Hermosa Beach Bars & Nightlife
Top Bars On The The Hermosa Pier, Hermosa Ave., & Live Music Venues
Hermosa Beach has not just fun bars but events like Fiesta Hermosa.
By Kevin Wilkerson, PubClub.com
Once a hangout for hippies, Harleys and hang-loosers, Hermosa Beach is now the mecca of the South Bay's social scene. All these spots are within walking distance with many are within sight distance.
There is one-block, pedestrian-only Pier Ave., possesses a plethora of places and, combined with more bars on Hermosa Ave., it's a party paradise, right at the beach. And here's another great thing: all these spots are within walking distance with many are within sight distance.
Hermosa Beach Pier Bars
Out in the South Bay: Beer a babe and a broad smile . Photo: Edward De La Torre.
Girls don't just WANT to have fun in Hermosa Beach, they HAVE fun at places like Sharkeez.
Sharkeez is Hermosa Beach's "go to" bar for friendly (and beautiful) patrons and an overall great time.
Because the places on the Pier were originally grocery stores, local bars or tiny t-shirt shops, they are small and lines form quickly, so if you want to go out on a weekend – and in Hermosa Beach the weekend starts on Thursdays – you had better be out by 10.
The Hermosa Beach bar scene is friendly, casual and fun.
The ever-popular Sharkeez is the king of this beach town. Locals called Sharkeez the "Black Hole" because they go in for one cocktail in the afternoon and wind up staying all night. People go in for lunch, a Happy Hour drink (pretty much everything is 2-for-1) daily menu specials – the food here is quite good and even borders on spectacular for this type of establishment – or just to get down and par-TY! It's good any day of the week, pretty much any time of any day of the week.
Wednesday nights are like club nights with happening music from DJs at Sharkeez.
Have you been on Wednesdays? This place turns into a thumping club with a DJ playing club tunes, people dancing everywhere and incredible drink specials (how does $2.50 Bud drafts sounds!?)
New to town? Sharkeez is the place with the big line. Sharkeez has also been selected as PubClub.com's Best Happy Hour Bar.
As good as it is, Sharkeez is hardly the only party place on the Pier. Start right next door, for example.
The bartenders get on the bar and pass out shots to cheering alumni during college football games.
Locals love to hang out and have beers at American Junkie, especially during its weekend Happy Hours.
There was always a huge line on Friday and Saturday nights at Sangria, so many questioned why revamp it? Well, it needed a little afternoon boost and got it. Re-branded as American Junkie, it was an instant hit and remains so, and having $3 beers – that's all beers, even Stella Artois – on Saturdays until 7 is a great way to earn quick admiration from locals.
There's now a big, full bar on the patio and nightly specials, such as goldfish racing on Wednesday. Check out the photo booth, too! The Happy Hour has now been extended on Fridays until 9 p.m., and it's also in effect during all Lakers, Clippers and Kings games.
Patrick Molloy's gets sexy.
This is after Happy Hour at Patrick Molloy's but people are still happy!
Patrick Molloy's is a clean Irish-ish pub that turns clubby on weekends with house music, lights and dancing. Daytime weekends are at a much more relaxed pace, especially on the patio when crowds gather for post-beach beers, cocktails, enticing appetizers and full lunches or dinners. A daily Happy Hour runs 3-8 with half-priced and food specials that go from $2.95-5.95.
Molloy's has plenty of plasmas, all-day Happy Hours on Mondays and hosts special events on a regular basis. And then it takes on a whole different personality at night.
The tiki hostess stand in front of Waterman's says it all: This is a Polynesian party palace. It has a bamboo bar, Hawaii's own Kona leading about 10 beers on draught, and a very "aloha" vibe that fits in with its surroundings the way surfboards fit in with the waves.
Waterman's is a beachy paradise at the Hermosa Beach Pier.
Waterman's is a beachy paradise. Sundays are particularly lively; there's a reggae band and a crowd of surfers and locals in shorts and sandals all hangin' very loose. It begins to rock on 4 on Sundays and goes until about 8.
Anyone still feeling the wave of pressure to stay out shold "surf" over to Sharkeez.
Hermosa Beach's best bartender, Juan (left), pops the top at Fenner's on the Pier.
Get a bird's eye view of the Pier action from Fat Face Fenner's Fishack. Its second-floor balcony provides the only elevated view of Pier Ave and a rustic back bar has live music on weekends. Thursdays are Karaoke Nights with $3 Bud Lights. The front bar has Juan, the Best Bartender in the South Bay. However, getting to Juan can be a challenge because the doormen, but locals should know to show their South Bay i.d., to get in with no problem.
The biggest patio is across Pier Plaza at Hennessey's Tavern, that also makes sitting inside on a sunny day not a bad thing with booths next to windows that open up to the Strand. It's also the only place (unfortunately) that has has an upstairs patio, tho it's small city rules dictate that people be seated to be served.
There's a two bars to mention. One is the Mermaid, a long-standing spot that's been spiffed up a bit and is very popular. There's nothing fancy about the place and most people just stand around the bar in conversation but frankly, with a place right on The Strand, what more do you need, right?
Another long-standing establishment is the Poop Deck. Directly on The Strand, this is a dirty dive. Actually, like the Mermaid, it's undergoing a bit of a change, too. Owned and opearated by the Uncorked wine shop people and called The Deck, it now has cleaner bathrooms, smaller fish in the tanks above the bar, several craft beers on tap and a wine list. It's the latter that is bringing a different type of crowd than its predecessor.
THE BARS ON HERMOSA AVE.
A hot bartender pours a Bud Light among the many taps at Game Changers.
There may be no life east of PCH as longtime locals like to joke, but there sure is plenty of it east of Hermosa Ave. In fact, this two-block area around the bend from the Pier has become a party playground.
Mickey McColigan's is, unlike Molloy's and Hennessey's, ia little more than just an Irish name. It's all wood decor, has a true "pub" feel to it and with big windows that open to the street there is good afternoon party potential. It serves no hard alcohol (beer, wine and champagne) and has only a few small TVs, so this is a place to have a few pints and enjoy conversation is a cozy, comfortable bar. It's on Hermosa Ave., at 8th Street, across from Barnacles.
And speaking of Barnacles, did you know it's the original locaiton of Fat Face Fenner's? It's a great locals' hangout with a crowd that swells like the outgoing and incoming tide. The good is good, the atmosphere relaxed and there is sometimes live acoutic music at night. It's also becoming the top hangout for Hermosa locals who are looking for someplace close to go that's not on the pier.
On the other side of Pier Ave., sits five bars, on eof which is the slick and sexy Establishment (formerly Blue 32). Crowds come in from Thursdays-weekends and anyone out on party patrol Tuesdays and Wednesdays won't be hurting for activity. It also has very, very good breakfasts.
While Establishment if for loungers and clubbers, the Underground Pub (the main entrance is actually behind Hermosa Ave., at 15th St.) is for pubbers. The Underground Pub is not underground as in an underground dance club, but underground as in the London subway system. This is actually two bars in one – a sports-themed pub with a pool table and plenty of plasmas one one side and a fun lounge lounge called the Chelsea Pub on the other.
The Underground is cozy but can get quite crowded on Fridays and Saturdays. Chelsea Pub, with "the twins" behind the bar. has large booths and couches with dancing to hip Euro-style music that's subtle enough to be able to carry on a conversation. Thursdays are "pint nights" at The Underground; buy a 22-ounce mug for a buck and then get a Bud or Bud Light for just $3 or a Stella for $4.
Walk between the two bars for the true pubs and club experience without leaving the building! With its trio of huge plasma TVs, great food and hearty breakfasts, this "combo club" is a good place to start or finish the day. Both places have a casual attitude; Chelsea has more of a club feel to it with the music and even dancing, but it's hardly a club.
That roar you hear is coming not any longer from The Shore, but a bar opened by promter Berry Bly called Studio Lounge. It's on Hermosa Ave., and it's a showcase for DJs.
And there's pool tables, more TVs than you can see and more taps of cold draft beer than anyplace in the South Bay at Game Changers. Half the place is a billiards lounge. Note we did not say "pool bar." There's a different.
Just behind all this, on Monterey and Pier, is an elegant new restaurant and bar (with a bit of funky feel; Fletcher Dragge of Pennywise did some of the wall painting), called Abigaile. It's a remodel of Union Cattle and there's no mechanical bull anymore. But the bar is bigger. If you want to cut lose a little more, then go upstairs where Ocean Club remains unchanged. The views from either of the two patios are among the best in Hermosa. Don't forget to check out its Happy Hour.
Farther north on Hermosa Ave. is a round building called The North End. This is fast becoming a hot hangout. Several people, tired of the downtown scene, are enjoying The North End's lack of lines, cheap drinks and super casual atmosphere. They are joined by neighborhood residents who want a few drinks but don't want to walk the extra blocks to downtown. Wednesdays feature $1 tacos.
HERMOSA BEACH LIVE MUSIC VENUES
The South Bay's nightlife was originated around its live music venues. Back in the 1960s, the The Lighthouse Cafe was known thrhought the world as one of the top jazz clubs in the country.
But then live muisc here began to starve. But now, it's made a comeback and has become a major player in LA's music scene. Pennywise is from Hermosa Beach and the lineup of live music venues is so extensive now that PubClub has created a separate article on places that feature bands.
HERMOSA BEACH BAR LOCATIONS ON LOWER PIER AVE (310)
• Sharkeez, 52 Pier Ave. (310) 374-7823.
• Fat Face Fenner's Fishhack, 53 Pier Ave., 379-5550
• Hennessey's, 8 Pier Ave., 372-5759
• Mermaid, 11 Pier Ave., 374-9344
• Patrick Molloy's, 50 Pier Ave., 798-9762
• The Deck (1272 The Strand), 376-3223
• American Junkie, 60 Pier Ave., 376-4412
• Watermans, 22 Pier Ave, 372-4482
– HERMOSA BEACH BAR LOCATONS ON HERMOSA AVE. –
• Game Changers, 1220 Hermosa Ave. 798-3932
• Underground Pub (entrance in alley) and Chelsea Lounge. 1332 Hermosa Ave. (Entrance in the alley), 318-3818
• Establishment, 1332 Hermosa Ave.
• Studio Lounge, 1320 Hermosa Ave. 376-0414
• Abigale/Ocean Bar., 1301 Manhattan Ave., 798-8227