Barney's Beanery used to be my joint, when the fresh-out-of-college me used to frequent the West Hollywood bar for cheap well drinks and late night eats. I would roll in with my girlfriends and share a late night pizza, a pitcher of draft beer and some gross shots because, heck why not?. Whether I had left a lame club or decided to stop in for a hangover remedy, Barney's was my go-to spot because it just felt like and extension of my old college bar in Arizona - like a second home. These days I've turned into more of a happy hour gal and even though I don't frequent Barney's like I did "back in the day," I stopped in the other early evening to see how their happy hour was holding up.I came in for happy hour on a scorchingly hot night and when I stepped into Barney's, it was just like old times. Everything looked just as I had left it; mosaic magazine-covered tables, neon beer signs, pool tables, and sports games running on every television in the place. The only thing that looked different seemed to be the staff. I didn't recognize anyone there…guess the place did have some changes.
My guy and I sat at one of their high top bar tables and noticed the place was pretty packed. Monday night football - obviously we aren't football fans. However, I must admit we got pretty sucked into the intense game that night with the Eagles/Colts showdown. Our server came over and greeted up with a huge smile (side note: that has never happened to me at Barney's before) and brought over menus. He mentioned that it was happy hour and mapped out our options. Beers were $3.50, well drinks were $4.50 and the boxed appetizers in their newspaper menu were half off. Looks like the happy hour was just as I remembered it too, except that now they offered a late night happy hour as well (10 p.m - 2 a.m. sans food options). I did notice on the menu that Barney's did step up their drink game with the addition of some specialty cocktail options and they also has some new nightly specials.
We ordered a Blackthorn Dry Apple Cider and a well whiskey and Coke. I have to mention that the reason we came to Barney's in the first place was because of the heatwave that was sweeping L.A. It was just gross outside, which was why we ended up staying at Barney's for almost 3 hours after we got there. Anyway, we ordered two appetizers and they came out pretty fast. The nachos were big, cheesy, and layered with chili and sour cream. My only confusion was with the shredded greens on top; they seemed lifeless and unnecessary. If you want to add some green color to the dish, some pickled jalepenos would have been a fantastic addition in my opinion. Once again, the mozzarella sticks were plentiful and the sauce was nice, but I wish they would have been hotter. You know, the kind of heat that turns your first bite into a tonguey wrestling match with the gooey mozzarella that stretches out of the crispy fried stick?
We went for another round of drinks, but this time I opted for the Magic Hat IPA. Dug it. The rowdy ladies next to us were pounding pints and yelling at the screens at this point - oh, how that brought back good ol' memories. The loudness didn't bother us, but is continued to escalate, so we headed to the back area for some free shuffleboard. Unfortunately the shuffleboard table was extremely low on sand, but it was free so I can't really complain too much. Other games in the back include foosball, Pac-Man, air hockey and a basketball tossing game. Barney's also has karaoke and trivia on select nights which can be a blast.
Our happy hour bill totaled $29 which included 2 beers, 3 well whiskey drinks and 2 appetizers. Now that's a steal. We left a great tip because our server was stellar; he was attentive, nice and looked like he was having as much fun as us. You still get that semi-rowdy crowd and Barney's Beanery, but that's the appeal of the place - I wouldn't want it any other way. They've kept things the same for the most part and changed some of the stuff that need fixing (service, and rumored WeHo "issues"). We'll be back Barney's Beanery for many more happy hours and, perhaps, even a football game.
West Hollywood, California 90069