stale beer, great place, rude bartender, great location, good drinks, great vibe, great beach
My LA Hub. Whenever I fly into LAX, I always make sure I have a several hour layover for one reason: The Shellback Bar. It's my hub of culture on the beach where everything else comes together, a starting line for the race for fun around LA. The surfboards leaning on the walls, the signs, the music, and the beer all make for the perfect mental reset button. Later, walk out on the pier for the perfect "welcome home back to LA" feeling.
I have never had a good experience at the Shellback.
The first time I went to the Shellback Tavern was after a day at the beach. A friend and I wanted to get a late lunch and a couple of beers. The food was okay, which wasn't surprising, it is a dive bar afterall. The problem was that our server overcharged us for our bill (handwritten) and was rude when we pointed out the mistake.
I am not judgmental when it comes to hole-in-the-wall dive bars, I love them because they're a nice change of pace from the usual stuffy LA scene. So we gave it another chance. This time they not only got my food order wrong, but they held onto our credit cards for 15 minutes and I later found out that they ran my card $225 for a $25 bill.
When I called to have them fix the problem, the bartender who picked up the phone was rude and hung up on me. I called back and asked him if he hung up on me, and he argued with me for five minutes before doing it again. I understand that bartenders are very busy, but there is no excuse for treating a customer that way.
If you're at Manhattan Beach and need a stiff drink, go to Hennessey's. The Shellback is awful.
A great dive bar.
Know first up you are heading to a dive bar. Its a great place though and the type of place where everyone seems to know everyone but are open to new people walking in the door.
Good beer selection, above average food and great location
Love Shellback. Shellback is a Manhattan Beach staple-- after a day at the beach it's a great, convenient location to grab a refreshing beer! It is definitely a dive bar, but they play great music and the vibe is very low key and fun. If you are drunk, or hungry enough indulge in the cheese fries...
Get cozy with cocktails and cold ones just yards from the Manhattan Beach Pier..
This casual neighborhood watering hole invites a wide age range of drinkers alike to raise their glasses to a good time. Sports fans find comfort in wooden booths and on worn-in bar stools--the perfect spot to cheer on the team. But if the action around the bar isn't enough, then step into the bathroom and look at the wall. The declarations of love drunkenly sprawled next to condemnations of old lovers are always good for some entertainment.
great beach bar. Great beach bar during the day....but get out before the sun goes down as the more seedy beach 'drunks' take over at night
cheers to smellback. This is my absolute favorite bar in LA. Where else can you go and look dressed up just because you don't have a stain on your t-shirt? A Cheers-like bar frequented by local yuppies and old-timers who have been belly-up to the bar since they returned from Vietnam. Attractive to East-coast/Mid-westerners who long for one of their hometown pubs. Although it has the dirty look of 'back East' dive bars, you definitely aren't in Kansas anymore...just about every seat in the house has a view of the ocean and almost everyone is sporting a pair of flip flops. If you can get past the familiar smell of mold mixed with a century of stale beer, you'll become as addicted to it as we have (addicted to what?)... well, we don't call it "Smellbacks" for nothing.... And if you're single, it's a perfect place to meet a has-been drugged out loser.
A good 'ol bar.. One of those bars where you want to just kick back, have a good beer and not have to deal with trendy or college type people. The crowd is pretty mellow and mature. Just one of those places to hang out with good friends and have a cold one. Also, it's literally steps from the beach. They sometimes have some old, but cool surf videos playing.
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