Walter Mencken 2:37 p.m., March 1
Dragon Rojo roars no more
Landmark Tijuana cantina closes doors in Zona Norte.
Historic Tijuana cantina Dragon Rojo closes its mural-incrusted doors on Monday, September 30.
Originally opened in 1977, The Red Dragon is located just west of the tacky arch/clock monument on Revolucion, where the jubilant abandon of Plaza Santa Cecilia gives way to Zona Norte’s brooding streetwalkers and seedy vice hawkers in a stretch of Tijuana that looks like Biff Tannen’s decadent, scum-centric alternate 1984.
The bar made a cameo in Cheech Marin’s 1987 film Born in East L.A.:
And, nearly two decades later, in this music video from run-of-the-mill U.K. poppers The Kooks:
Dragon Rojo was rumored to be a rough-and-tumble red light dive in its earlier days, but, following a remodel five years ago, reinvented itself as a low-key drinking hole by day and rocking venue by night.
Though, music was always part of the draw at this First Street lounge, where big names such as Caifanes, Café Tacvba, and Molotov made appearances in the ‘90s.
More recently, the Dragon Rojo has become a weekend haven for Tijuana acts such as The Electric Healing Sound and Sonidero Travesura.
Farewell festivities on Monday, September 30 with DJ Medusa and Sonidero Travesura - free.
Rest in peace, mighty dragon.
More like this:
- Tolerating Zona Norte — Oct. 15, 2013
- Enigmatic Party: sights and sounds of Baja in the Barrio — Sept. 21, 2013
- Groovy nightlife in Tijuana — Aug. 7, 2013
- Divine Skin in Tijuana — Dec. 6, 2012
- The Electric Healing Sound's Debut Video - "Tangled Up" — May 8, 2012