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.
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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