Gossiping with Moe
Understanding the vision of Moe Girton: Manager and Bartender at Gossip Grill
Published Thursday, 16-Sep-2010 in issue 1186
Moe Girton is one of San Diego’s favorite bartenders and is now also manager at Gossip Grill. She and her staff have worked hard to create a place that lesbians and just about everyone else love to go. They have some of the fairest drinks prices in town along with a friendly staff of very diverse girls and guys. Moe and Gossip have given San Diego lesbians a place again, that was much needed. After the closing of other lesbian bars there was a dry spell in San Diego. For a lot of lesbians a gay bar holding a lesbian night could not replace a real seven days a week place that was lesbian oriented. Thankfully that has all changed and Gossip Grill along with Moe have paved the way for a place for lesbians and their friends to go have a drink, socialize, have fun and feel comfortable. It also serves as a place that lesbians can call their own. The staff rocks, the food is great and diverse and the drinks are priced to sell. It only makes sense that when Gossip was thought of that Moe would be the manager and she has done an amazing job.
GLT: How did your nickname come about?
MG: Which one? Ha ha! I have a ton. Actually, I have been going by Moe since elementary school. It fits me and it is easy to remember.
GLT: How long have you been bartending in the San Diego bar scene?
MG: I have been bartending for 10 years.
GLT: What is your favorite drink to make and why?
MG: For me, it’s not about the drink itself, it’s about the experience I can give my customers while making their drink. Whether it is doing a domino effect with 25 shot glasses or pouring a martini on my forehead. That’s my favorite!
GLT: Do you ride a motorcycle, if so what kind?
MG: I do. Right now, I’m riding a VTX 1800. I just got back from a 2400 mile road trip to Oregon on her. It was beautiful and relaxing.
GLT: Every bartender has had at least one really weird thing happen when they were on their shift. What was the oddest thing that has happened to you?
MG: We once had to eighty six someone because they couldn’t stop trimming our ivy and plants. It was killing everything and causing noise problems. Now that is odd. I still think he sneaks in a little gardening time in the middle of the night.
GLT: That is very odd and funny!
GLT: In your opinion what makes a good bartender different from an amazing bartender?
MG: I think a good bartender might make a good drink and have a good smile, but an amazing bartender creates a memorable experience. They are 100% present with their customer and are able to connect with them and make them feel like they are the most important person there.
GLT: Do you like bartending or managing more?
MG: I enjoy doing both. Bartending is easy and second nature to me. Managing offers a variety of challenges and opportunities for growth. I love being able to mentor and coach our staff and watch them grow, but I could do without all the paperwork. That is where bartending comes in. I look forward to getting behind that bar and having a hoot of a time with my customers and staff. It’s a beautiful balance that I fully embrace.
GLT: Are you single or in a relationship?
MG: Can I plead the 5th? No, I am single.
GLT: Do you consider yourself an activist?
MG: I wouldn’t say I am an activist, but I would say I’m a huge supporter of activism. Politics is not the best topic of conversation at the bar and I try to steer clear of it when I am at work, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to have a friendly debate now and then.
GLT: When you are not at work, where would you most likely be?
MG: When I get a little free time, I like to spend it with my close friends and go out to a nice quiet wine bar or try out new restaurants in the area. Usually I can be found just about every day at the dog park, or dog beach with my best buddy Frank. He is my 1 1/2 yr lab/shepherd mix.
GLT: What is your favorite tattoo you have and why?
MG: Well, I only have 2, for now. My favorite is my chest tattoo. It represents my happy space. It reminds me to be open and free.
GLT: How was Gossip Grill started and by who?
GG/MG: While I was working at Baja Betty’s, Chris Shaw and Stefan Chilcote approached me about opening a women’s bar. Of course I accepted and started writing down names and coming up with a concept that I would like to see in our community. Stefan and I with the help and support of Chris, Matt, and Joe from Urban Mo’s hammered out the details and decor. Our fabulous staff has really made Gossip what it is.
GLT: Was the idea for it to be a place that girls would feel their own, or did that just kind of happen?
GG/MG: Yes, it was always intended to be a home base for women and somewhere for them all to call home and feel comfortable. We are open to everybody and everything, but we cater to a female clientele. Even the drink and food menus are geared to get a giggle out of the ladies.
GLT: Is it true that you guys have the best drink prices in town?
GG/MG: Hah! I think so. Our happy hour is hands down the best in town. Where else can you get two ‘Big Mama’ Draft Beers for $5.
GLT: What is Gossip Grills mission and what can people expect from Gossip Grill?
GG/MG: Our mission is to provide a safe, fun space for women to call home. I really aim to create and maintain a space for everybody to feel comfortable being themselves. There is nothing to prove here. We are just one big gay family that gets together every night and shares some good stories and some good laughs over dinner and drinks. I think we can expect Gossip Grill to maintain our ‘home away from home’ feel. I am excited for Gossip to be a staple in our community. We love this community and look forward to growing with our extended family.
GLT: What is the most popular dish on the menu?
GG/MG: It such a toss up. The Mac and Cheese is always a top pick for an appetizer. As far as dishes go, I would have to say it’s between the Chicken Panini and the Garlic Shrimp Flatbread. My favorite though is the Flaming Cowgirl...Yum!
GLT: What sets Gossip apart from any other GLBT bar or lesbian night in San Diego?
GG/MG: Gossip Grill provides something totally different from other women’s nights. We are the only restaurant that caters to the ladies and we provide an experience from the moment you walk in our doors to the moment you leave. There is something special about GG. Whether it’s the amazing energy, the incredibly friendly staff or the extraordinary experience you will have, Gossip Grill truly has a heartbeat of its own.
GLT: Is it safe to call Gossip a lesbian bar that attracts everyone else under the rainbow?
GG/MG: When I opened Gossip, I really wanted to stay away from labels. I really liked the concept of having a label free, gender free bar and grill that caters to women. I wanted to create a space that both male and female, gay and straight will feel comfortable coming to, but also provide the ladies with a place of their own, a place to call home. I think we have accomplished that.
GLT: What has been the funniest thing that has happened to the staff since it has opened?
GG/MG: OMG that is a hard one. We are all practical jokesters around here and are always trying to punk someone whether it’s a customer or staff. We laugh non stop around here. I think the best was when a couple of my staff decided to punk me. Amanda and Redfern decided to fake a seizure. They researched it on the web and Redfern was able to “foam at the mouth” using Alka Seltzer. Amanda called me to the back in a panic. I walked in to see Redfern foaming at the mouth and shaking. I totally fell for it, panicked and yelled at Amanda to call 911. I used to work as an EMT and went right back into EMT mode. Redfern couldn’t hold it and started laughing, spitting foam all over the place. Though I almost had a heart attack, I was proud of them for finally being able to get me!
GLT: What has been the most trying thing that has happened to the staff since it opened?
GG/MG: I would have to say Mother Nature. When we opened, it just happened to be the wettest year in 70 years. Opening a restaurant that is partly outside with not a lot of coverage was a constant challenge, but we got creative, embraced it and made it work. We handed out ponchos, consistently moved tables and chairs around to accommodate our guests and even brought in a fire pit and cooked smores in the middle of a downpour. It turned out fine and ended up not affecting us.
GLT: How do the drink tokens work at Gossip?
GG/MG: It is a different take on Buy one, Get one. Instead of carrying around two drinks with one getting warm while you drink the other, the tokens offer you a choice. They offer the option of ordering when you are ready, giving it to your friend or saving it for another time. We have a number of customers that save them for “a rainy day”. They will come in with a handful of chips and drink for free that day. Others have told me that their night stand has been overrun by tokens. I love the idea of waking up to find your GG tokens next to your bed and remembering how much fun you had last night and then have a fabulous excuse to come back in and use your tokens.
GLT: Are there any new upcoming events?
GG/MG: Our one year anniversary party will be on Tuesday, October 5th. I can’t believe it’s been a year already!
GLT: If you had to sum up Gossip Grill in five words what would they be?
GG/MG: Fun, energetic, an experience, friendly and...HOME.
Gossip Grill Nightly Specials
Monday: SIN (service industry night) 50% off drinks with valid industry pay stub
Tuesday: Two Finger Tuesdays. $2 shot specials all night
Wednesday: Hump day Happy hour. Happy hour from 2:00 p.m. - close
Thursday: Jugz n’ Mugz. Drafts specials starting at $2.50. Repent Happy hour from 7:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m. $3 repent shots
Friday: Fish Fry Friday. Fish fry $12, add Fish Eye wine for $3
Saturday: Slurpy Saturday. $4 big girl slurpys
Sunday: Sunday school with DJ Lauren from 2:00 p.m.-7;00 p.m.. Happy hour (2:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.) then 6 pk of Bud Light for $6 (7:00 p.m.- close)
Weekend Brunch from 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m. Heavy Flow Champagne / Mimosas for $9.50. Brunch menu
Happy Hour 7 days a week from 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
$5.99 Lunch specials from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Thank you Gossip and Moe, along with all the staff for providing somewhere where all the girls can go and have fun and call home! The best of luck to you all from The Gay & Lesbian Times.