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CLUBS in and around Orange County | O.C. ON THE TOWN

Not X-otic

Partially clad dancers, pool and spirits draw the baseball-hat-wearing set to Fuzzy Bear's.

January 08, 1998|MAX JACOBSON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

STANTON — What is it about adult bars that attracts a clientele composed predominately of men in T-shirts and baseball caps? I had time to ponder this and other existential questions when I visited Fuzzy Bear's on a recent weekday, just past noon.

Fuzzy Bear's is on a rather barren stretch of Katella Avenue. Painted on the facade is a bear smoking a cigar, looking very happy.

In theory, a bevy of beautiful women performs exotic dances beginning around noon clear through to 2 a.m.

Instead, I am treated to a bevy of beautiful women wiping off the mirrors. This housekeeping activity goes on for the better part of an hour, and I get a good whiff of the cleaning solution, used primarily to swab the gaudy tiled stage adjacent to the bar.

None of this deters our friends in the baseball caps. Four sit at the ready, just beyond a brass railing that separates them from the dancers. They are sipping from bottles of Miller High Life and other such succor--domestic beer is $3.25 a bottle or $6.25-$7.50 for a pitcher, a wine cooler or a glass of white zinfandel is around $4--and they look blissfully happy.

The four dancers on this shift--24 women work there in all, six per shift on Friday nights--perform in lingerie and bikinis but nothing more revealing. This is not a strip bar, just a place for good ol' boys to watch dancers.

It may be bright and sunny outdoors, but inside most of the light comes from bulbs ringing the stage or from neon beer signs.

There is also light around the dartboard, light from the video games and from the TV, where a golfer is hitting out of the rough on ESPN. Light from the pool room, with five tables at 75 cents per game, spills into the dancing area.

The bar sponsors six pool teams and hosts eight-ball leagues Mondays and Wednesdays, and a nine-ball league Thursdays.

When the dancing starts, it is to loud music from a jukebox, anything from Aerosmith to Blondie to "The Stripper," by David Rose.

The performances are fine, but common courtesy and the dictates of writing for a family newspaper preclude me from going further into detail. Let's just say they're adequate for this particular art form, but none of the dancers seem destined for American Ballet Theatre. As to what draws the men here, maybe it's not a question worthy of Sartre after all--Rocky Balboa could work this equation through.

Yet the images I'll take away from Fuzzy Bear's will be that of a dancer, clad in jeans, wiping off the brass pole on the stage or of another polishing a mirror as pool balls clatter in the background.

BE THERE

Fuzzy Bear's, 8595 Katella Ave., Stanton. (714) 826-8595. Noon-2 a.m. daily. No cover.

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