The Helm - Closed

1824 Newport Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627


  • Patio/Sidewalk Dining
This OC institution is a serious drinker's bar-don't come here looking for gastropub fare. If you want food, bring it yourself. The interior is classic American dive, with no frills but plenty of character (and characters). The beer selection is small (think "only Bud on tap") but super-cheap, and the mixed drinks are mostly booze. The crowd varies from young rockers to older barflies, and the sassy staff are as quick with their wit as they are with their pours. It's not uncommon to see regulars shouting out answers while watching Jeopardy! on one of the small TVs. The satellite jukebox offers a nice array of jams from classics to new hits, and as befitting the oldest bar in Costa Mesa, games of billiards still cost only 50 cents. You'd better get there early on weekends if you want a game, though. It may not be the most chic spot in Orange County, but the Helm can be your home away from home, especially if you like your home a little dark.

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