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The Balboa Saloon

09/5/19  |   Annie Clougherty

The Balboa Saloon is a staple in Newport Beach. Many locals and vacationers have drunk from its cold taps for years.


For my first ThirstyThursday feature, I decided to go old school. No fancy drink or fancy photoshoot, just a good cold beer with my mom for Labor Day. The Balboa Saloon is a staple in Newport Beach.


Many locals and vacationers have drunk from its cold taps for years. In July 2002, The Balboa Saloon Building was officially recognized by the Newport Beach Historical Society as a historic site. 
 
The building has been there since 1924, when it was built by Mr. Smith and used as the first marine hardware store in Orange County. Mr. Curt Herberts, Sr. purchased the property in 1941 and donated the premises to the U.S.O. for the duration of World War II. In 1946, the southern half of the building was leased to Mr. Rodger Jolly, who opened Jolly’s Taproom.  In 1984, Mr. Butch Wilson and Mr. Mark Bollas opened the Balboa Saloon, which is now famous around the world. 
 
For us music lovers, rumor has it that late guitar player, Dennis Danell of Social Distortion used to drink here, as well as Madness frontman Graham ‘Suggs’ McPherson whenever he was in town. The INXS video for “The Devil Inside” was even filmed in these walls. 
 
With its brick building and green awnings, it is impossible to miss whenever walking the famous Fun Zone. With local patrons fishing photos filling the walls, pool tables and trophy fish hanging, it is a true locals hangout; one to not miss. 
 
Whether it is before my kid's school Auction at the Pavilion, or a bike ride with mom, I never miss an opportunity to enjoy an adult beverage at this Newport Beach staple. 
 
 
 
 

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