Stop worrying about the unknowns and find a music adventure in Tijuana. Pepe (Bostich + Fussible) compares Tijuana to an oscillator. “It has its highs and lows,” he says.
The bordertown's economy was hit hard, and the days of the one tequila, two tequila, three floor of Avenida Revolución clubbing days ended. But, with this loss came a new nightlife, populated by locals instead of drunk tourists.
In a recent SoundDiego segment, Pepe talked about post-9/11 Tijuana nightlife and said he's happy to see the new breweries popping up featuring great live music. His personal recommendation: La Mezcalera, where he celebrated his recent birthday.
Music. Community. Culture.
We spoke with some of Tijuana's finest musicians to find out their picks for Tijiana's hottest spots.
Where It's At: Calle Sexta
“For about four years or so [Sexta] has become the It place for party, music and good life. Either for an intimate concert at El Lugar del Nopal [or a] bigger concert at Black Box. Also bars like La Mezcalera and El Dandy del Sur, where you can listen to indie, electronic or alternative music from local DJs or established DJs in all styles of music.” - Madame Ur – cabaret jazz chanteuse
Grow Some Hair
“Moustache Bar has been establishing itself as the 'hot spot.' By far, my favorite bar. Best memory: Local band Ibi Ego, reunited after a year-long hiatus. The band had people attending the event from L.A. and Tijuana. They had the crowd pushing, shoving and singing along to their songs.” - Marty Preciado – All My Friends Music Festival
La Mezcalera: The O.G. of Calle Sexta
“My fave venue in Tijuana has been Mezcalera because maybe I have a personal attachment to it plus it was the first venue where we debuted. Thanks to Sergio Gonzalez and Cesar Fernandez for opening La Mezcalera because, if it wasn't for them and their vision, who knows what kind of support the music scene would have gotten. If it wasn't for Mezcalera opening, a lot of the venues and bars would have never opened and jump on the band wagon.” - Astronauta Jackson, vox Dancing Strangers
Don't Judge A Book By Its Cover
“My favorite venues I have seen shows and performed at have been Dragon Rojo and La Terraza Bar. Those two venues in spite of the crappy PA systems and less-than-adequate stages for bands have had some of the most awesome shows the city has seen in a long time. You're talking about drunken, sweaty mess of shows that could only happen in Tijuana. Where else do you have prostitutes standing outside the venue you are about to perform at?” - Ricky Soltero -vox, Electric Healing Sound
Not Your Usual Cafecito
“I don’t find La Sexta – the famous street full of bars in downtown – very appealing. I like to hang out more in quiet places like Tea Tycoon, a Korean tea shop off Boulevard Agua Caliente. Great tea, snacks and amazing K-Pop all day long.” - Dani Shivers - Goth-pop Casio princess
Downtown After Hours
“Chip's is a pretty cool dive bar. It stays open until 5-6 a.m. and you see a weird/cool mixture of people, hipsters, punks and metal heads. Along with the regulars, old guys and women.” -Eric Curiel, Tijuana's go-to producer (Electric Healing Sound, Dancing Strangers, Shantelle)
Where My Ladies At?
“In 2011, Pek Pek (female Tijuana DJ-duo) and myself started to do a monthly night-party called GRRRL Nite. On this night we invite females from the city to play their favorite women empowerment music. You’ll listen from Bikini Kill to Destiny's Child and M.I.A. GRRRL Nite was born from a need to have safe spaces for women to convene through music – to create a community of empowerment. GRRRL Nite is celebrated once a month in a different bar throughout downtown Tijuana.” Marty Preciado – All My Friends Music Festival
Watch Dancing Strangers "Politician" filmed at La Mezcalera, Tijuana.
Dita Quiñones is a multimedia journalist with a passion for Latin alternative and hip-hop music news. In addition to SoundDiego, she contributes to Latina, FOX News Latino, Poder and HipHopDx. She is also the founder of the infamous music and politrix blog GN$F! Follow Dita on Twitter.