As much as the Scientists would like to think that our nocturnal experiments help educate San Antonians about where to stay hydrated, Time Lines Nightclub is pretty much critic-proof, for a couple of reasons. 1) There are so many blacklights in the place that whipping out a glowing-blue notepad is as conspicuous as waving around a lightsaber; and 2) the crowd that Time Lines is trying to attract would probably think all the blacklights are coooooool, and wouldn’t really give a shit what we think. (Whatever — just don’t wear all white or you’ll look like an irradiated Smurf).
First, some history: According to Dr. Hendrix, the rustic building known as Time Lines (as of press time*) used to be an outpost for the now-defunct Steak and Ale restaurant chain, before it eventually morphed into the (now-defunct) Coast Nightclub. This is notable, because Time Lines has seemingly opted to keep all of the previous tenants’ furniture and décor: Our probably-once-comfy (and now ratty) armchairs sat in the glow of a fake fireplace set into a fake adobe wall, and fake palm trees ring the dance floor like bedposts. “It’s like a beach house in New Mexico,” Dr. Sintes said. The neon, abstract carpet looked “stripped out of a Diversions from 1991,” observed Dr. Hendrix. “I feel like I should be playing Street Fighter II.” I don’t blame the carpet for not tying the room together, because I don’t think anything short of a time machine could do the job.
While the prices were right ($1 well drinks from 9 to 11 p.m.), the drinks varied wildly between strong, watery, and outright wrong. I asked for a vodka-soda, but was served a vodka-tonic; when I sent it back I got a vodka-tonic again. (Fun Science Fact #732: A vodka-tonic will glow blue under a blacklight, but a vodka-soda won’t.) At least I fared better than Dr. Gamboa, who was served “the worst michelada of all time,” which tasted like “Tabasco Sauce poured into a Tecate.” Yikes.
Not to be a total Debbie, but the only real upside to our night at Time Lines — besides a satisfying triple-shot of ’90s rapper Mase, and a genuinely pleasant waitress — was the knowledge that the bar is supposedly in transition again. We were assured that new owners would be doing some renovations and changing the name of the bar to “Some Beach.” Staff didn’t mention anything about replacing the chairs or remodeling the architect’s-nightmare interior, but they did talk up a ladies-only upstairs lounge (“Not a bad idea,” Dr. Skelton conceded), an outdoor sand pit (um, because when I go to a bar, I know I could always use more sand), and an outdoor Jacuzzi®). We have no idea how that last one’s going to work, and we don’t really intend to find out any time soon (hot-tub folliculitis is not a joke, people). •
*I was told that the Some Beach sign would be up last Friday, but Time Lines signage was still in place Sunday afternoon. Whether it’s called Time Lines or Some Beach (or Nuclear Smurf Beach), we suggest you keep driving.