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Gone Country: Best Southern-Style Bars In OC

January 10, 2013 6:00 AM

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(credit: Cowboy Country Saloon)

(credit: Cowboy Country Saloon)

(credit: The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon)

(credit: The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon)


Orange County might not seem like a region fit for country western fans, but there are a few spots that cater to exactly that crowd. From bars filled with hundreds of beer choices to low-key musical locales, enjoy enough options to fill an entire week’s worth of fun. Orange County is varied enough to cater to all aspects of the American tradition, from steaks and booze to Cajun and blues.

(credit: Johnny's Saloon)

(credit: Johnny’s Saloon)


Johnny’s Saloon
17428 Beach Blvd.
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
(714) 848-0676
www.johnnyssaloon.com

First of all, any place that designates itself as a saloon and not a bar is built for country fans. For more than a decade, Johnny’s has created the perfect environment for those in favor of stiff drinks and Johnny Cash. The music is almost always western, the crew is always filled with southern hospitality, and this place is home to the world’s first pour-your-own PBR bar. While it make look like a dive bar, once you’re inside, the only thing you’re diving into is a world full of country roots and having a good time.

(credit: The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon)

(credit: The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon)


The Ranch
1025 E. Ball Road
Anaheim, CA 92805
(714) 817-4200
www.theranch.com

The Ranch is a deceiving and tough-to-describe venue, with a great menu and live music. The dance floor is 47 feet wide and features a top-of-the-line sound system for primo boot scooting. Be careful, as the management takes its dancing pretty seriously and will not hesitate to kick out any bad apples screwing up the vibe. Mix in a delicious menu and a variety of drinks, and you have yourself one fine southern-style bar.

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(credit: Disneyland)

(credit: Disneyland)


Blue Bayou
1313 S. Harbor Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92802
(714) 781-3463
disneyland.disney.go.com

Not everyone identifies “Southern” with cowboy boots and twangy guitar. Take the Blue Bayou as example, a nearly 50-year establishment within Disneyland proper. It serves a blend of classic Creole and Cajun cuisine fit for any N’awlins native. After one plate of jambalaya, you may find yourself booking a trip or two to Louisiana to see the South for yourself. Just make sure to take part in one of its delectable deserts before calling it a day.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock


Steer Inn
444 N. Lakeview Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92807
(714) 974-5321

The Steer Inn offers myriad steak and beer, all at crazy good prices. The glasses are taller than Texas longhorns and are refilled at the drop of a cowboy hat. Those that try the Steer Inn often become lifelong customers, with the restaurant’s cozy atmosphere and the bar’s quality service. This is a “sawdust on the floor” kind of place, so don’t expect to fit in if you’re looking to get gussied up on a Friday night.

(credit: Cowboy Country Saloon)

(credit: Cowboy Country Saloon)


Cowboy Country Saloon
3321 E. South St.
Long Beach, CA 90805
(562) 630-3007
www.cowboycountry.mu

Voted one of the best dance clubs in the area, the Cowboy Country Saloon offers everything a true southern patron could ask for: live country music, casual dancing and cheap drinks. It offers free classes for anyone new to dancing, but even those just looking for a good laugh and a good meal should consider making this joint a regular stop. Enjoy a house band on the weekends and dollar tacos and well drinks during its killer happy hour. When a club is sponsored by a cowboy boot and western wear company, you know it’s doing Southern right.

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Jesse Seilhan is a writer, editor and photographer from the California Bay Area. After moving to Long Beach, Jesse continues his passion for writing and music by covering concerts, interviewing top artists, and giving a dose of wisdom in a crazy, mixed-up musical world. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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