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The Waterfront
2044 Kettner, Little Italy

The "Mary minions" often salt their red elixir with a bit of elitism. Every club claims to have its own secret ingredient, which usually turns out to be horseradish. Drink yours at the Waterfront, and it comes with a secret sauce known as "salty dog." The surrounding crowd is what makes the beverage boon here. You never know who or what you'll see, but you'll feel like an old salt while slappin' back the big four-dollar red ones. (Wyatt Earp is even said to have drowned a few sorrows here. Who needs more validation than that?) The Waterfront claims to be San Diego's oldest tavern, with the first liquor license in town starting in 1933. Bloody Marys are served by all-female bartenders under the watchful eyes of tuna fishermen, forever framed along the walls. If you need a hangover to cure, visit the Waterfront the night before. A variety of bands play Wednesday through Sunday.

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