Known for being the most famous 150 feet of Newport Boulevard, the Goat Hill Tavern is continuously voted one of America’s best dive bars. Before rotating craft brews were trendy, it made the Guinness Book of World Records several times, with the number of brews it had on tap; 141 to be exact. In total, the bar goes through a total of 80-100 different kegs a week, which amounts to around 5,000 kegs a year.
The Goat Hill Tavern was started by Robert “Zeb” Ziemer in 1984. Ziemer hand-picked every eclectic item that went into the Goat Hill Tavern– from the old cigar store Native American statue, to the front-end of a 1950 Buick. In the 90’s, the City tried to close it down over a permit dispute. The case went all the way to the California Supreme Court where Ziemer came out victorious.
When Ziemer passed in 2016 at the age of 84 from cancer, he was celebrated by locals and customers alike. Since his passing, it has been co-owned by Kevin Sand and Charles Nicholson, who were his adopted sons.
When I asked Kevin what makes the Goat so popular and what he enjoyed most about working there for so many years, he said, “The comfort level of working here is like coming home. So many regulars come here daily and no matter where you are from, I think we all feel like this is home. The locals are the best around- you can wear a suit and a tie, or shorts and flip flops.”
For all of you sports lovers, the Goat Hill is an Angels and Rams player hangout. Former Angel player John Lackey has multiple signed jerseys hanging, along with Jared Weaver. It is well known that you can see the players enjoying a beer after the game.
For myself, I have always loved the peanuts on the floor and that ‘Cheers’ feeling to it, where everyone knows your name. There are 2 happy hours that they have a day; the Founders Hour, which was started by Zeb, where everything is 1/2 price, followed then by IPA hour.
They also own the building next door, now known as the Boulevard. For all of the White Claw drinkers, it has the biggest stockpile of White Claw that I have ever seen. Cheers.
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