Getting An Early Start To The Weekend
It was the end of a long week – a lot of work, a lot of successes – and I had just completed a bike tour (one of my side occupations) with a visiting journalist from Vancouver and a cute tourism PR rep from Toronto.
By the time I finished giving the two Canucks a tour of Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach at a leisurely pace riding on The Strand, it was early afternoon. Lunch time. And I wanted a big burger and a big beer to kind of unwind from the week.
And the best place to get that is always in a dive bar.
Unfortunately my first choice, the Hermosa Beach Yacht Club, did not open until later in the day. Since I was in Hermosa and wanted to stay there instead of head to Manhattan, Ercoles with its sensational burgers was out as an option.
So I decided to go to a place where I had never before ate, Barnacles.
A fine neighborhood dive bar (with cute bartenders, always a plus), Barnacles is a few blocks down the beach from the more popular Pier Plaza establishments. Most of its customers are locals, many from within walking or short bike riding distance of their homes or apartments.
Barnacles also always has some sort of drink special for around $5 and sure enough, on on this day it offered cans of Golden Road, a beer brewed in Los Angeles (and distributed by AB-InBev) for that price. I opted for the 329, a nice lager with a name that reflects the average days of sunshine we get here in L.A.
The pop on that beer was topped at 2:15 on a Friday. I was doing some daytime dive bar drinking.
In my limited experiences of daytime dive bar drinking, I have always walked in to see men in their 60s hunched over the bar, making love to their tonic & gin as Billy Joel might say, watching whatever sports are on the TV and making occasional conversation with the bartender. These are regular customers to the point that, once while in Ercoles for lunch, I witnessed the mailman actually delivering the mail to a customer.
I never want to be one of those people, by the way.
Naturally, there were a couple of those customers in Barnacles. I sat down at the bar and ordered a burger. I was anticipating it being large and juicy – I had heard some good things about the food at Barnacles – and settled into drinking my beer.
The burger was large and pretty good, but not great. Certainly not in the class of Ercoles or HBYC.
Still, it was comfortable in there. I ordered another beer, than another one.
At around 4, I wrapped up at Barnacles and headed over for a Happy Hour beer at Tower 12, one of the best Friday Happy Hour scenes in all of L.A. It was lively in there, far more so than Barnacles, and turned out to be a fine place to finish my afternoon of a rare daytime drinking day.