Sometimes, there’s no better place than sharing space with a friend at some trusted bar or lounge, chatting about this or that or absolutely nothing at all. Yes, that can be very nice. Of course, there are times when that can be very boring. Times when all you really desire is to clean your friend’s clock at Skee-Ball. Or Pac-Man. Or pool. Or Pebble Beach. Long Beach’s well-known, well-loved bar scene is rife with so many fun things to do and play while you enjoy a drink, that we thought we’d give you a list of just a few of the many games people play and the places they play them.
A relative newcomer to Downtown Long Beach–opened in 2018–The Harbor (130 Pine Ave.) is described as a “playful” bar, the description being appropriate given the range of what there is to play there. Most eye- and ear-catching is the Skee-Ball set up, with multiple lanes allowing you to try and outscore your friends. Then again, you may be drawn to the giant Jenga tower with its wooden bricks the size of gold ingots. Add to that, pool tables and shuffleboard to go along with an exceptional cocktail program and wide-ranging menu that not only offers the likes of tri tip and fried chicken sandwiches but breakfast items like breakfast burritos and chicken chilaquiles, that allow for good times any time of day.
Birdies N Brews
Its 12-foot screen golf simulators allow you to play some of the world’s great courses–Pebble Beach, St. Andrew’s–as well as practice and record your swing on a virtual driving range, allowing you to examine and improve on it. Birdies n Brews (90 E. 4th St.) offers beer and hard seltzer (and house cocktails made from them), hot dogs, charcuterie and paninis. It’s a popular destination for not only golf buddies but dates, too. Shots always land just a few feet away, making retrieval easy. If you’d like to bring your own clubs you can, but it’s not necessary, since Birdies n Brews can supply you with everything needed to get you in the swing of things.
Port City Tavern
The Blind Donkey
Though it’s coolness quotient is unquestioned–The Blind Donkey (149 Linden Ave.) appears in “La La Land” and is renowned for offering some of the best whiskies and Old Fashions in town–it’s also just a lot of fun. There are pool tables and dart boards and Skee-Ball, and if you like classic video games, (the kind you drop coins into) they have those, too. Pac-Man? Yes, man! If your preferred mode of competition runs a bit more artistic, The Blind Donkey is home to one of the city’s most popular Karaoke Nights, so popular that it’s two nights: Wednesdays and Sundays from 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.