Costa Mesa Revamped: The Coolest New Bars
SOCIAL Costa Mesa
As you may or may not have noticed, the town of Costa Mesa has been in the process of revamping it’s style for quite some time. Always recognized as Newport Beach’s neighbor, Costa Mesa is home to a varying demographic. Since rent in Newport Beach is quite high, more and more young people are flocking to Costa Mesa in order to still enjoy the beach bum lifestyle without paying as high of a price. With that, the Costa Mesa bar/restaurant scene has drastically improved over the years. From secret speakeasies to low key music venues, here’s a locals inside scoop of the hottest new spots in town.
An alternative jazz and blues cocktail lounge, Casa and it’s old school 1920s vibe is one of Costa Mesa’s new hipster hangouts. With live performances throughout the week, this place makes the perfect source of entertainment on any day. While watching the musicians play, don’t be afraid to try one of their unique mixes as well. The variety of drink options spans far and wide, so take a step outside your comfort zone and try something new!
A note before you go: make sure to call ahead and see whether or not you’ll be needing a reservation. The only setback is that this bar is a little strict with their admissions. RSVP ahead of time, and dress a little nicer for the occasion (collared shirt and converse will do) to make it a fun night out. Need more details? casacostamesa.com.
#4 Boathouse Collective
Located in a seemingly abandoned industrial parking lot, Boathouse Collective is a hidden gem of Costa Mesa. Constructed using recycled shipping containers, this fairly new establishment is a modern yet charming bar/eatery that is definitely worth checking out. With an extensive outdoor seating area, Boathouse Collective is ideal for large group gatherings and parties.
Unlike the other spots mentioned, the Boathouse Collective doesn’t focus on their drinks as much as their food items. That doesn’t mean that this place isn’t a great spot for post-work happy hour, however. If you’re looking to grab a pricier bite, or just go for traditional drinks, this place is worth visiting. Solid appetizers and standard cocktails are what Boathouse Collective has to offer, two things that you can never go wrong with. Although on the more expensive side, the ambiance and summer-esque vibe of the Boathouse makes it a great place to enjoy a warm afternoon or evening. In addition, there’s a stage and live music acts that occur on specific days! For where to find them and their calendar of events: boathousecollective.com.
Formerly known as the Detroit Bar, The Wayfarer is an excellent place for a group or pair of friends to explore. Newly renovated, this “house of social provisions” is a chill hangout complete with patio lights strung above the bar, rustic wooden tables with patent leather red booths and some pretty neat modern artwork up on the walls. In addition to the relaxed ambiance this place gives off, there’s also two pool tables that are free for anybody to use, along with a live music stage where various artists and DJs play throughout the week.
Aside from the pleasing atmosphere, The Wayfarer offers patrons a decent variety of food and drinks that suit a plethora of taste buds. Their margaritas and whiskey sours are quite nice, as their cocktail list is full of traditional staples. If you decide to roll in on a Tuesday, their fish and chicken tacos are great tasting and just $2 each. Located on 19th street, The Wayfarer is definitely a place to look out for. For their complete menu, hours and directions: www.wayfarercm.com.
As you may have been able to tell by just the name, SOCIAL is an ideal location for a night out with friends, family or coworkers, and is definitely a spot where people come to converse and socialize and enjoy delicious food and craft cocktails, hence the title. With their large bar and communal tables, SOCIAL offers patrons a wide range of original recipes from their in-house chef that are sure to wow. Specifically, their roasted brussels sprouts, with their perfect crispiness and subtle sweetness, are a must order item in addition to several other cajun inspired menu items. Pro tip: the food dishes are meant to be shared, which explains the large portions. Leaving hungry is not to be an option!
Having just opened this past October 2014, SOCIAL is continuing to make it’s mark on the Costa Mesa restaurant and bar scene. Visit any night of the week and this place will be buzzing with people of all age ranges, just looking to relax and enjoy the hip atmosphere. Sit outside on their patio, or at the bar, there’s lots to love about SOCIAL Costa Mesa. Scope: socialcostamesa.com
#1 Pie Society
Shh. It’s a secret. Experience a speakeasy sanctuary at Pie Society Bar and Social Club. Like any real speakeasy, Pie Society is an ultra low key establishment nestled in the back of Pitfire Pizza restaurant. Either enter from the main restaurant through an unidentified door or walk through the back parking lot and cruise on through the patio, Pie Society is a quaint and charming bar that offers the tastiest original cocktails around. Their menu changes throughout the year, but staple drinks like an Old Fashioned or Manhattan are always available. Pie Society’s bartenders are always thinking up the craziest combinations which seem to work no matter what they throw into the mix. Some of my favorite drinks from the most recent menu include the Bees Knees and Sgt. Pepper’s Last Stand. Whether you’re yearning for something super strong, or light and fruity, Pie Society has it all.
The dark paneled walls, candlelit tables and relaxed leather sofas make this place the perfect late night hangout. Although very small in size, about 30 by 30 feet in total, the ambiance of Pie Society is always relaxed and never feels cramped or crowded. Despite it’s popularity on Friday and Saturday nights, it’s pretty easy to snag a table, and you can always sit on the patio if the going gets rough indoors. In addition to the beautifully crafted drinks, the kitchen is open and patrons have access to the entire Pitfire Pizza menu. There’s nothing bad to say about this place. From the food to the drinks, to the superior atmosphere, Pie Society takes the cake for the coolest new Costa Mesa hangout spot. Visit their website for more: piesocietybar.com.
Picture sources: Pie Society (www.muchadoaboutfooding.com), www.socialcostamesa.com, www.thewayfarercm.com, casacostamesa instagram, Boathouse Collective (danisdecadentdeals.com), www.boathousecollective.com