When you find yourself in an unfamiliar place, the comforts of home can instantly improve your mood. They can bring you into a temporary state of calm, until you’re able to find that comfort on your own through new routines. South Bay residents know this all too well, as a good percentage of them were not born here. Southern California is known for being a “land of transplants.” It certainly makes sense, doesn’t it? If you look around, you’ll see beautiful beaches, inviting establishments, magnificent homes and gorgeous people. Who wouldn’t want to live here?
I moved here from New Hampshire seven years ago. Despite the beauty that seemed to be everywhere I turned, it took me a long time to get settled and used to the South Bay. No snow? Really though, none at all? No extreme change in seasons? Local disdain for something called, “June Gloom”? What is this place? Luckily, I didn’t need to hop on a six hour flight back East to find the Red Sox game on a big screen TV, or a rough, yet warm Boston accent within earshot. I found them both at Fat Face Fenner’s Fish Shack in Hermosa Beach. I remember being so relieved to see “Yankees Suck” on a wall other than my own that I almost shed a tear the moment I walked inside.
But what was this Irish Boston Sports Bar doing in the middle of the Hermosa Beach Pier? Because this a place where people move to from all over the country. When they get here, they crave the comforts of home, just like I do. And some of them become business owners and decide to bring their hometown flavor to the beach cities. But don’t get it twisted, Fat Face Fenner’s Fish Shack or “F” Bar, is not home to a few stray New Englanders. This place is regularly packed. On the weekend nights, there’s usually a line at the door. Sure, Beantown pride runs rampant, but the locals make up a good chunk of their customers too. I’ve never seen a Yankee fan in there, so I cannot speak to that. But with a delicious menu of seafood and bar classics, a plentiful tap, a TV in every corner and a separate room with a dance floor, this place is just a blast. Which is why it’s first on my list of 4 South Bay Sports Bars Made for Non-Locals.
Location: Hermosa Beach Pier (53 Pier Ave)
Typical crowd: Boston sports fans, Hermosa locals and Pier bar hoppers.
Location: North Redondo Beach (1453 Aviation Blvd)
Typical crowd: Jersey fans and RB locals that live within walking distance.
Location: South Redondo on PCH (601 N Pacific Coast Hwy)
Typical crowd: NY sports fans, South Redondo locals and any South Bay-er craving a quality pizza.
Location: Right across from Hermosa Pier (1220 Hermosa Ave)
Typical crowd: This place draws in the beach crowd, billiard lovers and fans of any and all sports teams. There is some sports memorabilia on the walls of this place, but more than anything else, TV’s. TV’s everywhere you look. The bartenders are happy to put on any game you’d like to see, and they’ll even play music during commercial breaks and intermissions to keep the fun flow going all way through the games.
Like Game Changers, there are many bars in the South Bay that are welcoming to all sports fans. A few other favorites are : Hennessey’s Tavern (mutliple locations), Fish Bar (Manhattan Beach), North End (Hermosa Beach), Hot’s Kitchen (Hermosa Beach) and Hudson House (Redondo Beach).
Even though I’ve been here for seven years, there’s still tons of places I have yet to try. And if you’re new to the area, just visiting or have lived here forever, these spots are definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already. No matter your living situation, fear not. You’re home. You just need to be reminded.
If your favorite transplant sports bar was not on my list, let me know in the comments! If you have been to any of the sports bars that I mentioned, let me know what you like about it.