A Look at the Best Places to Drink and Party in This South Bay City Near Manhattan and Hermosa Beach
About two miles south of Hermosa is neighboring community of Redondo Beach. It has the biggest pier in the area, almost like that of Santa Monica in that it’s part amusement park.
It also has a small shopping area with a few restaurants and bars called Riviera Village.
Because it appeals to families, both local and visiting, ‘Dondo as locals sometimes refer to it, is hardly as happening as its northern neighbor. The crowd is not as polished nor nearly as young as the rest of the South Bay, but it does have fun places of note.
If you want to get a quick and entertaining buzz, go to Old Tony’s on the Pier. No, it’s not the 360-degree view of the ocean from the upstairs bar it so intoxicating but the South Bay’s Strongest Drink. It’s called a Fire Chief and while one of these rich rum mixtures will set your mood en fuego, two will set off the alarm. In addition to the mental healing the Fire Chief provides, Old Tony’s is also a great –and popular – spot for sunset. All the tables and seats are usually full and a guitar player adds to the atmosphere.
On the lower part of the Redondo Beach Pier is Naja’s. It’s a kick-back place, has a view of the boats docked in the harbor, rock and reggae bands and enough beers – 777 in bottles and 77 on draft, to be exact – to make the bands actually sound good. The Saturday band, the Land Sharks, play mostly ol’ time R&R (and actually, they are good enough, especially after a some cold ones). The crowd is mainly middle-aged men out for a few brews but Naja’s also occasionally hauls in the much younger and livelier Hermosa-Manhattan revelers. This will most likely happen on Sunday afternoons.
If you’re hungry beforehand or afterward, Lou E Luey’s next door is an outstanding Mexican-style restaurant.Upscale offerings such as crab & corn bisque and sizzling sea bass make this a great find. (entrees $8.95-$14.95). And it’s an excellent spot for Sunday brunch. It’s about $15-18 for menu items and it comes with a bottle of champagne for mimosas, so for $25 with tax and tip, it’s one of the Best Bargains in the South Bay. This goes until 1 p.m.
There’s a couple of other spots along the Pier (keep reading for live music venues) but this is hardly the party mecca of the Hermosa Beach Pier.
Most of the upscale local residents spend their drinking and party time at places in Riviera Village. The cornerstone spot is HT Grill, a bar and restaurant owned by Hennessey’s Tavern. The best spot here is the patio; grab a beer and a chair by the fireplace if a seat is available. It’s more relaxing than wild, so singles should instead seek out Hennessey’s just up South Catalina Ave., or, better yet, Mickie Finnz.
For a kick, and certainly a change of pace as well as crowd, pop into the Bull Pen. The crowd is mostly 50+ singles, earning it the lovable nickname “The Wrinkle Room” from locals. Now don’t be too quick to judge; it has great steaks (perhaps the best in Redondo, in fact) and don’t be surprised to see it packed with a lot younger singles on a Friday or Saturday night, for it’s a somewhat regular stop for the fun and popular Rolling Stones cover band, the Rolling Clones.
A fairly new spot that is bringing in a crowd (mainly for its many beers on tap and huge burger menu) is Hudson House. Located just south of Herondo Ave., in Hermsoa Beach is (514 PCH), it barely sticks its toe in Redondo, but packs ’em in on weekends. It’s not really a wild and crazy place but it certainly good for friend out for food & brews, or dates. Getting a seat to try that burger on Fridays and Saturdays requires 1.) Getting there fairly early; 2.) Patience.
Redondo has sprung to life the most in its nightlife with live music venues. This is led by Brixton on the Pier, which attracts not only popular local bands but touring ones, as well. It’s a downstairs club, which gives it a really cool vibe, and has a roomy dance floor and booths that give the place a cabaret feeling.
It has a backside, too, accessed by a different entrance (across from Old Tony’s). It’s called The Dive at Brixton, and this is a small sweatshop of a place (though its decidedly not a dive) that’s great to pound down the Buds and dance and listen to great music.
Now if you’re looking for a real dive with live music, just out the Dive’s door is Starboard Attitude. It’s a small place with mostly “the more you drink the better you sound” bands. But this is L.A., and you just never know who might pop in on occasion. On one such occasion, it was Jay Spell, a blind keyboardist who was an original member of Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band.
So while Redondo may not offer the wildness of Hermosa or the sophistication of Manhattan, it does have its place in the party sun.