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The Turtle Races Are Still On at Westside Bar Legend Brennan’s Pub

Despite some buzzy new ownership, things won’t change too much

Turtle racing at Brennan’s
Farley Elliott
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Anxious Westsiders can rest easy tonight, knowing that the massively popular turtle racing tradition at Lincoln Boulevard bar Brennan’s Pub will live on. There had initially been some concern over the continuation of the practice after the longstanding Irish bar was bought by the Artisanal Brewers Collective, a giant new nightlife group backed in part by former Golden Road co-founder Tony Yanow.

Reps for ABC say that the turtle racing will indeed stick around in the parking lot of the bar, but not before they make a few changes. First, the races will no longer happen weekly (they used to run every Thursday around 10 p.m.), but instead monthly. And in the off hours the turtles will be enjoying a new, much larger sanctuary in hopes of keeping them happy and well-fed.

As for the rest of the property, Artisanal Brewers Collective is still renovating the 45-year-old Brennan’s Pub. The idea is to keep the same name and Irish appeal, but update the interior some and mostly give the place one serious scrub-down. Expect an opening sometime in November — at least according to the bar’s new website landing page — with wholesome turtle fun to commence thereafter.