Satin Lounge

Tyler Kern/Guardian

Pitched as “San Diego’s newest 18 and 21 hot spot,” Satin Lounge revolves around the idea that 18-year-olds can enjoy a great clubbing experience without a drop of drink. And if elder folks don’t mind running into their baby cousin and her “Mean Girl” posse while drowning their collegiate sorrows, they might have a pretty good time, too.

Probably due to its close proximity to San Diego State, Satin is a far cry from the glamorous nightclub it makes itself out to be. Patrons are required to make their way down a seedy, dimly lit alleyway to reach the entrance of the club, and — if they survive the trek — are then segregated by age into two separate lines. Those of age are welcomed in by a bright-orange wristband reading “OVER 21” in big black letters, while all eager under-agers are shepherded inside one door over, stumbling from pregame overcompensation.

The venue itself is a cross between a garage party and rundown strip club, complete with a disco ball and stripper pole in the middle of the dance floor. As for furnishings, red and white circus tent drapes fail miserably at disguising the lounge’s concrete walls, and the sound from scattered TV sets never seem to match up with the on-screen visuals.

Though Shirley-temple bars are plentiful in Satin Lounge, the only counter that serves alcohol is caged by a chain-link fence. The ugly orange stripe, of course, is necessary to gain access to this player’s paradise. (Unsurprisingly, it seems a favorite hangout for older clubgoers of the male persuasion — perhaps having something to do with its perch over the wannabe strip-club area, conveniently swarming with young girls). The other drink stations cater to the underage crowd, where younger guys can practice their bar lean as they order a Red Bull or a root beer for the cutie in the corner.

Bottom line: Satin Lounge is the perfect destination to meet creepy older guys — and plenty of them. It’s also one of the only places you could get away with wearing sweatpants at a club (but don’t forget your Reeboks with the straps). Whatever the case, you’ll probably have a better time at the Taco Bell down the street.

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