That’s Moe Like It


By Michael Benninger
Photos by Kristina Yamamoto

Although she’s officially off the market, bartender manager/co-owner Moe Girton continues to rule the roost at Gossip Grill, San Diego’s hottest hen house. Between mixing cocktails, overseeing the comfort food emanating from one of Hillcrest’s most popular kitchens and making sure her clientele isn’t overrun by dudebros, the SoCal native gossips with PacificSD about three “L” words: life, love and Lady Gaga.

What’s Moe short for? Does anyone still call you by your given name?
HoMoe. No, I have been going by Moe since fourth grade and have zero attachment to my birth name. My mother calls me by my birth name, followed by correcting herself to Moe. I don’t mind. She is way more attached to it than I ever was.

Word on the street is that you recently got hitched. Who’d you marry, and how’s married life treating you?
I did! I finally found someone that matches me on so many levels. Her name is Dawn, and she makes me smile everyday.

How does Dawn feel about being married to the manager of San Diego’s most happening lesbian bar?
She is proud and very tolerant, not to mention she loves the gossip. No pun intended.

Describe Gossip Grill’s clientele.
Gossip is a women’s bar, but we play nice with everyone as long as they are respectful to the fact that this is a safe space for women.

A recent reviewer on Yelp said Gossip Grill is “Much better than a c*ckfest for a Saturday night out in Hillcrest.” How does such a heartwarming comment make you feel?
What can I say? We know how to have a good time. There is always a fun energy at Gossip.

If there were a Man vs. Food-style challenge at Gossip Grill, what would be in it?
Well, being a ladies bar, our plates tend to be more on the delicate-portion size. However, we do have a bloody Mary called the Walk Of Shame, which consists of our Bloody Bitch served with a piece of bacon, a skewer full of a variety of meats and cheeses, and a cheeseburger slider. Comes with a twenty-four-ounce PBR Tallboy and a double-shot of Jack Daniels. Good times.

What was the deal with your recent Pants-Off party?
Didn’t you ever want to go to the club and dance in your undies? Well, we gave our customers a chance to do just that. Check your pants at the door and dance in your favorite panties, manties or boxers. It was very freeing, and a bit chilly, to bartend in just my undies.

Many bars have at least one mildly offensive nickname that its regulars call it. What are some favorite nicknames you’ve heard for Gossip Grill?
G Spot is very common, but my favorite name, though not offensive, is Home.

What’s your most obscure talent?
I was a kickass swim coach for many years... and with a Mohawk. The kids loved it.

F*ck/Marry/Kill: Taylor Swift, Jennifer Lawrence, Lady Gaga.
Easy. Ok, I would kill off T. Swift. Not a fan... sorry. Sleep with Lady Gaga - duh, have you heard “Poker Face”? Marry Jennifer Lawrence. She is hilarious and likes a good practical joke, not to mention she’s hot!

Gossip Grill
1220 University Ave., Hillcrest