Bars and Clubs
What would a ski resort town be without a selection of aprés-ski activities? Mammoth Lakes has a number of bars that open their doors to chilled and thirsty skiers.
For possibly the best (night) time in Mammoth, try the Clocktower Cellar Pub (6080 Minaret Rd. at Alpenhof Lodge, 760/934-2725, www.alpenhof-lodge.com, daily until 2 a.m.). This happening nightspot offers 30 luscious brews on tap and served properly, glasses of fine wine cadged from Petra next door, and a casual atmosphere complete with sports on TV, vintage video games, and a pool table.
Instead of an obnoxious yuppie tourist pick-up joint, the Clocktower acts as a refuge for locals looking for some after-work relaxation and a pint or two. Expect informal dress and friendly conversation up at the bar, along with the delicious and unusual variety of beers. The location is perfect—in the basement of the Alpenhof just across the street from the Village.
If you prefer a French-style wine bar experience to a noisy British-ish pub, try the vintages at the Side Door (100 Canyon Blvd., #229, 760/934-5200, daily 6 a.m.–midnight). The bad news: Side Door is only open until midnight. The good news: Not only can you enjoy several glasses of California’s top wines, you can order up a delicious dinner or dessert crepe to go with your favorite varietal. Expect to pay ski resort prices here, and to be somewhat disappointed in plain sandwiches. But the crepes rate as excellent and the wine list is sometimes called the best in the Village.
Didn’t get enough sports during your day at Mammoth? Spend the evening at Grumpy’s (361 Old Mammoth Rd., 760/934-8587, http://grumpysmammoth.com, daily 11 a.m.–2 a.m., kitchen closes 10 p.m.). This sports bar has the usual array of TVs showing major sporting events, plus pool tables and an arcade. Grumpy’s has a full bar and serves up a full lunch and dinner menu of both Mexican and American specialties. Come for the big-screens, stay for the surprisingly tasty food and drink.
The Lakanuki Tiki Bar (6201 Minaret Rd., 760/934-7447, Mon–Thurs 2 p.m.–2 a.m., Fri–Sun 10 a.m.–2 a.m., kitchen closes 10 p.m.) does serve food, but it’s the nightlife in the tacky tiki bar that packs the place, especially on weekends. Just expect the name to hold true—the vast majority of the clientele at the Lakanuki run to the young, male, snowboarding variety. That makes it tough to pick up any cute chicks—they’re drinking elsewhere.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition