Tijuana – The Long Bar – Heaven For the Underaged

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Mac Meda Invades the Long Bar - Larry Cornellius(RIP), Richard Krug, Roger Johnson (RIP), The Whale, Bill Decker, Micheal Chicon(RIP), Steve Callaway, Kelly Medogovich, Ed Selby, Bartlett and someone help me out with the rest ...

During the roaring twenties, Tijuana became non-stop action. Americans flooded the tiny border town during probation to gamble and drink. By the 50s and 60s its reputation was known all over for it strip joints, floor shows and cheap bars and beer. It became folklore of wide reputations and spawned many wild stories of bars like Sans Souci, Redd Fox (the place where the comedian Redd Fox started) Clubs Unicorn, Aloha and Bambi.  The Donkey Show was born in TJ …  and yes, it is true. However, drinks were outrageous  in these places. A 6-ounce bottled ‘unknown’ beer cost $1 and it always came open.  Gee … could it be they kept refilling the empties?

But TJ was also known for, the famed Long Bar. Oh yes!!!

The bar was the full length of the place. It was the width of a football field if not more and elbow room only.  The noise level was always high of slamming shooters down and Mexican music.  At the end was a 12 foot surfboard that hung high on the back wall, whoever could power down 24 shots of Tequila and climb up the wall and untie the ropes could have it.

long-bar-signed

Since the drinking age of Mexico was 18, it became the spot for  kids that were not 21. If you looked 18, you could cross the border. However, TJ cops hated the pot smoking long hairs, so one had to pin their hair up and stuff it under a baseball cap to enter even if it only touched your ears. Brilcream, (A Little Dab Will Do You), was used to slick the hair back, which was still cool, since it had not quite gone out of style yet.

Walking down the main drag on a Friday or Saturday night,  Revolucion was like old west, street fights were common, people were trying to sell you everything from a fake silver ring –  to their sister,  and almost all the cops were on the take. A $5 bribe was the common price for getting out of going to jail if you were caught being drunk and disorderly.

From Dave Osborn comment, I got this off the Internet, which shows how long the long bar really was

From Dave Osborn comment, I got this off the Internet, which shows how long the long bar really was

A pitcher of beer and a shot of cheap tequila was $1. Sawdust packed the corners, and very sticky wooden booths and tables were gouged with initials of those that had to leave a remembrance they were there.   It was not a place for women unless you were of the social type. And even that, most were to scared to enter. A carnie hacker was always outside, shoving people inside.

For a buck, one could get a picture like you see above.

The restroom, all I can say, the smell gagged you walking in. A long tile trough with a few rusty pipes dripped a dark-brown water to flush the gallons of urine that was being discharged every second. An old man sat in the corner (restroom valet) that always had a toothless smile with flies buzzing around his head sold gum by the piece, scented colored water and paper towels by the 1/2 piece. Yes he would take a paper towel, rip it in half (that cost 2 cents) and that was what you dried your hands off with or the pants were just as good. A nickel got you a piece of gum and a splash of scented water before you headed back across the border.

Yeah … like the US Immigrations officials didn’t know where you had been when they asked you, “Got anything to declare?”

“Surrrre officerrrr, a gallon of watered down peeeee” Chuckle, puke, chuckle chuckled, puke…

Obviously, the Long Bar was a favorite of Mac Meda’s second decade of Meda Eaters.

Comments

  1. Great article yes yes yes my memories of the Long Bar and especially of the blue fox the analogy of it being like the old Wild West is so true. I used to sneak across the border in the trunk of older guys cars and when I get there add mascara my peach fuzz mustache it was a real growing up experience back then and every time after that period first time my first initiation the guys said that that I could come with them whenever they came to Tijuana but I had to eat pussy at the Blue Fox turned out to be a fun experience for sure. So I guess that was about 1960 Tijuana was kind of addictive for me back in the old days like that. I remember the accuracy of the guys saying $5 would get you out of any trouble you were in this was quite true. Over the early years of my life the first 40 anyway I was a regular and Tijuana even was a part-time interpreter assistant manager at the California Club and hung out with a gang of roving peacekeepers in the bars they was a bunch of badasses for sure I’m mostly Middleman weed deals back then. That was down in the neighborhood they call her la coahuila where we did the dealing. True about the donkey show where we did the dealing with a few blocks from there and man distinct from that place was terrible. I’m talking more about when I was like 18 and 19 I guess 17 when I was 15 and green and a pretty boy Tijuana was so much fun

  2. Reliving memories from the Long Bar, 1967, used to hang out there. My initials of PJ are carved in the wooden top of the bar. I believe I was walking into this bar when this picture was taken, I believe I’m the guy in the striped shirt in the background. Never the less, the good times still linger of underage drinking, consuming gallons of Mexicali and Supremo.

  3. Allan Seymour says:

    Next to the funny mirror in the Long Bar in ’62 was a window where you could order tamales. Learned the hard way that the pits were not removed from the olive inside the tamale. Outside one of the bars was the infamous Johnny Hot Nuts in a zoot suit calling out to the roving sailors. “Hey sailor come on inside. Take a look, take a leak, take a peek. Look don’t touch. You want to see the pussy clap your hands!”

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