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Tompkins Square

A Bar and Grill in Westchester, California

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Fireside fails to wow

  • Apr 14, 2010


I must admit, this is a bit sacrilegious of me to write this review, since this is both a bar I frequent and am friends with0 (albeit casual) of the staff.  However, while Fireside (okay Tompkins Squared) is a great bar to go to on a casual night, or to watch a game, the bar continually fails to wow. 

Unlike other bar rows (areas? strips?), the bars within rock throwing distance of LMU all tend to have an unspectacular quality to them.  Rarely do you leave a bar in Playa or around Westchester feeling like you left the party of your life.  Fireside is the epitome of the LMU area bar scene.  When you walk in, you are greeted by a clean (but not too clean), attended (but not too attended), and dark (but not too dark) bar, with no sightline outside into the beautiful LA climate.  Large tables occupy the bulk of the bar, with booths / bar stools dominating the periphery- as if to bolt you down to a confined seated location for the entire evening.  While this may work great for a "hey, lets go grab a beer and call it a night" evening, it eliminates itself from the conversation on a "lets get f'd up and hit on chicks" night.  For this reason, Fireside fails to live up to its potential.

Being the closest bar to LMU, I think the owners would well serve the LMU community (and their wallets) by removing the tables, cheapening the drinks, and blasting rap music once a week.  If LMU students knew there was one night a week- say Wednesdays or Thursdays- that they could go to get drunk and make questionable decisions- the bar could become a local legend in and around LMU.  Instead, you can get a place where you spend slightly too much money, and don’t have quite enough fun.

To sum it all up, if its Friday or Saturday night, I am going to Hermosa or Main Street Santa Monica. 

Best/Worst Part

Best:  Tied:

1a) Great for dinners / watching sports.  With new plasma TV's and decent sightlines, this bar is a great place to take in the upcoming NHL/NBA playoffs. 

1b)  Extremely friendly bartenders.  If you don’t believe me, just try talking to them.  This fact alone makes me guilty to write this review. 


Lack of any quality that would resonate as memorable. 


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April 15, 2010
People are assuming I am emphasizing the "get f'd up and hit on chicks" part, which is not my only gripe with Tompkins. My main purpose for putting that in my (poorly written) review, was that it is a quality that would be attractive for the closest bar to a University with 5,000+ kids in it. To me, they (and other bars in the area) are leaving a lot of money on the table. My main gripe with T-Square is that there is a general uncomfortable, dark, unoriginal feel to it. The Shak and POWs, for example, each has a unique personality that I dont think you find at Fireside. I was NOT simply writing a review on dive/lounge bars in general. Nothing individually is that bad about fireside, but as a whole, it is somewhat underwhelming.
April 15, 2010
I agree that Fireside is not the place to "get f'd up and hit on chicks" as you put it. Santa Monica, Hermosa, or Manhattan bars are reserved for that sort of thing. However, if you were to find a girl that didn't run the opposite way when she met you, but didn't want to immediately give up the bar scene, I think Fireside would be a great place for a date. The sound system won't overpower the conversation and douchebags with Affliction shirts won't be constantly bumping into you and/or hitting on your date. The food is great, the beer selection is good, sure it can get a bit pricey, but you can always go for happy hour and not tell your date. I do agree with you that Fireside could greatly benefit by attracting the local LMU students with a couple nights a week where it could become a place to meet new people with dancing, beer specials, whatever. They would need all the room they could get, though, meaning all the tables in the middle would have to go. But at this point, Fireside seems to be content with its identity, and you have to hand it to the management for sticking to their guns.
April 15, 2010
I agree man! Topkins isn't a place for "clubin" or anything, but I is a great date night. Causal and chill, might run into a buddy or 2. Dude you should write a review on Topkins. I'd love to here more about your couples night idea!
April 15, 2010
Bateman, I think I'll have to disagree with you. Fireside/Tompkins has been a staple of my time in L.A. No pretentious people, bar tenders who know your name and while the drinks are a bit pricey- it's a place I often choose to go to. The food again is pricey, but good. And seriously, there's a taco bell next door. Make like Jennifer Lopez and grab a taco y burrito. And Bateman, you are such a catch I can't believe you are worried about meeting women at Tompkins. And the sort of girl you meet at tompkins, while probably not a lady of the night, if you were to chat her up I'm sure you might strike up a worthwhile relationship. Go with God. -Drew
April 15, 2010
Really interesting Andrew. I would love to hear more about the food there. You should review it in depth. Also, we definelty need someone talking about the KFC/Taco Bell!
April 15, 2010
Bateman, Really? The food is good, the drinks are okay price-wise, the flat screens are great for any sporting event and the bar tenders take care of you. It's not an everyday sort of bar- but for a drink at the end of the week it's perfect. Not to mention their revamped menu is pretty damn good. Their burgers are great. To each his own.
April 15, 2010
Greg - I know you have more opinions then this. You should really consider sharing them with this community. Think of how many people you could be influencing,.
April 14, 2010
I have to hand it to RBateman11 for even questioning the sanctity of the bar nestled in between a liquor store and a flower store in Westchester, but I also disagree. The post is definitely still helpful because it establishes what Thompkins is and, more importantly, what it isn't. Sure, Thompkins could change it's model to meet the lowest requirements for college fun - cheap booze and even cheaper sex - maybe they would even drive more business despite the inevitable spike in liability they would suffer. Thompkins is great for what it is shooting to be...a nicer Fireside. They opened up the interior a bit, but kept it cozy; they gave the bar some classy style without being overly modern and trendy. You can count on Thompkins for the usual dive beers, but they take it up a notch with their selection of premiums. This brings me to the food...I've never had anything bad at Thompkins...and I don't think I ever ate there when it was the Fireside. It's good bar food but commands more than a mcdonald's big mac meal for good reason. Which brings me to the scene in general: you don't go out to any drinking establishment within 5 miles of LMU to "hit on chicks" - you go to Venice, Manhattan or definitely better - Santa Monica or Hermosa. I've had many memorable times at Thompkins and look forward to making many more.
April 15, 2010
I'd have to agree with you on this one. I've had some fun time at Topkins, including last night. i will always love that place! You should write a review on Topkins man!
April 14, 2010
woao Bateman, this review is gutsy! I have to disagree, I've made PLENTY of questionable decisions here!
More Tompkins Square reviews
review by . May 01, 2013
posted in The Bluff
Looks like the whole gang is here...don't mind if i chime in. Indeed that was a gutsy review by bateman, dishonoring our beloved lmu gem of a bar;gutsy but justified and i wouldnt expect it from anyone but baitman, who tends to put all his cards on the table regardless of how they may play out, an admirable quality in my opinion. I can only hope this review is half as gutsy yours bateman. Back to thompkins square, not fireside, but thompkins square, lets not confuse the two, that is my only qualm …
review by . March 26, 2010
posted in The Bluff
The light of my life, Tompkins Square
Experience      Though Tompkins makes up only ¼ of my college experience, it holds a very significant place in my LMU history. Every single week my senior year, at least once a week, a drink or three would be shared with my dear LMU friends. Best/Worst Part      Tompkins is totally Cheers. You will never walk into that place without running into a professor, classmate, or friend enjoying their fine selection of beers and burgers. Birthdays are celebrated …
Quick Tip by . July 14, 2010
posted in The Bluff
I've always absolutely hated macaroni and cheese, except for here. It's baked to perfection in a huge bowl with crab and bacon mixed in. Get it for happy hour.
Quick Tip by . July 11, 2010
posted in The Bluff
Very cool place, just a stones throw away from the LMU Campus. Easily within walking(or stumbling distance) Outstanding selection of beers. Great atmosphere with a bunch of LMU memorabilia around. If you are there for food, try the Tri Tip Sandwich. Delicious! Interesting Fact: Look for the hidden item from the show "The Simpson". This bar is the bar that was the inspiration for Moe's from The Simpsons!
Quick Tip by . March 30, 2010
posted in The Bluff
Love grabbing a beer right before a game at T Squared! Burgers are to die for and always get the sweet potato fries!
Quick Tip by . March 30, 2010
posted in The Bluff
all my friends keep talking good stuff about this place. i'll have to go soon. :)
Quick Tip by . November 06, 2009
One of my favorite bar and grills around! Always great for a burger and beer before an LMU basketball game!
About the reviewer

Ranked #9
24 y/o graduate of Loyola Marymount University. Istill live in and love the area. I liketo work out, play soccer, andgoout.      I am interested in hearing other peoples opinions about … more
About this bar


The Fireside Bar and Grill was an old Westchester landmark for decades, and now Tompkins Square looks to become the new landmark for generations to come. 

When the establishment was bought in 2004, the Tompkins had a dream to create a neighborhood bar that was as comfortable for their guests as it is for their regulars.  A place where you could catch the game on a big HD screen, enjoy great food and perhaps have a delicious draft beer. Three years later that dream became a reality.

Aside from the full bar, they have twenty beers on tap at The Square ranging from old favorites like Heineken and Bud light, to Pilsner Urquell and Chimay. The kitchen is sure to keep the meat lovers happy with all natural Niman Ranch burgers and steaks...but you'll also find an amazing selection of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrees to fit any appetite.

They welcome large parties and love to cook up something special for your event or dinner.  We're conveniently located on the corner of Manchester and Lincoln next to Italy's Little Kitchen.

Hours are 11am to 2am every day...but open at 9am on Sundays during football season for the NFL breakfast.  Happy hour every weekday from 4pm-7pm.
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Address: 8522 Lincoln Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90045
Phone: (310) 670-1212
Hours: 11am to 2am
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