The Bobkin in Santa Ana Is a Great Place to Suck Face

Taylor Hamby
[Editor's Note: We all know local music and dive bars go hand-in-hand. So in the interest of merging the two together on Heard Mentality, we bring you our weekly nightlife column Dive, Dive, My Darling. Read as our bold web editor, Taylor "Hellcat" Hamby, stumbles into the dive bar scene every week to find crazy stories, meet random weirdos and guzzle good booze.]

A girl in a tube top and heavy makeup perched atop her boyfriend at the Bobkin in SanTana as he sat on a barstool to my left. They were ferociously sucking face. I sat there, beer in hand, remembering Jerry Seinfeld's adage about staring at cleavage. And who was this other woman in a red blouse who just sat next to them as they went at it?

We were in the industrial section of the town, in a pool hall that used to entertain working-class white men but is now exclusively Mexican. And the other patrons (myself included) were certainly not as passionate as the couple. Four of them quietly skirted around one of the many billiards tables; the bartender and a middle-aged man played cards; and my guy and I sat with matching Pacificos, soaking it all in. At the opposite end of the very long bar from where the lovers went at it was a lone, young blond woman in a black turtleneck, clutching a cocktail.

"Abusamos del Alcohol" by El Komander played on the Internet jukebox, and all four behind-the-bar TVs were tuned to a post-fútbol match gabfest on Univisión. The long, spacious room was lit only by several Bud Light lamps hanging over the pool tables and the TVs. The floor--tiled in green, red and white, the colors of the Mexican flag--would make a perfect dance floor if it weren't covered with dozens and dozens of unoccupied tables and chairs. Corona flags lined the ceiling, and Corona posters dominated the lengthy walls. The bar doesn't have beers on tap, but rather a decent selection of Mexican and classic American beers. And while it features a full bar, don't expect any craft spirits at the Bobkin: tequila and whiskey rule, with most of the hombres sticking by their Patrón, Chivas and bukanas on the top shelf.

I wish I could write about how crazy it was being in a Mexi bar as a white girl, but it was hardly any different from being at any of the other neighborhood bars I've covered. Yeah, we got a few looks from the customers, but that happens when you go into any dive and you're not a regular. I did start ordering in gabacho Spanish--"Dos Pacificos, por favor"--but the bartender, a woman in a nice black-and-white-striped blazer, didn't have time for ESL. "Do you want salt and lime?" she responded. Sure. . . .

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