Hermosa Beach Nightlife: Bars and Clubs (Pier Avenue)

Too fratty, too white, too many drunk beach bums?  Whatever label you may have stamped on Hermosa Beach, it’s still undeniably one of the most beautiful stretches of sand in southern California.  And on top of the great beach, beautiful people and sweet scenery, it also hosts one of the densest cluster of bars in the Los Angeles area.  Within a single intersection you can bounce to over 30 bars and restaurants!

Nearly every place in Hermosa Beach centers around Pier Avenue.  But for the sake of simplicity we’ll just be sticking to Bars and Clubs, places where drinking goes all night.  There are numberous other restaurants that serve booze but you won’t find them on this list…that would just get too long.  That being said, lets break this down bar by bar.


This is a classic beach dive bar!  It’s dingy and kinda grimmy, but still a great place to chill with a beer.  It only serves Budwieser on tap and cheap wine but you can smoke and play beer pong on the patio.  Also there’s a pool table in the front and the bar’s location sits on the ultra-prime real estate of the Strand.


This place seems very much out of place.  I’ve never been inside, nor do I know anyone who has but it seems to be the equivalent of a VFW on the beach.  It caters to an “over 50” crowd that likes to ride out their golden years drinking and smoking.  So if you end up missing it, you’ll probably be better off.


A classic Hermosa hangout with a spot on the Strand and a sweet view of the ocean!  It’s big, has two levels, a stage for live music and friendly bar tenders.  Say “what’s up” to Mikey who used to be on “One Life to Live”.  🙂

Lighthouse Cafe:

It’s a cool spot that hosts live music most nights usually with a small cover charge.  Easy access from any other place on Pier Ave.

Patrick Molloy’s:

I guess you could say that this is the Irish version of Sharkeez and American Junkie.  It’s usually easier to get into than the other two and during the day it can get quite rowdy.  FYI, people in Hermosa love to get drunk during the day.

Fat Face Fenner’s Fishshack (FFFF’s):

I’ll never understand the name of this place but the view of Pier Ave is good and the vibe is cool.  They also host Karaoke every Thursday night.

Baja Sharkeez:

This is easily the most popular (and infamous) place on Pier Ave.  Always packed to the brim with frat boys and girls in mini skirts, this place will have a line out the door every Friday and Saturday night.  So plan on waiting.  If you go any other night, you’ll have no problem.  Why so popular, you ask?  The world may never know.

American Junkie (Soapbox):

The newest addition to the Pier.  The Soapbox is a large venue that is more or less a clone of it’s next door neighbor, Sharkeez.  They make a killer (giant) margarita and there’s usually plenty of tables to chill out on.


It’s a dive bar with a somewhat country feel that has pretty good food and an outdoor patio.  It’s a little ways off of Pier Ave but still easily within walking distance.

The Comedy and Magic Club:

Slightly different from the rest, this is a place where you don’t go to get wasted but rather to sit down and be entertained…comedy and apparently magic.  Jay Leno performs here every Sunday evening.

Ocean Bar (Abigaile):

It’s the classiest place in the area!  It has a brewery inside, a dance floor and an outdoor patio…so yeah, it’s a popular hangout.

Cafe Boogaloo:

Known as the best place in Hermosa to see blues and jazz, it gets busy on the weekend and has a small cover charge.  Periodically it also transforms itself from a music venue to a club…so watch out for that!

Game Changers (Sharks Cove):

A surprisingly spacious sports bar with pool tables on the floor and flat panel TV’s lining the walls.  Its a great place to watch a game!

The Studio (The Shore):

A standard club with loud pulsating music and neon lights but sometimes they have live music as well.  They also serve food.

Est Bar and Restaurant:

Another club.  In the end their all the same….right?

Underground Pub and Grill/ The Chelsea:

Both bars are separate but connected.  They sit on Hermosa Avenue but still manage to feel a bit tucked away.  The Chelsea makes some great grub!

Alright, that’s it.  Go out there, drink and be merry!  But try not to kill yourself.  Hermosa Beach turns into a messy place at around bar close.  🙂

Daniel Royse Written by:

Daniel Royse is the founder and editor in chief of the online travel publication, This Boundless World. He has written numerous articles on travel, business and politics and has recently completed his first full-length novel titled The Watermelon King. Daniel is an obsessive writer and explorer who has backpacked to over 50 countries, spanning five continents. To the disbelief of many, he still enjoys long, hot bus rides through chaotic places. More information about The Watermelon King can be found at www.thewatermelonking.com Contact: danroyse(to)gmail.com