New Gaslamp Haunt Offers Goth Elegance

San Diego’s newest, and arguably soon-to-be-notorious venue, Voyeur, puts a dark veil of unconventionality over the gaslamp. And in truth, no introduction could be more apropos for a bar/club which prides itself on being the proverbial black sheep amongst the flock of cookie-cutter downtown watering holes and haunts.

From the ground up, Voyeur screams goth elegant. Now, I haven’t a clue if such a style/decor even exists, but if it doesn’t, Voyeur officially birthed it during their soft opening in June.

A near life-size horse lamp (yes, horse lamp) fixes its gaze upon patrons as they enter what bears absolutely zero resemblance to its former self (Ole Madrid), but instead serves to conjure reminiscences of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion. Images of skulls and eerie Renaissance paintings decorate the walls, while a cornice adorned with gilded skulls encircles the main room above the bar/lounge area.

Behind the bar are television screens projecting live video feeds captured by a series of strategically-placed lipstick cams… And thus the name of the venue begins to materialize. Similar cameras surround the DJ booth.

“We got the concept off a Radiohead show, when Thom Yorke came to San Diego,” noted Johnny Shockey, Voyeur co-owner. “He had all of these lipstick cams around him, and we’re aiming for the same idea. It’s kind of like spying, and incorporating the whole voyeur concept.”

Head upstairs to the mezzanine, and another expansive bar awaits revelers beneath a trio of elegant chandeliers. Venture the opposite direction, across the shattered (a recent addition, according to Shockey, as he said he felt it “looked better that way”) plexiglass floor, past the oversized mirror and into what seems to be, for lack of a better phrase, a den of iniquity.

Read the rest of the article on and make sure to check out the new Voyeur on Fifth Avenue in Gaslamp.

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