Customers flock to Thirsty Isle memorabilia sale, raise $10K to help bar cover its tab, owner says

Hundreds of customers helped raise about $10,000 during a sale of bar memorabilia at Thirsty Isle, a historic bar in Long Beach, after its owner announce he was at risk of losing his business due to the financial hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Owner James “Jimmy” DeBois said hundreds of customers showed up Sunday morning, and with their support, the sale likely helped him cover two month’s worth of his business’ rent.

The first customers enter Thirsty Isle during the bar’s memorabilia sales, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

A Thirsty Isle employee removes a Pabst Blue Ribbon sign from the wall for a customer to purchase, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

A customer browses for-sale memorabilia at Thirsty Isle, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Thirsty Isle shirts were a popular item, eventually selling out, during the bar’s memorabilia sale, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Thirsty Isle was serving up lunch to go for customers who showed up in support during the bar’s memorabilia sale, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

A customer looks at an assortment of beer taps for sale at Thirsty Isle, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

A couple pays for items, including multiple pint glasses, during Thirsty Isle’s memorabilia sale, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Customers browse an assortment of beer taps for sale at Thirsty Isle, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Customers browse memorabilia out Thirsty Isle, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. The owner of the bar, which is one of the oldest in Long Beach, is selling items to make rent after being slammed by COVID-19 closures. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Neon signs were among the items for sale during Thirsty Isle’s memorabilia sale, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

A customers leaves as others wait to shop during Thirsty Isle’s memorabilia sales, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

A customer takes a picture of an assortment of beer taps for sale at Thirsty Isle, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

A customer looks at an assortment of beer taps for sale at Thirsty Isle, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Thirsty Isle owner James “Jimmy” DeBois shows a potential buyer a vintage Harley-Davidson slot machine during the bar’s memorabilia sale, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

Neon signs were among the items for sale during Thirsty Isle’s memorabilia sale, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. Photo by Brandon Richardson.

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Crystal Niebla is the West Long Beach reporter through the Report for America program. Philanthropic organizations pledged to cover the local donor portion of her grant-funded position with the Post. If you want to support Crystal's work, you can donate to her Report For America position at lbpost.com/support.
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