Saturday, November 17, 2007

First Annual Hermosa Beach Big Ten Pub Crawl!!

2nd Annual Big Ten Pub Crawl, November 22, 2008!

Who says that real Big 10 spirit resides east of the Mississippi? Not this crew of left-coasters who got together in the balmy breezes of Los Angeles' South Bay on Saturday, November 17 2007 for the first annual "Hermosa Beach Big Ten Pub Crawl".

The recap is below (if you have a favorite bar, you can skip to it via the links to your right), but before you dive in, a quick shout to our organizers:

Your fearless leaders? From the left, Derek, Jen, Kyle, and Wisconsin Rob all helped make the first annual crawl a smashing success...

...and of course what pub crawl would be complete without our DJ, The Notorious BMC, and our Advance Pub Scout (note that sweet Big 10 t-shirt!), the slightly less notorious Conrad.

Yes, it's mid-November, and the Big Ten club president is wearing shorts. Dorothy, we're not in the Upper Midwest anymore. So without further ado, grab your drinkin' cap, your megaphone, and your Big Ten college sweatshirt, and check out our eleven memorable (for some) stops.

First Stop: Illinois

The first bar on the agenda was Hennessey's, where we celebrated the morning with a "Champaign" Mimosa at . . . get this . . . 8:30 AM (the "AM" is not a misprint). Below is a picture of our first signer-upper, from Illinois, who came to Hennessey's for some breakfast after an all night bender, ended up joining us on the pub crawl, and made it through ALL ELEVEN STOPS!!

Now that's the hearty, can-do Big Ten attitude that we know and love!!

A motley crew to start out, indeed. But hey, it's 8:30 AM for Chrissakes, what did you expect???

Many thanks to the good people at Hennessey's for allowing us to set up shop at their restaurant for registration, as well as post-crawl festivities.

Second Stop: Indiana

Our 9:30AM stop was Barnacles on 9th and Hermosa for an eye-opening "Energizer" cocktail. Our friendly barkeep at Barnacles described the drink as "basically a red bull and vodka, with a splash of grenadine". The Hoosier-red concoction was quite a hit, as our group swelled to roughly 40-strong.

Above is what a Purdue fan looks like after two cocktails.

And below, Wisconsin Rob puts his Badger pride on the shelf and gets chummy with two Hoosier gals. Nice work, Rob!!

The party was in full swing before 10am. Not a bad way to start off a Saturday!!

No word on whether or not the ladies in the middle of this Big Ten Manwich walked away with a better or worse opinion of UM, OSU, MSU, or Purdue. Perhaps we'll never know.

On to Bar Number Three!!

Third Stop: Purdue

It's 10am, time to head over to Shark's Cove. Our third drink of the day? Perhaps the worst drink of the day . . . a Boilermaker. How anyone survives their undergraduate education at Purdue drinking these atrocities is beyond our imagination.

After negotiating with Shark's Cove bouncer Brady (above), our advance scout puts the Purdue banner up on the rail. Yes Brady, you weigh about 250 lbs. Yes, we'll do whatever you want. No, we don't want another Boilermaker.

Cats and dogs living together!! It's Purdue and Indiana, cuddling up in a sports bar....the horror!!

Below are four Big Ten fans ready to become violently ill after chasing a shot of whiskey with a glass of beer. Nice.

Congrats to West Virginia on their fantastic football season...and far be it for us to say that their girls don't rock but . . . ummm . . . the Big East Pub Crawl is NEXT weekend!!

Kidding of course. The Big Ten Pub Crawl is nothing if not an equal opportunity alcohol enabler.

Fourth Stop: Michigan State

Our fourth, and unofficially favoritest stop, was our 10:30 rendezvous at Shore. These guys pulled out all the stops for us and helped make this a truly memorable morning.

The bar was lit up in Spartan Green...

While our crawlers got lit up on pitchers of Spartan Spirit cocktails (some combination of Midori and other stuff that went down crazy smooth after the nasty Boilermakers at the previous stop).

Below, one of our organizers Jen celebrates her arrival with a Spartan Spirit and some crawlers. Jen was a bit late after realizing that Hermosa Beach is not, in fact, located in Orange County. Welcome to the party, Jen!!

Thanks again, Shore, for an awesome time. We picked up a few more crawlers at our fourth stop, and were running strong at about 60 Big Tenners by the time we hit our fifth stop . . .

Fifth Stop: Penn State

Onward to our fifth stop, a Nittany Lion-themed Underground, where the drink of choice was an icy-cold Rolling Rock from Latrobe, PA.

With five drinks in their belly, our crawlers started getting a bit contentious. All in good fun, of course. Right guys???


The highlight of this stop was probably our walk through the adjoining Cruz Lounge, which was packed to the gills with Michigan fans. When our DJ blasted the Wolverine Fight song for them, they more less remained silent. Then we bought them a few pitchers of beer and told them we hate Ohio State, wink wink, and they pretended to cheer for us. This picture was post-kiss ass.

Guess I'd be bummed too, if I only scored 3 points against the Buckeyes.

Annnnnyway, on to Bar #6...

Sixth Stop: Iowa

Well let's see. It's 11:30am on a Saturday, we're five drinks in. We're surrounded by 70 Big Ten fans in sunny Hermosa Beach, CA. What to do?

Hit the Poop Deck for a pitcher of Budweiser and celebrate Hawkeye football of course!!!

Why are these people below so happy? Well, mainly because they're drunk playing flippy cup. . .

. . . but also because our advance scout had the foresight to pick up a bunch of extra large pies from Pedone's. Yep, six cocktails followed by a couple pieces of pizza. The wheels are most definitely about to come off.

That curly haired soccer guy flashing the peace sign in the middle of the picture below? Yeah, we don't remember his name, either. But it was his birthday. So once again, Happy Birthday, Curly Haired Soccer Guy!!! Was it Jack?

And with that, we just passed the half-way point. On to lucky bar number seven . . .

Seventh Stop: Wisconsin

Bar Seven is a few steps up Pier Avenue to Fat Face Fenner's for a Wisconsin Rose Bowl. What's a Rose Bowl? Some tasty red cocktail whose recipe eludes all of us.

Full disclosure: we at the Big Ten Pub Crawl tend to be a bit Badger-biased. After all, our ringleader used to skate around in a Bucky Badger suit during his college days. He even runs a golf tournament every year called the Greater Bucky Open that benefits the kids at the UW Children's Hospital. So we're biased, but we have a heart. Hey, it's for the kids!!!

Some Badger ladies and one drunk guy in an orange visor. Nice. Hey, wasn't Rolling Rock supposed to be two bars ago???

Below, Badger fans and fellow Big Tenners dance to DJ Notorious BMC's rendition of Jump Around.

And the guy in the red wool cap tries to look cool sucking down a Rose Bowl. Dude lose the straw and tuck that pinky in!!!

Meanwhile, Jen tries to convince Wisconsin Rob and three other Badger fans that Hermosa Beach is in fact tucked in neatly between Laguna and Newport.

They're way too drunk to care.

Seven down, four to go!!

Eighth Stop: Minnesota

Bar Eight is a short stumble across Pier Plaza to Patrick Molloy's for a 12:30 "Golden Gopher". Some funky creme-de-something shot that was neither golden, nor gopher.

Oh well, we're still having fun. Our leader, Derek, celebrates the fact that he just won the over under bet with fellow organizers on how many bars we'd acutally make it to as a group.

Meanwhile, our advance scout, Conrad, has tired of taping up banners, and decides to instead simply holds up the Minnesota flag.

Bad idea, it turns out. As a certain Purdue fan decides to show his respect for the Gophers by . .

. . . defiling said Minnesota flag.

Once inside, Molloy's (as always) welcomed us with open arms.

And lots of booze.

And good times were had by all.

Even the Michigan fan above, who after learning that her team lost to Ohio State, said "Who cares? I've had eight drinks and it's not even 1PM!! HAIL TO THE VICTORS..."

Ninth Stop: Northwestern

Ohio State fresh off a UM victory and headed to the Rose Bowl (or better)? Check.
Live music? Check.
Nine drinks in by early afternoon? Check.

Must be our ninth bar of the day, The Lighthouse, where we honored Northwestern's Wildcats with about 60 Purple Hooter shots. Lets hear it for Hooters!

Yes, the guy above is EXACTLY what you would expect the lead singer of a band playing at a bar steps from the beach in So Cal on a Saturday afternoon to look like. 'Dude, play it louder'

And these Boilermakers certainly approved.

As did the rest of our crawlers!

Two more bars left. They could . . . go . . . all . . . the . . . way . . .

Tenth Stop: Ohio State

On to Bar Ten, Dragon, where we welcomed Buckeye fans with something called a "Redeye".

The team ran into a slightly overzealous doorman at the entrance, who had issues with a few crawlers. Despite our smiles and loving, he said something about a few folk having had "too much to drink". Not sure what that was about, but most of the gang made it inside.

Including these two Buckeye fans.

Note to self: Spend more time in Columbus, OH.

At any rate, Dragon was good times.

But some of the gang stopped at the door, they'd already headed to Bar Eleven. Our stay was a bit short, as we left no crawler behind, and it was onward to the finish line . . .

Eleventh Stop: Michigan

What would a pub crawl be without some measure of physical activity?

It was with this mantra in mind that prior to entering Bar Eleven, the First Annual Hermosa Beach Big Ten Pub Crawl held its traditional (traditional now, anyway) Bar Ten-and-a-Half Pushup Contest.

The winner was some guy...with really big triceps...

Some girl came in third. Seriously!! How 'bout them Big Ten ladies!!!

Anyway, after the pushup contest, it was on to Bar Eleven, Hennessey's again, to celebrate the University of Michigan with a Go Blue Martini.

And as if the Wolverines hadn't taken enough heat today with the loss to OSU . . .

. . . this guy shows up with an App State shirt. CLASSY. Tough day for Big Blue but at least this Wolverine kept up foreign relations. "Yes we know the bird, gander."

Then we finished up the day with some cool prizes being awarded to winners of a variety of contests, including a college football pick 'em contest, best lanyard, and (of course) most pushups. We had Big Ten themed t-shirts, posters, books, basketballs, pens and more.

Thanks to the Big 10 Network for supplying all the great prizes, and thanks again to Hennessey's for letting us store all the loot at their restaurant.

And most of all, thanks to all of you for showing up!!! Next crawl date is TBA, but if we were you, we'd make sure to be available during the Big 10 Basketball tourney this spring. GO BIG TEN!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Big Ten Pub Crawl - Hermosa Beach - Nov 17th

Celebrate the end of the Big Ten football season as we crawl around Hermosa hitting 11 bars, catch pieces of Big Ten football action, enjoy special cocktails with each bar having a Big Ten school theme, and get some mild walking exercise while listening to Big Ten School fight songs.

Contests include: Pick the Big Ten football scores of the day: Northwestern vs Illinois, Minnesota vs Wisconsin, Purdue vs Indiana, Western Michigan vs Iowa, Penn State vs Michigan State, Michigan vs Ohio State.

Meet at Hennessey's at 8:30am on Saturday, November 17th as we depart for bar #2 Barnacles at 9:20am sharp.

Arrival Time / Bar / School
8:30am Check in & pick games for contest
9am Hennesey's / Illinois
9:25am / Barnacles / Indiana
10am / Shark's Cove / Purdue
10:30am / Shore / Michigan State
11am / Underground / Penn State
11:30am / Poop Deck / Iowa
12pm / Fat Face Fenners / Wisconsin
12:30pm / Patrick Malloys / Minnesota
1pm / Lighthouse / Northwestern
1:30pm / Dragon / Ohio State
2pm / Henneseys / Michigan

Can't drink all day unless you start in the morning.

RSVP to by 11/14. Include attendees names. If you RSVP, you get a lanyard. Please also bring cash to help speed up transactions...preferably $5ers.

Bring a designated driver and/or make a night of it and taxi/hotel.
Hotel Hermosa/$80ish/2515 PCH/310-318-6000
Quality Inn & Suites/$90ish/901 Aviation/ 310-374-2666
Sea Sprite Motel/$125ish/1016 The Strand/310-376-6933
Holiday Inn Express/$125ish/125 PCH/800-345-8082
Hampton Inn & Suites/ $159ish/1530 PCH/310-318-7800

All Yellow Taxi/310-527-3100
Bell Cap Company/888-235-5222
South Bay Yellow Cab/310-533-6800
United Independent Taxi/310-414-0411