East County Nightlife: Ballad of the Near-Procrastinator

Your Patch guide to East County nightlife, Dec. 15-18.

Next to , all signs point to this weekend being the busiest for holiday shoppers, specifically those who were sane enough to stay home the weekend after , but not serious enough procrastinators to wait until Christmas Eve to finally hit the mall.

These are the shoppers who waited out the last few weekends, thinking they had plenty of time to get around to that gift list, but suddenly realized in the last few days that even though Christmas is still over a week away, this is the last full weekend left to shop.

Panicked, these will be the shoppers surging with the strongest road rage in the mall parking lots, the shoppers with the least patience in long check-out lines, and the shoppers who will angrily offer you $50 for the last $20 hot toy of the year. If you encounter these shoppers this weekend, keep in mind: They’re not mad at you, they’re mad at how close they came to being out of luck come Dec. 25.

So to help spread some holiday cheer (and perhaps prevent a fender bender or two), suggest to these frantic folks some of the nightlife options offered in East County this weekend. Because nothing relieves like a cold beer and an ’80s has-been shaking his middle-aged thang.


Where/when: , 70 Town Center Parkway, Santee, 8 p.m. Thursday.

Why Go: Peanut butter and jelly, cheese and crackers, spaghetti and meatballs—some things are just fated to be together. Can beer and meaningless facts live up to the greats? How about if we throw in a bonus of nachos? Try it out for yourself at Landre’s weekly trivia night this Thursday.

Price: Free.

Where/when: , 9628 Carlton Hills Blvd., Santee, 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Why Go: Too talented for karaoke? Not talented enough for the roaming bands of carolers that crop up this time of the year? Then take your favorite holiday songs where they’ll be appreciated, at Frubble’s weekly open mic night (extra credit if you go a cappella).

Price: Free. 



Where/when: La Mesa, 5500 Grossmont Center Dr., La Mesa, 9 p.m. Friday.

Why Go: The holidays are probably a bit harsher on the Emerald Isle—temperatures are supposed to reach a high of 37 degrees this weekend—so why not celebrate our blessed lack of real winter weather with a pint at Hooleys while West of 5 plays your favorite covers?

Price: Free.


Where/when: Viejas V Lounge, 5000 Willows Rd., Alpine, 8 p.m. to midnight Friday.

Why Go: Contrary to what their band name might suggest, Undercover is not a group of sexy spies working undercover as a cover band (at least they won’t admit as much). So even though you won’t hear subliminal state secrets shared in their Top 40, rock, soul and funk selections, at least you can get your shimmy on proper.

Price: Free.



Where/when: Sycuan Casino Showcase Theatre, 5469 Casino Way, El Cajon, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

Why Go: Anyone who loves watching I Love the ’80s shows is practically mandated to attend Sycuan’s Jingle Bell Rock concert, featuring ’80s stalwarts Eddie Money, Lou Gramm of Foreigner and Mickey Thomas of Starship.

Price: $45-$55.


Where/when: , 8278 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa, 7 p.m. Saturday.

Why Go: Sometimes artists use unusual metaphors to describe their sound to those who’ve never heard it before, something beyond the vague “folk” or “pop” monikers. In Melanie Devaney’s case, she likens her music to “an organic picnic in a city park.” So…fresh and outdoorsy? Clean and crowded? Expensive and underfunded? You be the judge at Cosmos Café’s acoustic music night.

Price: Free.


Where/when: Kumeyaay Campground, , San Diego, 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday.

Why Go: With recent news that physicists might have found the “God particle,” it’s a fitting time to reflect on how miniscule we are in the grand scheme of the universe. Join resident stargazer George Varga in wondering what’s out there amongst the stars, without that pesky moonlight drowning out your view.

Price: Free.



Where/when: Roadhouse Saloon & Grille, 8861 Magnolia Ave., Santee, 5 p.m. Sunday.

Why Go: Anyone wondering if Marge Simpson’s towering do could exist in the real world should check out “San Diego’s Blues Queen” Sue Palmer—her beehive will give that cartoon broad a run for her money.

Price: Free.


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