”You’re not a Newport Beach local until you’ve been to Blackie’s By The Sea.”
Blackies is a stretch of beach between the 28th street jetty and the Newport Pier. It has a style that is unique and the only bar that can lay claim to its’ own namesake. Blackie’s by the Sea was founded by William “Blackie” Blackstock in 1953, before it sold to Chuck Frei in 1964.
We stopped in for a beer, which is known to be the coldest beer in town. We played some pool and within 5 minutes, met a few of the locals that call this bar home. First, we met Paul, who has been coming here since he moved from the Midwest in 1964. He comes here to meet friends as it is still his, “favorite place on the sand.”
Heath, our bartender has been here for 13 years. He practices part-time real estate, so of course, we hit it off. He told us that, the people are the best,’ and at one time they sold more Budweiser than Angel Stadium each year. The regulars even consist of some famous musicians, but to keep them coming back, we won’t mention them here. One celebrity that we can mention, is Kelsey Grammer, who Heath poured a Pabst Blue Ribbon for.
My favorite local we met was Patty. She walked right up to us like she was our best friend and asked if I had seen the men’s room yet. She has been coming here since the ’60s and was having a drink with her husband. She showed us a photo on the wall of her in this infamous men’s bathroom; the men’s bathroom has kegs for decor.
As of January 2019, the keys to Blackies were handed to the building owner, Mario Marovic. Many people feared that the bar would change from its iconic self. However, after almost a year, nothing much has changed. He added AC, remodeled the bathrooms and it now accepts credit cards, but otherwise, any fears of changing this classic Newport Beach watering hole can be summed up by Marovic who said, “Blackies is a Newport institution and I plan on keeping it that way”.
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