There isn’t much in life that can beat the unabashed glee we experience as little children turning every waking moment into a game. Except, of course, for the unabashed glee we experience 20 years later, when we learn to turn every waking moment into a drinking game. For those who don’t understand why graduation day should mean the end of all alcoholic sports, we offer this list of LA’s best bars with drinking games. But come on, kids. Drink responsibly.
If games and booze are your thing, Busby’s East is your place. Their game room is legendary and a major draw for the chill crowd that packs the place nightly. From shuffleboard and pool to beerpong and board games, Busby’s has it all. There’s even a little dance floor where you can sweat off some of those shots and rehydrate for the next round. Just be warned– the drinks run strong and generous, and the establishment has earned itself the dubious honor of the nickname “Blackout Busby’s.”
A hidden gem in a hidden beach community, Prince O’Whales, or POW as it’s affectionately become known, is full of local color and the owner’s enviable eccentricity. Steve Mayer bought the sports dive in the 1970s after being 86’d from every other Playa Del Rey venue for “having too much fun.” How much fun, you ask? Let’s just say it’s not uncommon to spot him riding a pony from the nearby stables through his own establishment. POW makes no pretense and bars no form of libation-specific fun, so drinking games are a popular pastime here. There are dartboards, huge TVs, a ping pong table and an appreciative crowd for those who want to show off their mad Quarters or beer pong skills.
The Shellback Tavern
Part surf-shack dive bar, part gastro pub and all good times, Shellback Tavern is home to the happiest patrons in the city. Right off the pier in Manhattan Beach, the friendly staff serves up delectable tasty treats to their jovial regulars. This place gets packed, but everyone feels like friends and the vibe is always an upbeat, inclusive one. Interesting characters abound, and the drinking games––particularly flip cup––are played any day, at any time.
Maybe Turtle Racing is less a drinking game and more a game to play while you happen to be drinking. Nonetheless, the spirit of revelry enjoyed by participants and spectators each Thursday surpasses any and all traditional drinking games exponentially. There is generally awesome live music to embellish the festive spirit. With a great beer selection at more than reasonable prices, Brennan’s offers all the makings of a fantastic night.
Happy Ending is Hollywood’s go-to hang for reliving college glory post-matriculation. Every Thursday at 10 p.m. is game night at Happy Ending and all the classics are played: quarters, beer pong flip cup––there’s even a drink wheel spun every half hour to establish new drink specials. Throw in some karaoke, a live DJ and $11 pitchers and you’re on your way to a party night that rivals your most decadent college spree.
Related: Best Jukebox Bars in Los Angeles
Kristen Lowman spends her days writing and her nights at concerts. She lives on the Miracle Mile in the City of Angels. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.