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No need for a shiny shirt at JSix or LOUNGESix

JSix bartenders reach for the good stuff first, rather than the plastic jug.
JSix bartenders reach for the good stuff first, rather than the plastic jug.

If one bar is good, then two must be great, right? Drinking at JSix means getting to choose between the lofty heights of LOUNGESix or the street-level swank of the restaurant bar.

Located in the Solamar Hotel at Sixth and J Street downtown, both bars grant access to the haute mixology and executive wine lists of a top-quality nightlife spot. The real choice is scenery.

Downstairs, at the restaurant bar, the patronage is a mix of hotel guests, passersby, and diners on a wait. Anyone can stroll in, and the downtown location attracts a colorful mix of people. For example, this big guy who sat down at the bar and ordered a martini with four olives in it. He had a body that looked like Rocky Balboa should have been punching him in a meat locker somewhere and a stringy, Fabio haircut. Two thoroughly wasted girls in their early 20s joined him and had a drink before stumbling off into the night.

It’s hard to prevent the imagination from running wild with that scenario. But don’t let one creepy apple spoil the bunch; the clientele seemed otherwise wholesome.

Happy hour calls for $6 specialty cocktails and $6 bites from the bar menu, which offers mushroom-and-mascarpone ravioli, smoked lamb sausage, and a duck-and-endive salad.

Upstairs, at LOUNGESix, it’s rooftop drinks by the pool, with private cabanas available for parties that want a killer view and executive service. Seating upstairs is, well, lounge-like. Between chaises and padded benches, it’s easy to cozy up somewhere with an inspired cocktail and watch the moon pass overhead.

And those cocktails are fine. JSix is all about doing it the hard way. They infuse their own spirits and reach for the good stuff first rather than the cheap booze in the plastic jug. The chili-infused mango margarita was a firecracker of a beverage, while an Aviation, a purple-tinted mix of gin and crème de violette that evoked scenes of barnstorming and Prohibition, was entirely the opposite. Both drinks, however, didn’t skimp on the liquor.

  • Address: 616 J Street
  • Hours: Restaurant bar closes at 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday; otherwise at 11. The Lounge closes as the weather and season demand.
  • Happy: 4–7 p.m. at the downstairs bar only
  • Cover: zero dollars
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JSix bartenders reach for the good stuff first, rather than the plastic jug.
JSix bartenders reach for the good stuff first, rather than the plastic jug.

If one bar is good, then two must be great, right? Drinking at JSix means getting to choose between the lofty heights of LOUNGESix or the street-level swank of the restaurant bar.

Located in the Solamar Hotel at Sixth and J Street downtown, both bars grant access to the haute mixology and executive wine lists of a top-quality nightlife spot. The real choice is scenery.

Downstairs, at the restaurant bar, the patronage is a mix of hotel guests, passersby, and diners on a wait. Anyone can stroll in, and the downtown location attracts a colorful mix of people. For example, this big guy who sat down at the bar and ordered a martini with four olives in it. He had a body that looked like Rocky Balboa should have been punching him in a meat locker somewhere and a stringy, Fabio haircut. Two thoroughly wasted girls in their early 20s joined him and had a drink before stumbling off into the night.

It’s hard to prevent the imagination from running wild with that scenario. But don’t let one creepy apple spoil the bunch; the clientele seemed otherwise wholesome.

Happy hour calls for $6 specialty cocktails and $6 bites from the bar menu, which offers mushroom-and-mascarpone ravioli, smoked lamb sausage, and a duck-and-endive salad.

Upstairs, at LOUNGESix, it’s rooftop drinks by the pool, with private cabanas available for parties that want a killer view and executive service. Seating upstairs is, well, lounge-like. Between chaises and padded benches, it’s easy to cozy up somewhere with an inspired cocktail and watch the moon pass overhead.

And those cocktails are fine. JSix is all about doing it the hard way. They infuse their own spirits and reach for the good stuff first rather than the cheap booze in the plastic jug. The chili-infused mango margarita was a firecracker of a beverage, while an Aviation, a purple-tinted mix of gin and crème de violette that evoked scenes of barnstorming and Prohibition, was entirely the opposite. Both drinks, however, didn’t skimp on the liquor.

  • Address: 616 J Street
  • Hours: Restaurant bar closes at 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday; otherwise at 11. The Lounge closes as the weather and season demand.
  • Happy: 4–7 p.m. at the downstairs bar only
  • Cover: zero dollars
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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