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DISCOVERY

Place: Mother's

June 24, 1989|Clipboard researched by Kathie Bozanich, Susan Davis Greene and Rick VanderKnyff / Los Angeles Times. Graphics by Doris Shields / Los Angeles Times

Address: 16701 Pacific Coast Highway, Sunset Beach

Phone number: (213) 592-2381

Description: The first thing people notice when they walk into Mother's, a local bar, is the money. There are dollar bills signed by patrons stapled all over the walls. No one knows for sure how the tradition got started . . . however, the dollars are there for a reason.

"It's in case they run out of money . . . it guarantees them they have one more beer coming," said bartender Ken Leible. "Of course, no one's ever used one once it's been put up there. There's probably more than a hundred dollars on the walls of this place."

While the walls are covered with dollars and pictures and other memorabilia, there are also numerous neckties, sliced and slashed, hanging from the rafters. This tradition started when one customer stopped by the bar for a drink after work. He had obviously had a hard day at the office, because he decided after a drink or two to slice the tie as his own little revolt. Many others have followed his lead.

There has been a Mother's since 1960, when an old railroad depot was converted into the bar. The crowd is mostly locals, with tourists stopping in from time to time after hearing about the place by word of mouth.

It's appropriate that the most popular song played on the jukebox is Billy Joel's "Piano Man," a rousing ditty about the regular crowd at a bar and the man who entertains them.

"It gets everyone singing along, swaying back and forth," Leible said. "It's just that kind of place, everyone feels like they know each other."

Hours: 11 a.m. to midnight weekdays, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Miscellaneous information: No food is available. There is never a cover charge. The bar's busiest nights are Friday and Saturday, though its proximity to the beach helps it keep a steady weekday crowd through the late afternoon into evening. There is no parking lot, but plenty of street parking is available.

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