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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Checking in on the Cricket

It didn't last long but it made its presence felt in downtown Burlingame more than 40 years ago. The Cricket, a bar featuring nude female employees, operated under rather heavy scrutiny until perplexed civic authorities found a way to shut the joint down. It had a brief lifespan, less than a year. The dive was a focus for the curious on Burlingame Avenue during a moment in Peninsula history when such prurient diversions were not unknown. Four miles south in San Mateo, in fact, a larger version, Easy Street, was in full swing. Unclothed female dancers writhed for customers until San Mateo officials put the final clamps on it. The Cricket's existence came up last weekend during a gathering at the Burlingame Public Library. The occasion was a trivia contest, part of a meeting of the Burlingame Historical Society. Most in attendance could not recall the little bar. But one man, a former Burlingame police officer, certainly did. As he put it, "We checked up on the place every hour." No sense missing a "performance."

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