Like a good run down Miracle Mile, the bars in Big Bear Lake are a thrill on the hill.
You take a spill here, and it’s not a yard sale, it’s a refill.
In Big Bear Village there are places to chill and places to get your party fill. Drinking and dancing, or just drinking. Billiards and a band. You might even, as did PubClub.com, get “Shipwrecked” in Big Bear.
This mountain and ski resort, just two hours from the coast of Southern California, offers year-round activities like fishing, hiking and mountain biking, to its signature skiing and snowboarding.
And like any good mountain town worth its salt, it has a few salty bars. But Big Bear also has a martini bar with a jazz band and a dance club with a pumping DJ. Like the runs on the mountain, there’s something for everyone.
Here’s a rundown of the best bars in Big Bear Lake outside of Los Angeles, the Big Bear bars and clubs. The order of the bars listed just happens to be the order PubClub.com went to them one night, and it’s a pretty good way to do it:
Start with dinner at a dive, catch a live band at Big Bear’s most legendary haunt, hit the dance club, then finish up at the martini bar. And squeeze in the sports bar.
Bars In Big Bear Village
Here are the best bars in Big Bear Village your to-to guide to Big Bear nightlife.
The easiest thing to be said about Murray’s is that it has the best bar food in town. It should; the owner is a chef. The hamburger is huge (and get the onion rings) but no matter what you order, it’s going to be good. Bar food, yes, but with a better-than-bar-food taste. Guy Fieri should check it out for Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
And Murray’s is a dive. There are dollar bills on the wall, a pool table, a popcorn machine and a regular crowd that’s as rustic as some of the area’s cabins. On weekends, there’s even karaoke with singers that range from “hmm, that’s not too bad” to “I really need another beer. And give me a shot, too!”
In the back there is a huge patio outside with horseshoes, a pool table and fire pits, so there much more to this place than initially meets the eye. You’ll enjoy the bartenders, too.
• CHAD’S PLACE
This bar is as old as the slopes. It’s been in Big Bear for 80-90 years (nobody seems to now exactly how long) and today it has sports, pool, old-school video games, a band and, if you happen to be there in the spring, summer or fall, $2 domestic drafts during Dodger games.
With a stage, long bar, kind of a lounge area and a separate area for the pool tables, Chad’s kind of reminds PubClub.com of one of those 80s dance clubs. And what’s wrong with going back in time, from time to time, we ask!? Nothing!
Chad’s is THE “go-to” bar of Big Bear. Everyone goes into the place at some point during the night. So if you’re looking to find that person you lost on the slopes, chances are he or she is in there. On the other hand, if you are looking to avoid that person you met on the slopes…
• AV NIGHCLUB
The AV, or Avalanche, is the nightclub in Big Bear. It has a dance floor, smoke, lights and cranking DJ. But if you expect Vegas nightclub pretension here, well, then go to Vegas. There is none here!
B-Rad is the funny, friendly bartender who can make dollar bills do amazing things (and not just disappear when you order your beers). He’s cool, as is this club.
• CLUB BOMBAY
“I want it to be like a living room.” says co-owner Robert Curtis. Club Bombay achieves this objective by being a cozy martini bar with live soft music like jazz, and a decor that is the classiest of the Big Bear bars.
It also has the Most Gorgeous Bartender in Big Bear, Heather (but careful when you hit on her, for she’s Robert’s daughter). Heather knows how to fend off come-ons like shaking snow off a ski jacket.
For one, she makes a drink of her own creation, something she calls the Shipwreck, which is spiced rum poured (quite liberally) in a Kona Nut Ale draft beer ($13 for two). And it WILL shipwreck you in the mountains!
Club Bombay is a kind of quiet bar in Big Bear. Until PubClub.com arrives, of course! It looks like a 1920’s parlor and has the Kona Nut Ale, Shock Top and Bombay beer on tap ($4.50-5), plus a full range of martinis. Beers are just $4 during Happy Hour, which is 4-6 p.m., making it ideal for ski apres. Or, if you miss it then, there is an evening Happy Hour from 8-10 p.m. Happy, indeed.
Sandy’s is Big Bear’s #1 sports bar. So much so it opens when big sporting events are on, even if it’s in the morning, and closes after the last significant sports event (say, a Lakers game) ends.
THE CAVE, LIVE MUSIC VENUE
A former movie theater has opened and it features bands ranging from country and bluegrass to, get this, rock tribute bands! It also has comedy shows and shows big sporting events.
A bar serves beer, wine and food.