New gay sports bar Hi Tops scores. Plus: Moodymann, Tin Man, more nightlife
SUPER EGO If, by some miracle, I manage to make it through this entire column about a new gay sports bar in the Castro without dropping a single awful double entendre, then I totally deserve a Stanley cup, a Heisman trophy, and a Super Bowl ring. IMPOSSIBLE! Why does everything jocky sound so dirty when you sprinkle a little fairy dust on it?
"Well, our barbacks will be wearing jockstraps pretty frequently," Jesse Woodward told me of new venture Hi Tops (2247 Market, SF. www.hitopssf.com), set to launch with a big free shindig Sat/1, 6pm-2am.* Woodward, who's opening Hi Tops with former QBar manager Dana Gleim and Matt Kajiwara, knows the value of a good double-wordplay: "Cold pitchers, hot catchers" is his bar's motto, and a handmade Buster Posey dreamcatcher recently adorned its Facebook page.
But other than a few ironic touches ("No, we won't be playing that Huey Lewis Sports album," the painfully lithe and hip Woodward assures me), Hi Tops will be all about the gayme: 15 screens, including a video wall and hanging Jumbotron configuration will pump out local tourneys, while the kitchen, headed by former Top Chef contestant Jamie Lauren, turns out gourmet takes on "stadium food," including warm pretzels, chicken wings, beef-bacon burgers, Cobb salads, and pork chops on a stick.
"The pork chop on a stick is a pork chop we put on a stick," Woodward clarifies.
No worries about this being an overcompensative no fats no femmes dude-bro move: Woodward, who's no stranger to underground alternaqueer dancefloors, merely wants to complement SF nightlife with some unique flavor. "What inspired me to do this was the lack of any place to go with my teammates after a basketball game where we could hang out and talk, but not have to shout over music. I also think that, looking at the Castro, the neighborhood could use something like this to make it exciting. A lot of bars offering something different have closed, and the scene here has become really one note." Yes, Jesse, and that one note is Rihanna shrieking at us through her tiny, alien nose.
Hi Tops takes the place of fuschia-tinted hetero barf puddle Lime, where I used to go through purses. Anything would be an improvement, but a totally gay (and lesbian!) sports bar that plans to sponsor local queer teams and host fundraisers sounds pretty neato. Plus, barbacks in jockstraps hello. This place will totally be my new Hooters.
I haven't always fallen for his post-modern, Scion-sponsored Blaxploitation schtick — skinny white DJs in Europe still think it buys them instant street cred to sample him; annoyingly they're often right. But Kenny Dixon Jr., known to the world as the mercurial Moodymann, sure knows how to pump out the classics, foretelling the current wave of re-edit mania by about a decade and representing the Detroit house scene with a soulful flair for experiment and a thrilling rage against the obstacles that still stand in the way of international recognition for many African American dance music artists. He's a talker on the decks and often anarchic: last time he was here, he got bounced from his own party. Buckle up and work it out, finally some danger. With UK deep techno martialist Untold and the Icee Hot crew.
Fri/30, 9:30pm-late, $20 advance. Public Works, 161 Erie, SF. www.publicsf.com