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The Enabler

May 29, 2008

Despite its scads of Real Housewives of Orange County (or perhaps because of them), Newport Beach sure has some raucous dive bars. The Enabler's favorite is Blackie's by the Sea, a dusty, peanut-ridden place with a wide-open front door that yawns at the Pacific Ocean just beyond the boardwalk.

Blackie's regulars are hard-drinking, sports-loving, salt-of-the-earth types who would sooner move into Davy Jones' locker than set foot on Fashion Island.

Because it is located next to another stellar dive, the Beach Ball, Blackie's is a revolving door of cheap beer, ribald jokes, garish board shorts and questionable facial hair.

The glue that holds these fiercely independent loners together is a love of down-and-dirty bar pool. A worn-down table sits at the back, beyond the long bar and beside the scratched wooden booths.

The Enabler is a formidable pool player, but our hand still shakes a little when we put our quarters down at Blackie's. They don't suffer fools or bad breaks here. They get enough of that at home.

2118 West Oceanfront, (949) 675-1074

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-- theguide@latimes.com

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