The Santa Monica Pub Crawl - Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!
Thousands of festive partiers gathered Saturday night for the annual SANTA Monica Pub Crawl. Many of the best bars and restaurants throughout the city participated to support raising money for the Westside Food Bank. This is an amazing cause to support, as their mission is to distribute as much food as possible to local agencies with food assistance programs and to reduce food waste on the Westside of Los Angeles County.
The most difficult decision before the event was selecting which route to crawl with so many great restaurants and bars on each. In the end, I decided to go with Main Street because it’s one of my favorite areas of the city. I’d also heard that the lines to check-in could get pretty long. Luckily, Westside Food Bank offered early pickup at their main location during the weekdays leading up to the event.
The starting location for the Main Street route was Ashland Hill with special offers on their signature cocktails, Stella Artois, and Wolf Pup Session IPA from Golden Road Brewing. Many of the deals offered through the night revolved around both beers as they were the some of the top sponsors and had booths at the beer garden next door.
The lot quickly filled with revelers who gathered around the various pub games around the lot like cornholes and giant Jenga sets. Most people at least wore a simple Santa hat, while others went all out for a chance to win prizes and bragging rights for the best festive outfit. It was almost worth the price of admission just for the people watching aspect of seeing the variety of ugly Christmas sweaters and different variations on classic holiday characters. I didn’t feel too out of place in a pair of red swim shorts, a vintage Hawaiian shirt, flip flops, and a Santa hat. Mele Kalikimaka!
The event was packed with special offers on food and drinks at most of the stops. Enterprise Fish Co. and Chaya had the best deals on food by far. Each also offered an an extensive list of quality cocktails like Lychee Martinis. The longest lines were at Finn McCool’s and Circle Bar, which the latter had a packed dance floor and Redemption rye whiskey Christmas Cookie cocktails.
The pub crawl routes ended with an after party at 1212 on the 3rd Street Promenade. Those who were still hungry could partake at a special $12 buffet, but I was stuffed from all the previous stops. My final drink of the evening was a flavorful Bourbon Barron made with whiskey, various fruit juices, ginger apple cider tea and fresh lemonade. It was the perfect end of night refreshment.
It’s important to remember that the event is meant to help those in need. Every $1 raised from the SANTA Monica Pub Crawl was equal to four pounds of food, so each ticket created 40 pounds of food. Hunger is still a major issue in the community and the crawl helps to raise awareness of the struggle the Westside Food Bank is fighting throughout the year.
The SANTA Monica Pub Crawl reinforces that this certainly is the most wonderful time of year. This is a special event where people dressed as elves give fellow crawlers candy canes and one of the few places you can see the Grinch toast with Old Saint Nick in shorts.
Credit to the amazing photos goes to Cindy J. Lee. Check out her blog!