Tasty Servers & Tasty Food Serve Up Locals At This Long-Time South Bay Haunt
I walked into the Castle Bar & Grill, one of Manhattan Beach’s long-standing dive bars located at Marine Street and PCH, and started seeing double.
As in double Ds!
They belonged to the buxom blonde bartender, who was not shy about showcasing them to the half dozen or so men glued to the bar watching her every move. She was dressed in a black crop-top shirt with Victoria’s Secret underwear peeking out from her unzipped Daisy Dukes.
Also behind the bar was an even more buxom bartender.
What had I stumbled into here?
Well it’s Manhattan Beach’s sexy dive bar, the MB equivalent of the interestingly-named Hermosa Beach Yacht Club in the neighboring Los Angeles South Bay. HBYC is interestingly named because it is not a yacht club and not even in a marina, tho men (and the occasional girls) anchor themselves at the bar to keep track of the scantily-clad bartender.
Florida may have its Hooters but Manhattan & Hermosa Beach has its Castle and Yacht Club.
Interesting enough, the girls are not the only attraction at either place. Both have amazing food. Funny how that often occurs at a dive bar.
At HBYC, it’s the awesome burgers and its signature HBYC chips. At the Castle, it’s the sensational pork chops.
I had heard about the chops of this place for years from Manhattan Beach bar veterans, and my sources were correct. They are fantastic; large, thick and well seasoned. They come with two eggs, potatoes and toast. Get two ($13 instead of $11 for one) and you’ll have enough leftovers for a hearty dinner.
Castle also has one of the best breakfast deals in in the Beach Cities. For six bucks, you get two eggs, bacon or sausage in ample portions and toast. The menu also has burgers, an omelette and a few other items, all in the $7-12 range and breakfast is served all day. The food is served on plates – with plastic utensils.
All beers, by the way, are just $5. Some mixed drinks (greyhounds and screwdrivers) are just $4.
I used to go to the Castle for another reason, too (this was before they transformed the bartenders from regular dive bar men to sexy girls, by the way): ping pong! A girl friend – not a girlfriend tho I sure was working her to become one – of mine and would go there on occasion because it was the only bar in the area with a ping-pong table. It is gone now (the girl is now married in Florida), tho there is a pool table by the front door.
Oh, and if the front door is locked, just go around to the back. Most locals enter and exit that way anyway.
The Castle is a very dark bar that takes the eyes a couple minutes to adjust to after walking in from the bright Manhattan Beach sunshine. For those who go there in the daytime, anyway.
It sure knows what it has, too. It’s Instagram page is full of pictures the bartenders post of themselves when they are working.
So go in for the bartenders. But with the great food, they are not the only tasty thing in the place.