Moustache has always struck me as a Tijuana twist on North Park’s Bar Pink. Both are surefire spots to run into familiar faces most nights of the week and catch (often) free live music from touring and local acts. Both are located smack in the middle of their city’s happening nightlife district (in Moustache’s case, it’s the particularly energetic Sexta block of Revolución). Both sling cheap drinks to a crowd of primarily 20-somethings amid murals styled after 1930s cartoons. And while it’s true that analogies decide nothing, they can, as Sigmund Freud suggested, make one feel more at home.
And that’s what I love about this place: it feels like home. Everything from the art by local street prowlers Ruin and Panca to the daring whirlwind of a shots menu to the open-air stage that looks like something out of an Eastern European industrial ghetto harkens to my latent hipster sensibilities, which relish in the architectural brashness of the place while also nodding in approval at their consistently tasteful lineups. I’m talking Matthewdavid, the Rapture, Nortec Collective, Japanther, Moving Units, Los Macuanos, Mono/poly, Dorotheo, Retox, La Femme...the list goes on. Even Macaulay Culkin’s half-baked Velvet Underground knockoff band, the Pizza Underground, made a tour stop at Moustache — for a third of the cover charged in North Park the night before.
The drink de rigueur is a big-ass cup of Modelo, but for a more hometown feel, grab a tall can of Modern Times for four bucks. A marvel all its own, the shots list touts about 40 elixirs with names like Ringo Starr, Chaplin, Jack Sparrow, and Dalí — all of which are liable to contain an equally eclectic collision of spirits that would bring a tear to any mixologist’s eye. Brandy, scotch, and gin? No problem. Tequila, tobasco, and tajin? Ni pedo.
Neighboring venue and art space, 1250 (formerly Otras Obras), is a collaboration of Moustache’s owners (the same folks behind IndieGo in the now-abandoned Callejón de la Sexta) and Todd P., an all ages venue organizer living in Brooklyn. Curated by a collective of San Diego and Tijuana residents, 1250 hosts installations, workshops, multi-genre music, and film screenings such as the January 10 showing of “It’s Gonna Blow: San Diego’s Music Underground 1986–1996” with live performances from Octagrape and Innerds.
- Prices: shots, 35 pesos; Modelo tall cup, 40 pesos; Modern Times, 55 pesos
- Attire: high-waisted shorts and a Mexican fashion tee
- Hours: 5ish to 2 weekends and many weekdays
- Capacity: About 250
- Food: Killer street tacos one block north (look for the ladies in matching hats)
- Cash only