Irish Smiles Shine Like The Sun In The South Bay’s Top St. Paddy’s Day Celebration
Perhaps it was the weather that had everyone in such a good mood.
After predictions all week of it possibly raining on our parade, it was instead sunny and even warm, and so, too, was everyone in Hermosa Beach for the Saturday St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Irish-inspired smiles were everywhere in this Los Angeles-area beach city.
The short parade ran down Pier Ave., and Hermosa Ave., and featured bands, floats, motorcycles and bicycles. I was part of the latter, riding my stylish Kona Brewing beach cruiser as part of the Hermosa Cyclery entry.
Since the parade moved so slowly, I was able to stop several times and greet friends, who were among a couple of thousand people lined up the length of the the route. It was the most fun I’ve ever had in my three years riding in the parade.
After it was over, fearing huge lines at the Pier Plaza bars, I went to the annual block party on Loma Street. That party started with a bagpipe band, I had brought some beers to enjoy (hey, I’m not a party crasher mooch!), the sun was blazing down and I was prepared to spend the afternoon dancing in the street.
A couple friends, tho, kept texting me to join them at the pier. I figured I would take one look at the impossible lines and then head back to the block party, but was surprised to discover in fact there were few lines; I walked right into American Junkie, in fact.
I was confronted there, and later at Waterman’s, with a $5 cover charge. “Hey, I’m a local,” I said at both places and each time was waved through with a smile from the doorman (through a connection, I was able to avoid a fairly long line and cover charge at Tower 12).
When I went to the back bar to join my buddy Wild Dog at Junkie, I was thrilled to see Gabby pouring drinks. Gabby was one of the fantastic bartenders at Mermaid, and she’s been missed by several South Bay bar patrons.
During the day, the sun gave way to cool and cloudy conditions and surprisingly, Pier Plaza never became overly crowded the way I had expected on this day. By late afternoon, there was only a small line at AJs, with lines of about 15-20 people at Sharkeez, Patrick Molloy’s and Tower 12, and about 10 at Hennesseys.
Because it had a band, the Deck on The Strand had a line of about a dozen people. Wild Dog and I passed on this and walked right into Waterman’s.
Fun, yes, most definitely. Out of control crazy? Not at all. Erin Go Brah!