There Are Not Too Many Bars On The Pier And Placing Restrictions on Nightlife Is Foolish
If you’re the parent of, say, someone who’s just out of college and is looking to build a career, and listen to the Hermosa Beach City Council, then the last place you would want your child to move to is Hermosa Beach.
Every week, it seems, the City Council talks about taming what it perceives to be Hermosa Beach’s wild, out-of-control nightlife. There’s too many bars. It’s too rowdy (this is their favorite term). It’s too crowded and those that are there party too much.
Obviously, these people have never been to Mykonos.
So there’s always some type of discussion at City Council meetings about what to do about police, putting restrictions on hours (bars already have to be dark at 2 a.m., which means you start getting run out at 1:30), placing handcuffs on potential new bars and, in general “curbing,” as they like to put it, the perceived wildness of the Hermosa Beach Pier.
Well I’m here to tell you that it’s not all that wild on the Hermosa Beach Pier. I know, because I’m there all the time. Occasionally, a game of beer pong breaks out at the Poop Deck, Sharkeez has some type of cooky contest like girls doing a Shake Weight for a prize, and sometimes on a Saturday afternoon you’ll see a group of identically-dressed people visit a few bars, but these are just folks having fun and are hardly out-of-control happenings.
The only thing that needs “curbing” is the City Council talking about restricting the bars.
In all my years of going to Hermosa, I’ve rarely seen anything that I would consider outlandishly wild, and certainly nothing that needs restricting. Fun, yes. Almost always, in fact. But anything like Cancun or Cabo at Spring Break? Give me a break.
What it is, is largely youthful professionals who live in a fun beach city of Los Angeles going out and having harmless fun.
Anyone who considers Hermosa Beach wild must think having two drinks with dinner is going nuts. A few of Buds at a ballgame is going over the top. Going to hear a band is pure insanity.
Who’s on the City Council, anyway? Mr. Hand from Fast Times at Ridgemont High?
You want wild? Go to Paradise Beach on Mykonos. The Kentucky Derby. JazzFest in New Orleans. Oktoberfest in Munich. A Jimmy Buffett concert. Hermosa’s wildest side comes out on the Fourth of July, but that’s just one day a year.
Is it too crowded at the Pier, as some suggest? Well, I prefer to refer to it as busy. Go down on a Friday or Saturday night and there’s dozens of people walking up and down Hermosa Ave., and on the Pier Plaza. It’s definitely happening and there are lines at some of the bars.
But part of that issue is the City Council itself. It only allows the businesses to have tiny patios on a wide pedestrian plaza (the capacity at most patios is only about a dozen people) and the bars themselves are all pretty small, so there’s often a backup of bar seekers on the Plaza.
If the City Council were to allow balconies (Sharkeez has a roof ready to go and Patrick Molloy’s has enough space inside to increase its capacity by about 25%) then there would not be so many people milling around the Pier. They would be inside the bars spending money.
The City Council should think of all the extra revenue this would bring to the city. It would get people off the streets and make more money for Hermosa. To me, that’s a win-win situation.
All this is not to say there’s no worries in this no-hurries place. There are some troublemakers who make their way to Hermosa. I’ve seen them, but have easily managed to avoid them, as has everyone I know, as well. Occasionally, the troublemakers scuffle with the police, which is about as dumb a thing as one can do, or other patrons. I always say we should give people IQ tests instead of age limitations when it comes to drinking.
There’s a cop cruiser on the Pier keeping an eye on things on the busy nights and from my perspective, which includes a lot of data considering how often I’ve been out on the Pier, incidents are rare. They do happen, though, and I’m all in favor of cracking down on people acting like mulletheads.
There are positives, of course. The City Council gives us a St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Concerts on the Beach, Fiesta Hermosa, volleyball tournaments and tolerates the 4th of July. For these things, we are thankful. They just need to chill out when it comes to scrutinizing the nightlife.