Local Orange County native Gavin Wilson’s best suggestions for your next night out in the Newport Beach area

Marine Corps Infantry Machine Gunner, Gavin Wilson

If you’re from the city of Newport Beach or Costa Mesa the name, Gavin Wilson may possibly ring a bell. The Newport Beach local is a United States Marine Corps veteran, union worker, and part-time bouncer almost comes as no surprise that someone like himself would know where to be able to get a good drink a relax.

He may not be Jon Taffer but he is someone to be considered a subject matter expert on all things Newport Beach, especially nightlife. Spending his entire youth in Newport Beach skateboarding, riding bikes, cruising around, surfing, and hanging around he started to make a lot of friends by the time he was at the age of twenty-one.

A little groggier than usual from his weekly outing to Newport Beach’s bars, Wilson and I spoke as I asked him the best questions that you may ask for your next night out!

Hey, how are you! How were the bars?

Hey bro, I’m still a little tired, so sorry if I’m not super enthusiastic. The bars were a good time, I was hanging out in Goat Hill Tavern and saw some friends.

That sounds like the usual haha! Don’t worry about it man, I totally get it. I just got a handful of questions to ask you that I think you’d be the best at asking.

No totally for sure! Shoot them at me.

Okay so firstly I think this would be the best question to ask in this economy, in your experience what would say would be the best bar for drinks based on price and quality?

In my opinion, the best place to grab drinks for their price and taste would be Stag Bar. I’ve been going there for a while now and hit that spot for my last birthday. They have a good kitchen too if you go while it’s open.

I do remember going to Stag Bar for your birthday, it definitely was a good time. Okay, so my next question would be the best follow-up question. What place doesn’t charge or has fair-priced cover charges? 

The Boulevard OC bar is a spot that doesn’t ever charge a cover and they even okay live music. I think I took you one time a little while back haha. The only downside is that it sometimes gets packed and the line gets huge sometimes.

I think I do remember going out there. If it’s the spot that’s next to a plaza with a 24/7 Mexican restaurant then I do remember haha! My next question is something I’m pretty sure people always ask to do a lot when going out for some drinks with friends. What would you say is the best spot for music and dancing? 

The best spot for dancing that plays a good variety of music is The Peninsula Lounge. They’re a super popular spot in Newport for that exact reason and it’s also right on the water. The only issue is that it gets packed even though it has two levels and the line can get crazy long. I personally don’t really care much for it because I just like to talk and enjoy a brew.

Yeah, I do agree with you there, it does play good music and is great for dancing but it gets so packed in there sometimes that it’s not even pleasant anymore. And if you go too late the line does get huge, it was the same way for the last ownership too when it was American Junkie! Almost done here, my next question would be what is the best place to out for bar games? 

In my opinion, I am going to have to bring up Stag Bar once again. They have a great pool hall and dart boards you can play with while you’re eating, drinking, or watching a game. Overall a really great spot for any occasion.

Yeah, I will say I know that everyone everywhere plays pool but the OC makes it almost a secondary trait next to surfing. I noticed most of the popular spots have pool halls inside of them. My last question to you would be if you only had one place you could out to in the Newport area, where would it be? 

Sorry for not giving you much variety but if I had to pick one spot to go out to it would have to be The Boulevard OC. The live music, no cover, and overall vibes are really hard to pass up. If I knew I was only there I’d totally beat the line and enjoy all the space and drinks before it’s packed.

Thank you for that and no need to apologize at all. As a matter of fact, thank you for being honest if anything. Also, not many bars have live music bands so that is a hard experience to pass up, thanks again for your time.

The pleasure is all mine.