Bergin’s under historic review March 7; what to do for St. Patrick’s Day

| February 28, 2019 | 1 Comment
CITY PLANNING recommended historical status in February, 2019.

Sadly, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at Tom Bergin’s House of Irish Coffee, 840 S. Fairfax Ave., is no longer an option. The historic pub was long a Los Angeles landmark for grabbing a Guinness or an Irish coffee until it was shuttered after last year. See below for where you still can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. 

In October, the Miracle Mile Residential Association (MMRA), together with the Los Angeles Conservancy co-sponsored the nomination for the building to become an Historical Cultural Monument (HCM).

Support for gaining historical status was widespread. According to Ken Hixon, vice president of the MMRA, “Fans from every corner of L.A. have sent over 500 messages in favor of Bergin’s HCM nomination.”

As of last month, more than 800 messages in support of landmark status for Bergin’s have come in from all over the United States.

Also last month the city Planning Dept. recommended the Cultural Heritage Commission declare Tom Bergin’s an HCM. The recommendation states that Bergin’s “exemplifies significant contributions to the broad cultural, economic or social history” of Los Angeles. In addition, Bergin’s bears a “significant association” with the identity of the city as over eight decades, from 1936 to 2018, Bergin’s remained in “near-continuous” operation and “became known for signature traditions that include Irish coffee and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.”

The Mid City West Community Council provided financial support for the drafting of Bergin’s HCM nomination. In addition, the PICO Neighborhood Council unanimously approved a Community Impact Statement supporting HCM status.

The next hearing on the HCM nomination for Bergin’s is set for Thurs., March 7 at the Cultural Heritage Commission. The commission meets in the City Council Chamber in City Hall. The board will vote on whether or not to recommend the pub for landmark status.

Hixon is confident the status will be awarded given the pub’s “long history and prominence in the life of the Miracle Mile.”

“If the commission recommends that Bergin’s becomes an HCM, then the next step will be a vote at the City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee — and then on to a full vote by the City Council,” Hixon added.

Here’s wishing the process sláinte, or good health, and that it goes through smoothly. 

What to do instead?

Don’t lose heart — this is Los Angeles. Whether you’re Irish in ancestry, or just for the weekend, there are plenty of places to celebrate.

Start the party early with pre-St. Paddy’s Day Comedy and Cocktails with Bill Devlin at the Hollywood Improv Comedy Club, 8162 Melrose Ave., Thurs., March 12 from 7:30 to 10 p.m. 

Tickets are free through Bill Devlin’s website or $10 through the Hollywood Improv website; two-item minimum purchase is required.

billdevlin.com

The Cat and Fiddle Restaurant and Pub, 742 N. Highland Ave., will erect a tent in the back parking lot again this year. There will be discounted Guinness drink specials and the traditional corned beef and cabbage as well as a burlesque show and live music.  

“Stay tuned,” says Ashlee Gardner, partner at the Cat and Fiddle.

323-468-3800

thecatandfiddle.com

The Grove, 189 The Grove Dr., will feature free live music in the center park area from 3 to 6 p.m. by Oxalis, which performs traditional Irish music with a contemporary slant. 

thegrovela.com

oxalismusic.com

Little Bar Lounge, 757 S. La Brea Ave., will open at noon and offer $6 Sunday prices until 7 p.m. for draft beer and well drinks. Green beer will be served. In addition, representatives from Guinness will also drop by with lots of “swag” to give away to customers. 

People like to come to Little Bar to avoid the lines at more traditional Irish pubs, says Angelo Vacco, of Little Bar, which will soon be celebrating its 14th year.

323-746-8553

littlebarlounge.com

Molly Malone’s Pub and Snug, 575 S. Fairfax Ave., will have a St. Patrick’s Weekend Festival Fri., March 15 through Sun., March 17. Their corned beef and cabbage, corned beef sandwiches and Irish stew will be on the menu.  

“Enjoy our outdoor patio to unwind with a pint of exceptionally poured Guinness, paired with one of fine selection of Irish whiskeys,” says Damian Hanlon of Molly Malone’s. There will be no green beer. 

Groups playing that weekend will include live Irish pub rock, traditional Irish, and blends in between.  

323-935-1577

mollymalonesla.com

The Original Farmers Market, 6333 W. Third St., will celebrate with green beer, as well as the “wearin’ of the green” from noon to 7 p.m. Along with traditional Irish food and live music on the east and west patios, there will be a strolling bagpiper throughout the day. 

Magee’s Kitchen will be serving corned beef, cabbage and potatoes all day long.

323-933-9211

farmersmarketla.com

Last, but not least, Pig’n Whistle, 6714 Hollywood Blvd., will have a two-day event Sat., March 16 and Sun., March 17 through VIP Night Life. DJs will start spinning music at 2 p.m. There will be $2 beers, 2-for-1 well drinks and $4 shots. Tickets are $20 to participate in the VIP Night Life pub crawl. 

The historic restaurant will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Sat., March 16 with a special menu, bagpipers, and Irish music all day. 

323-463-0000

pignwhistlehollywood.com

On the other hand, when all is said and done, you may very well choose to stay at home on “amateur night” and enjoy a fine Irish whiskey among friends. 

Sláinte!

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  1. Ann Rubin says:

    Hope some old timers (said with all due resect!) will come to the hearing on March 7 at City Hall at 10 AM to explain why Bergin’s has been so beloved over the decades and part of life in Los Angeles. Showing up will make a difference. Once the Academy Museum and Metro open nearby, Bergin’s can thrive again. We don’t have to tear down everything from the past while we build up and densify.

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