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December 24, 2011

The old California Dream’n had their soft opening today and the bar now has a name. Goldstar Bar. I’ve been in touch with one of the owners, James England, for a while and he’s kept me in the loop. Thanks, James!

Tonight I stopped in for one of their specialty cocktails and one of my personal favorites, the Manhattan. Eight bucks for cocktails (with well, I imagine cheaper) and $4 for most beers. I failed to jot down their brews. What was I thinking?

I spoke with bartender and partner, Jason, and he said they still have a ton of liquor they’re waiting to get in and there’s a bunch of construction work they still want to finish. Overall though, Goldstar is a vast improvement over California Dream’n. The bar now feels as spacious as it actually is. The lecherous, cave vibe is gone, as is the jukebox that could turn the bar from sad & lonely country to 80s pop dance party at the drop of a quarter. Classic rock-ish tunes reverberate through Goldstar. It’s good to have a musical theme.

I’m happy to report the pool table is one piece that remained. I hope the bar is able to get some regular players in. When Hemlock dropped theirs, I never found another table in this area that had the same type of players. You know, the mix of good & bad, occasionally great. Never too serious. Never a cause for a bar brawl. Always a social scene.

I’m also happy to report the “Cable Car Bar” light wasn’t tossed. It’s now displayed in the bar on one of the top shelves. You can see it at the top right in one of the photos. Goldstar is making use of the security gate that California Dream’n never did, so it had to be taken off.

Goldstar’s grand opening will be sometime in late January and they’ll continue the soft opening ‘til then, opening around 9pm.

Time will tell what kind of bar this will be and the crowd that will call it home. I would love for this to be the new Barleycorn for the area, but I also know James & Jason will see much greater return on their investment if this place joins the Polk Street shitshow. A mix of both would be good.

At any rate, welcome to the neighborhood, Goldstar. Wishing you guys great, longstanding success!

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