When I moved to Ocean Beach two years ago, a friend told me, "There's a stripper bar a few blocks down. I've never checked it out."
He was talking about Dream Street, and when I went to investigate, it did have a feel and look of a Midway District skin joint: dark, with the smell of bleach, and drunk girls hanging out in front. Bad heavy metal screamed from the inside.
On a recent Wednesday, I walked by the establishment at 2228 Bacon Street and noticed new awnings and open windows instead of a blank wall. A smiling female greeter checked IDs, and the interior was well lit.
"Took about a year," says Billy Savino, owner of Dream Street Live, "but it's a whole new place.... We have a new soundboard, new bar, new pool tables, new carpet, and windows. I spent a lot of money, but it was well worth it."
It was "Metal Lounge" night when I dropped in, but no music played. I had a beer and felt comfortable, as if I was in a Gaslamp Quarter bar and not a place where I might get into a fistfight.