In desperate need to wipe off the hoity-toity from some opulent nouveau riche event, your reporter ducked into this tiny dive bar on the Balboa Pen and immediately fell in love, as if intoxicated by the stunning lack of pretension. Friendly regulars poured in and out of a side door leading to their spent cigarette butts. Three couples of twentysomethings rotated turns on one of the pool tables. Darkening stools at a far corner of the bar was a couple who appeared to be in their 70s; they either owned the joint or had spent enough to since Class of ’47’s opening in 1977. Speaking of disposable cash, dollar bills signed by patrons create a canopy on the bar’s ceiling. Meanwhile, walls are filled with headshots of starlets from yesteryear and vintage signs with warnings such as “Beware of Loose Women and Pick Pockets.” A door is taken over by a life-sized poster of Newport Beach’s favorite adopted son, John Wayne, in full giddy-up. In the many returns to the bar since that first encounter, it has become abundantly clear that the attentive, hardworking and good-side-of-perky bartenders set the proper mood, whether you are there to day drink, drown out sorrows or down a nightcap.
209 Palm St., Newport Beach, (949) 675-5774; www.classof47.net.
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