Bringentine, Jimmy O’s & Bully’s Are Good For Post-Race Drinks And En Fuego Is On Fire
It was a few hours after Del Mar Opening Day and I was showing a friend around to the bars to continue our partying when we walked into En Fuego in downtown Del Mar about a mile from the track.
From street level it doesn’t look like much so my friend initially was not all that excited at my choice.
But then I walked her down the steps leading to the courtyard below and it hit her like winning a 30-1 long shot. The courtyard was packed with people drinking and partying, a DJ was playing fun music and a bagpipe band came marching down the stairs.
“OH,!” she exclaimed. “Game ON!!!!
Suddenly, she realized what I ready knew, and that is while Del Mar Opening Day is a party unto itself, it’s only part of a full day and night of singles socializing that makes this one of the top summertime events on the USA’s West Coast.
En Fuego was actually our second bar of the night. It started at Bringentine, a short but interesting walk from the track. This restaurant and bar is lively and has good margaritas served in shakers. The staff is friendly (and attractive!) and it’s a good place to keep the momentum going from the day at the track.
I like to find a place to sit or lean on the outside railing and I never fail to find myself in a good conversation. Almost as a bonus, Bringentine is a good place to get a couple of its delicious fish tacos and refuel for later.
From there it’s onto En Fuego and this is a madhouse. A fun madhouse, mind you! Be patient to get a drink at the bar and then just join the party.
If you need to catch your breath after being swept up in the frenzy that is En Fuego, then step next door into Bully’s. This is a traditional dive-ish bar that gets a bit of a spillover crowd from En Fuego.
Just around the corner, on 15th Street, is Jimmy O’s. It’s a bar with a nightlife/club scene and I seem to recall at least a $10 cover charge. I certainly remember a line going down the street for half a block. Personally, I prefer En Fuego scene to this one, but I’ve had some good times in there after Opening Day, too.
I’ll put it this way: it’s certainly worth a peek, like a jockey taking a look at running along the inside rail.
Across the street, you can check out to see if any high rollers – or girls in high heels! – are staggering out of the expensive party at the L’Auberge hotel.