To do it or not to do it? I thought about this for weeks. Should I attempt to hit 48 Bars during Super Bowl 48? Why? I have no idea why! Sometimes you just come up with ridiculous ideas. As recently as Saturday, the day before the Super Bowl, I was ready to bail thinking 'this is really stupid'!!!!! Then, I woke up on Super Sunday with a change of heart. OK, let's do it!
I HAD A GOOD PLAN to begin with: 1. Start 3 hours before game time. 2. Stay 5 minutes per bar. 3. Visit areas that have multiple bars close to each other, thus 4. The Schedule. It was simple. Hit the beach bars…Start in Balboa, then Newport, Huntington, Seal, and Long Beach. Perfect! Brilliant. 5. I would not consume 48 drinks, 1 per bar. Death is not an option. 6. I would have a designated driver. This all sounded good, huh! Well, it didn't quite work out that way. Here's the story of my pursuit of 48 during Super Bowl 48…
The Beach Bar Hop began after a 3 minute ride on the Balboa Ferry from Balboa Island to the town of Balboa on the Newport Beach Peninsula (Notice I'm wearing an OG Quicksilver shirt from the 80s. Is that style?). Already, there were issues. No one wanted to be my designated driver, so I'm driving myself to 48 bars, and hopefully not to a designation "behind bars".
BAR 1 Class Of 47 in Balboa
12:35 PM Sunday (3 Hours Before Kickoff)
A very mellow beginning. I'd been to Class Of '47 before with OC Weekly writer Taylor Hamby helping her do "research" for her Dive Bar column. It was pretty fun! Today, it looked like the customers were still sleeping. Not much was going on, maybe 10 people in the bar total. Class Of '47 used to be John Wayne's favorite watering hole when he was alive. They were setting up an outdoor Super Bowl Pot Luck BBQ. On to the next bar.
Bar 2 Balboa Saloon in Balboa 12:50 PM. It was pretty empty here. Still pretty early. The bartender said Balboa Saloon was a Seahawks Bar. Really? At this point, it looked like a tie score based on the number of total jerseys being worn…two (by this happy couple). Who knows what happened later on after the Seahawks crushed the Broncos. Maybe an in bar breakup? Again, not too much going on. Moving on…
Bar 3 Cabo Cantina in Balboa 1:08 PM Even though things were slow, you could tell this bar would be pretty fun later on. Maybe part of the reason is their drink special…the 36 oz. Mega Margarita with Patron for $16.75. The manager said you only need one!!! You think? If I had just one, my Super Bowl experience at Cabo Cantina would be a beautiful thing. If I had two…porcelain throne worship. Cute Waitresses. 36 Big Screens. A good Big Game hang. On to the bars at the Newport Beach Pier…
Bar 4 The Rockin Baja Lobster at Newport Beach Pier 1:40 PM I'd only hit 4 bars in the 1st hour and 5 minutes with 44 more to go. Lagging, however I had a chance to make up time since there are 10 bars within walking distance of the Pier. Rockin Baja Lobster was very cool even though not very crowded. Why? They offered me a free shot of tequila! I thought about it for 1 second…"OK"! My 1st drink of the day. It tasted soooo good. The bartender told me, we have "Good Looking Male Bartenders" here. Hmmm… Check the Pic. Maybe that's the reason the guy in the blue baseball cap is there. You be the judge.
Bar 5 The District at Newport Beach Pier 1:53 PM Wow! I have never seen The District this deserted, and only 1 hour and a half before game time. This place is usually packed with the most beautiful girls and horn dogs in Newport Beach. Maybe I'm mistaken, but I don't spot any hot babes in this Pic. What happened? My arrival added another 20% to the crowd of 4. That obviously created a lot of excitement as you can see! Hopefully, the after game action was better. This was a very quick stop!
Bar 6 The Blue Beet at Newport Beach Pier 2:01 PM So far, every bar I visited had a small crowd. Very strange considering this was Super Bowl Sunday. Same situation with The Blue Beet. During weekend nights, this place normally rages! This is the only bar in Newport with an outdoor rooftop ocean view and beer pong. Their Super Bowl Special was a Bucket of 6 beers for $18. The coolest thing that happened to me inside this bar was the bartender offering me a free bottle of water and insisting that I take it with me. In general, every bar up 'til this point had been friendly. And remember, I showed up everywhere unannounced without press credentials.
Bar 7 Beach Ball at Newport Beach Pier 2:12 PM If you want to get ripped and watch the Super Bowl, this is your perfect party girl bartender…ready, willing, and able to pound your ass with $5 Jäger Bombs! I'm sure she slugs right along with you! The Beach Ball has been around forever. We all have stories. I'll never forget hooking up with a 'not so cute' babe and then getting "romantic" steps away on cold Newport Beach sand. Our bartender also wanted everybody to know that Denogginizer IPA Beer at 9.75% was on tap. This was the first bar I hit that had a real party going on! Not a huge crowd, but definitely festive!
Bar 8 Blackie's By The Sea at Newport Beach Pier 2:23 PM (About 1 Hour Before Game Time) Located next door to the Beach Ball mere steps from the sand in the Pier Parking Lot, Blackie's was the most packed of all the bars so far. It's another legendary Newport Beach Watering Hole! The 12th Man is definitely representing here!
Bar 9 Private Beach Party at Newport Beach Pier 2:33 PM I crashed Aggro's Birthday Super Bowl Party in an apartment on the beach! It all happened as I was walking out of Blackie's and passing a few apartments on the sand. A guy in one of them suddenly Screams "Hey Poorman!!!!". The next thing you know I'm being invited to their party! While hanging in the apartment, I discover it's Aggro's Birthday. I think Aggro's the guy in the Pic with the bottle of Grey Goose. Actually, it was his birthday the day before, but they had stayed up all night partying; technically, it was still his birthday. More importantly, I met the hottest girl I had seen the entire day! "It" was the brunette mannequin in the Russell Wilson number 3 jersey (See Pic). What a babe! I was in love!!!!! 1 Hour until game time. On to Bar 10…
Bar 10 Mutt Lynch's at Newport Beach Pier 2:43 PM Mutt's was going off! Loud! Raging! This was the 1st bar that really felt like a true Super Bowl party: lots of eats, lots of drinks, and lots of attractive people (if you know what I mean)! Coronarita's (in Pic) were $15. Comes with the hot babe! I was ready to power down a few, but as a true "writing professional", it was time to move on to Bar 11.
Bar 11 Fly 'n Fish Oyster Bar And Grill at Newport Beach Pier 2:51 PM This bar is closer to the sand than any other in Newport (literally 10 steps away). They weren't really into the Super Bowl, but the good news about the Fly 'N' Fish is they serve Oysters! Hint!!!!! Notice in the Pic…the guy with the green shirt must have consumed several plates. His suave, animal move towards the babe in the next seat is pure passion. The bit of skin she shows is an oyster induced invite. Beautiful!
Bar 12 Woody's Wharf Newport Blvd., Newport Beach 3:07 PM Wow! 23 Minutes before kickoff, a roaring fire, and no crowd. The biggest action? A TV screen with Erin Andrews of FOX (and she is a fox) interviewing Eric Decker of the Denver Broncos. It's not my thing to bag on a bar, because what's not to like? I mean, it's a bar! Have a drink! In the case of Woody's, I was wondering if I had stumbled into a funeral wake as opposed to a Super Bowl party. Adding to the mood, the people working there were not friendly. The bartender told me "we have no Super Bowl specials" and "it's kind of slow today". Really? Would never have guessed that! I mean I'm sorry, but Woody's is a killer bar right on the bay, it's Super Bowl Sunday, and the place is dead!?! Something's going on. This does not add up. BTW, the bar next door was jamming. Heading there next…
Bar "Lucky" 13 American Junkie Newport Blvd., Newport Beach 3:15 PM right before Kickoff This place rocked! Next door to the "dead" Woody's, I wasn't sure if American Junkie was a bar or a clothing store. The sign is deceiving. Once inside, there was no doubt this is a happening bar. It's two floors with an outdoor second deck overlooking the bay. Inside, there was a massive Super Bowl Party going on! Lots of big screens, tons of hot babes, everything you would expect to see in a Bud Light Commercial. I discovered my new favorite drink as well. In the Pic, please welcome the "Beer Tower"!!!!! It looks like a giant test tube for urine samples. I love this!!!! 100 ounces of beer with a tap for $25. Maybe it was ironic that I discovered this monumental drink at the same time as opera superstar Renee Fleming was singing the National Anthem. It brought a tear to my eye.
American Junkie and Mutt Lynch's tie for the Best Super Super Bowl Bars as we conclude Part 1 of my quest to hit 48 Bars during Super Bowl 48. Will I make it? Stay Tuned for the exciting conclusion!!!!!!
Whoops 1 more thing! I'm sitting in a Starbucks in Burbank next to Bob's Big Boy writing this article and talking about random shit with a cute girl next to me named Hannah. She says "Isn't the guy ordering coffee famous"? I look up, and guess who it is? A guy I used to interview many times on "Loveline", former singer of Black Flag and actor Henry Rollins! Went up and talked to him for a while. Very cool dude! Had to take this "selfie".