Finding Friendly Bostonians at the Huddle
[Editor's Note: We all know local music and dive bars go hand-in-hand. So in the interest of merging the two together on Heard Mentality, we bring you our weekly nightlife column Dive, Dive, My Darling. Read as our bold web editor, Taylor "Hellcat" Hamby, stumbles into the dive bar scene every week to find crazy stories, meet random weirdos and guzzle good booze.]
Taylor Hamby / OC Weekly
The Huddle is an OC staple, cool enough to attract Costa Mesa hipsters yet unpretentious enough to cater to obvious transplants sporting workshirts with un-ironic cut-off sleeves, cowboy hats and beer bellies. Young, old, shitfaced and composed: All are welcome at the Huddle--if you're brave enough to venture past the neighboring sex shop and through the bar's windowless, concrete façade. But it's such a hospitable, comfy place, with cheap booze and open pool tables, that one of my friends accidentally used the ladies room that night, despite the clear signage. He had only had half a beer at that point.
On one recent venture to the Huddle, we passed a man selling assorted baseball caps, all displayed on the hood of a sedan parked in front of the entrance. The market for drunken sports fans going out for a smoke must be lucrative here. Inside, a block of old-school Modest Mouse spewed from the jukebox, put on by a man with an Anaheim Ducks tattoo on the back of his hand and mutually enjoyed by our bartender, who sported slicked-back hair and a red checkered shirt.
The bartender checked my friends' and my IDs. "I like the blond," he said, referring to my new-ish hair, as he handed back my ID. Thanks! As he filled our pitcher of Blue Moon, I scoped around, noticing the awesome liquor selection. There were the standard well hooches, but also offerings of single-barrel and crafted whiskeys that are not common at most dives.
It's a big facility, with approximately eight pool tables and room to spare. A mini-arcade of dive-bar games and electronic darts sits on the back wall, near the restroom. But the real entertainment is the customers. Not too long after sitting down, what appears to be a lovers' skirmish quietly went down at the end of the bar. A man confronted a blonde who was talking to another guy seated at the bar. He got pissed and stormed off, sitting halfway across the long room at an empty table, his anger stewing as he glared straight ahead. Yikes!
On a lighter note, a man with a backward Patriots hat leaned up against the bartop and yelled back to his friends. "What kinda pitchers you guys want? Pitchahs of bee-ah or pitchahs of naked women?"
I giggled as he walked the beer back to his friends. I went to put my hands in my pockets and realized my jacket was inside-out.