Despite its scads of Real Housewives of Orange County (or perhaps because of them), Newport Beach sure has some raucous dive bars. The Enabler's favorite is Blackie's by the Sea, a dusty, peanut-ridden place with a wide-open front door that yawns at the Pacific Ocean just beyond the boardwalk.

Blackie's regulars are hard-drinking, sports-loving, salt-of-the-earth types who would sooner move into Davy Jones' locker than set foot on Fashion Island.

Because it is located next to another stellar dive, the Beach Ball, Blackie's is a revolving door of cheap beer, ribald jokes, garish board shorts and questionable facial hair.

The glue that holds these fiercely independent loners together is a love of down-and-dirty bar pool. A worn-down table sits at the back, beyond the long bar and beside the scratched wooden booths.

The Enabler is a formidable pool player, but our hand still shakes a little when we put our quarters down at Blackie's. They don't suffer fools or bad breaks here. They get enough of that at home.

2118 West Oceanfront, (949) 675-1074



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