Sports Bars, Particularly in Hermosa and Manhattan Beach, Are Feeling The Rush From Stanley Cup Excitement
Something’s happening in Los Angeles.
There’s a wave rolling in, and it’s not the surf in El Porto.
It’s a wave of emotion, something not felt for 19 years.
It’s the LA Kings and the Stanley Cup Final.
Back in 1993, the Kings were king for a day (well, actually a few days, up until Marty McSorley’s crooked stick threw a curve into everyone’s celebration plans). And now, the Kings are back, except they are on Lord Stanley’s doorstep. They have knocked on the door and are just waiting for him to answer.
And Los Angeles sports fans are behind the Kings.
This is particularly prevalent in the South Bay Beach Cities, where 23 of the 24 players live (what’s up with the 24th guy!?) The players hang out on a regular basis at the North End, a round dive of a bar on the Hermosa Beach-Manhattan Beach border, and all season this has served as the prime Kings bar. For the dozen or so people that actually watched Kings games during the rest of the season, anyway. Cheers to them for being there from the beginning.
But the North End – so crowded now for games there’s a line to get into it – hardly the only place people are watching the Kings. As the team wins, more people are rolling into the bars.
They are filling up Sharkeez, Shellback Tavern and Shark’s Cove in Manhattan Beach, where on Saturday there was so much joy after the Kings won Game 2 in overtime, you would have thought the Lakers just won the NBA championship (I was in there the last time that happened and this was slightly more exciting. Fans expect the Lakes to win and the Kings, well long-time fans are still somewhat in disbelief and are celebrating with bottled-up enthusiasm.)
And that’s another thing that’s making this all the more exciting for LA sports fans: The Lakers. Their back-to-back playoff exits the past two years, and the childish behavior of some of the players, have fans hiding their Laker car flags.
The Kings, on the other hand, have remained humble. There’s no hot-dogging on the ice, no individual play, no “I’m not getting the ball (or puck in this case) enough” quotes from them after games.
In short, they are a likeable bunch of guys, making it easy to cheer for them.
There’s a party in L.A. – and the more central location of L.A. Live is bringing in fans there at ESPN Zone and the Yardhouse – and you can thank the Kings for it. And in a way, also the Lakers.
Related Story: Looking Back at Harry O’s and the ’93 Stanley Cup Run