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Carmageddon: Santa Monica Bars to Offer Refuge During 405 Shutdown With Car-Themed Drink Specials

We smell traffic pride.
We smell traffic pride.

The 53-hour closure of L.A.'s -- and America's -- busiest freeway from July 15 to July 17 is becoming somewhat of an Internet sensation. (We should have known: Combine end-of-the-world jokes with catchy traffic hashtags, and you've got viral gold.) Two different Twitter accounts and at least one Facebook page have been created to track every painful moment of the gridlocked nightmare. But best effort so far goes to a group of young business professionals in Santa Monica making a cute entrepreneurial project of the drama. It's almost as if they're... proud of Carmageddon.

Car-mageddon.com (motto: It's just "the price you pay to live in L.A."!) has begun an archive of bars on the Westside -- mostly Santa Monica, at this point -- where, instead of drinking fumes in the Sepulveda or 101 parking lots, you can knock 'em back at O'Brien's or South. Here's what's on the menu:

Irish car bombs and Cadillac margaritas, $5, at Harvelle's. Domestic bottled beers, $3, and well drinks and wings, $5, at O'Brien's. Gridlock shots, "Road Ragers" and Bud "STOP" Lights, $3, at South.

We're no experts, but this sounds like the beginning of the best viral apocalypse party since hipsters took on the Rapture. It even combats post-party DUIs, by nature!

"It's good for the locals, because we're giving cheaper prices. And it's good for the businesses, too," the owner of O'Brien's told ABC7 last night.

Soon enough, other business owners across L.A. will catch on to the cash-cow potential of this epically clogged mid-July weekend. Especially because, unlike native Angelenos, thousands of visitors either remain unaware they booked their West Coast vacay on the worst weekend in traffic history, or they scheduled their itineraries before CalTrans made its surprise announcement last month. So tourists will be stuck, Getty-less, in the immediate area of their hotels with traveller's checks burning big fat holes in their khaki cargo pockets. Cha-ching!

Stay tuned for a regular stream of fear-mongering #Carmageddon updates as the LA Weekly counts down to that beautiful moment, on the evening of July 15, when the entire SoCal sky goes red with brake light. Shots all around!

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]


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