, rowdy gambling parlors, and sailor-satisfying brothels which eventually closed to make way for Petco and the Padres, who in turn did their best to ensure a continued legacy of sucking. The 1.25 mile walking/ eating/ boozin’ fest starts at one of retired-Wyatt Earp’s old gambling saloons, before cruising across the street to Krust for some NY style pizza in the historic Keating Hotel (built in 1891, and one of the most advanced/prestigious buildings of the time), and then encouraging your own debaucheryvia a tasting at Rock Bottom Brewery, though how they squeezed beer out of a Springsteen album cover is anybody’s guess. Your thirst quenched, the march moves into a 100 block area that was once a completely-unpoliced zone, with a stop at Royal India for lunch (rice with curry/ marsala/ etc.) before a trip to Ida Bailey’s infamous “Canary Cottage” brothel (so named for its color, not its offerings); then it’s on to meatball-feasting at Sloppy Joey’s (above speakeasy-esque Prohibition) for a lesson on illegal liquor selling, opium denning, and the “marketing tactics of the naughty women women of the late 1800s” which, considering the mass sailor contingent, began and ended with “standing there”.
Because…why not, there’ll also be a margarita tasting at a still-secret Mexican joint, which’ll surely have you saying “hasta la vista” to the ability to keep your own skeletons in the closet…even if they’re True Lies.