Bars & Clubs 2011

San Jose

The Brit BUZZ AWHILE: When Sting isn't available, Stung plays Police covers at the Brit in downtown San Jose. Photograph by Felpe Buitrago

300 San Jose

5420 Thornwood Dr., San Jose; 408.578.8500. Bowling with all the extras of a nightclub.

7 Bamboo

162 Jackson St., San Jose; 408.279.9937. The kingmaker of the local karaoke scene.

Affinity Restaurant and Bar

San Jose, 300 Almaden Blvd., San Jose; 408.287.2100. The bar inside the Hilton San Jose features jazz on alternate Wednesdays.

Agenda Lounge

399 S. First St., San Jose; 408.287.3991. The popular two-story club has plans for a sports bar downstairs in the near future.

AJ's Restaurant & Bar

393 Lincoln Ave., San Jose; 208.292.3445

Alex's 49er Inn

2214 Business Circle, San Jose; 408.279.9737


71 E. San Fernando St., San Jose; 408.293.8482. The Latin hotspot and Metro Best of winner specializes in mojitos.

Bamboo Lounge/Island Grill

1355 N. Fourth St., San Jose; 408.392.2468

Bears Cocktail Lounge

1872 W. San Carlos St., San Jose; 408.998.3425

Billy Berk's

99 S. First St., San Jose; 408.292.4300

The Blank Club

44 S. Almaden Ave., San Jose; 408.292.5265. Stark and small but still the spot for local and touring rock bands.

The Blue Chip

325 S. First St., San Jose; 408.971.2898. The walls of the basement bar are hung with an impressive array of sports memorabilia and imagery.

Branham Lounge

1116 Branham Lane, San Jose; 408.265.5525

Britannia Arms Almaden

5027 Almaden Expwy., San Jose; 408.266.0550. The British pub gets busy even on Mondays and Tuesdays, with beer pong and trivia games.

Britannia Arms Downtown San Jose

173 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose; 408.278.1400. A new series on the weekends features local bands.

Brix Nightclub

349 S. First St., San Jose; 408.947.1975. The successor to Hunter's keeps up the tradition of a high-energy dance spot for gay clubbers.

Buckhorn Tavern

3273 Sierra Road, San Jose; 408.251.3300

Caravan HUMPDAY: The Caravan offers an oasis to nomadic downtowners. Photograph by Josh Marcotte

98 S. Almaden Ave., San Jose; 408.995.6220. Straddling the line between underground haunt and rock club, Caravan keeps its live music free every ThursdaySaturday, even with touring acts.


69 E. San Fernando St., San Jose; 408.292.9562

Club Caribe

1001 S. First St., San Jose; 408.297.7272

Club Max

Inside the Doubletree Hotel, 2050 Gateway Place, San Jose; 408.437.2167

Club Milano

394 S. Second St., San Jose; 408.297.0607

Club Rodeo

610 Coleman Ave., San Jose; 408.920.0145. A burgeoning country music scene is developing with touring acts of note.


4700 Almaden Expwy., San Jose; 408.266.7665

The Den at Fourth Street Bowl

1441 N. Fourth St., San Jose; 408.453.5555

Dive Bar

78 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose; 408.288.5252

El Rancho Sports Bar

3860 Monterey Highway, San Jose; 408.281.3002. The bar also offers to take the party to you with a catering service.

The Escape

2942 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose; 408.377.5436


374 S. First St., San Jose; 408.280.6161

Fahrenheit Ultra Lounge

99 San Fernando St., San Jose; 408.998.9998. Sleek and hip ultralounge style with an Asian accent.

Fairmont Lounge

170 S. Market St., San Jose; 408.998.1900. The lounge is a regular stop for San Jose Jazz Society performers.

5th Quarter

1373B Kooser Road, San Jose; 408.265.7033

Final Score

1126 Saratoga Ave., San Jose; 408.296.9591

Firehouse #1

69 N. San Pedro St., San Jose; 408.287.6969

Freddie J's

97 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose; 408.892.8109

Garden City

360 S. Saratoga Ave., San Jose; 408.244.3333. The go-to place for some card games.


1072 Lincoln Ave., San Jose; 408.292.4835

Gordon Biersch

33 E. San Fernando St., San Jose; 408.294.6785

The Grapevine

1389 Lincoln Ave., San Jose; 408.293.7574

Hedley Club

233 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose; 408.286.1000. Longtime jazz club captures the vibe of the music's heyday.

Henry's World Famous Hi-Life

301 W. St. John St., San Jose; 408.295.5414


1555 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose; 408.377.9464. The idea of the waitress in hot pants remains a big draw.

House of Genji

1335 N. First St., San Jose; 408.453.8120. The Japanese steak house also attracts hip cocktailistas.

Hyde Park Cocktail Lounge

1070 N. Fourth St., San Jose; 208.286.8888

Ike's Lounge

3075 Driftwood Dr., San Jose; 408.379.7137

The Improv Comedy Club

62 S. Second St., San Jose; 408.280.7475

Jack's Bar & Lounge

167 E. Taylor St., San Jose; 408.287.5225

JJ's Blues

3439 Stevens Creek Blvd., San Jose; 408.243.6441. A stalwart of the blues scene for more than 20 years.


1238 Lincoln Ave., San Jose; 408.998.1479. Known as John's XLNT Foods, the Willow Glen restaurant is reinventing itself with a bar, TVs and a remodel, coming in July.

Johnny V's

31 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose; 408.947.8470. Ever-so-slightly remodeled since its return, Johnny V's books everything from rock and hip-hop to electronica and metal.

Kaama Lounge

385 S. Winchester St., San Jose; 408.243.4200. In the shadow of Santana Row, Kaama Lounge boasts plush decor, as well as a garrulous bartender. The menu at the restaurant side is Asian Indian.

Koji Sake Lounge

48 S. First St., San Jose; 408.287.7199

La Pinata

17. N. San Pedro St., San Jose; 408.280.1250. A new restaurant in town with an excellent selection of tequilas.

Lido's Nightclub

30 S. First St., San Jose; 408.298.4318

Linda's Light Rail Lounge

1336 N. First St., San Jose; 408.453.5326

Loft Bar and Bistro

90 S. Second St., San Jose; 408.291.0677 With jazz on Thursdays, and bands on the weekends.

Mac's Club

39 Post St., San Jose; 408.288.8221


25 W. San Fernando St., San Jose; 408.283.9595

Miami Beach Club

417 S. First St., San Jose; 408.242.9621

Myth Myth
Myth Taverna & Lounge

Serial club operator (Sabor, Cuccini, Blue Pheasant) Ray Shafazand plans to open Myth Taverna & Lounge later this month in the building formerly occupied by Smoke Tiki. Myth will feature modern Greek cuisine and a chic lounge and large outdoor patio, with entertainment nightly from live bands and DJs. It's located at 152 Post St., San Jose.


211 S. First St., San Jose; 408.282.8888

Motif Lounge

389 S. First St., San Jose; 408.279.1888. The downtown dance club was remodeled earlier this year.

O'Flaherty's Irish Pub

25 N. San Pedro St., San Jose; 408.947.8007. With, naturally, Irish music, Sunday afternoons and Tuesday evenings.

Old Wagon Saloon

73 N. San Pedro St., San Jose; 408.971.9346. Featuring blues with JC Smith on Sundays, and occasional jazz on Wednesdays.

Original Joe's

301 S. First St., San Jose; 408.292.7030

Pagoda Lounge

170 S. Market St., San Jose; 408.998.1900. One of the newer players on the scene has made an impact bringing hip electronic acts to the South Bay.

Park Lane Lounge

5152 Moorpark Ave., San Jose; 208.257.6738. This friendly local joint has been remodeled. A neat feature is the one-way glass wall for people watching.

Patty's Inn

102 S. Montgomery St., San Jose; 408.998.4566

A Perfect Finish

55 S. First St., San Jose; 408.288.6000. Wine bar with live music on the weekends, mostly in the blues and jazz vein.

The Pink Poodle

328 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose; 408.292.3685

The Place

1058 S. First St., San Jose; 408.297.3473. The longest bar in town, at least the longest between First and Second streets; the signs for this neighborhood joint alone are worth a trip .

Poor House Bistro

91 S. Autumn St., San Jose; 408.29.BLUES. The closest thing to New Orleans in the South Bay.

Red Stag Lounge

1711 W. San Carlos St., San Jose; 408.292.6777

Redi Room

4340 Moorpark Ave., San Jose; 408.257.7770


501 W. Taylor St., San Jose; 408.275.9902

RSVP44 Restaurant and Lounge

1471 N. Fourth St., San Jose; 408.452.0200. A new restaurant with traveler's bar inside the Radisson Hotel.

Sabor Tapas Bar & Lounge

72 N. Almaden Ave., San Jose; 408.287.1737

San Jose Bar and Grill

85 S. Second St., San Jose; 408.286.2397

Sherwood Inn

2988 Almaden Expwy., San Jose; 208.266.2480

Single Barrel THE BAR THAT DARE NOT SPEAKEASY ITS NAME: The art of mixology is practiced like alchemy at Singlebarrel. Photograph by Chris Lovos

43 W. San Salvador St., San Jose; 408.792.7356. Dimly lit Single Barrel has elaborate mixology rituals — like crushing ice with a mallet and a towel — and a fragrant cornucopia of herbs, fruits and essences that go into its vintage cocktails.

South First Billiards

420 S. First St., San Jose; 408.294.7800. This stylish pool place cues up live bands, art happenings and cool cocktails.


1500 S. 10th St., San Jose; 408.999.6718. Located next to the Sharks training facility for hard-core hockey fans.

Studio 8 San Jose

8 S. First St., San Jose; 408.279.4444. What was once Pearl has been reborn as Studio 8. It is now a favorite haunt for celebrity performers at after-concert parties.

Temple Bar & Lounge

52 S. First St., San Jose; 408.288.8518

Teske's Germania

255 N. First St., San Jose; 408.292.0291. The area's leading beer garden hosts jazz on the weekends.

Touchdown Tommy's

5837 Camden Ave., San Jose; 408.723.9981

Tres Gringos Baja Cantina

83 S. Second St., San Jose; 408.278.9888

Trials Pub

265 N. First St., San Jose; 408.947.0497. The best spot downtown on Mondays for trivia night.

Vahl's Restaurant & Cocktail Lounge

1513 El Dorado, Alviso; 408.262.0731. Neighborhood bar for the farthest outpost of the city.

Willow Den

805 Lincoln Ave., San Jose; 408.271.1880. Out of nowhere, this mellow Willow Glen bar has become a player on the nightlife scene with live bands and DJs.

Willow Street Wood-Fired Pizza

1072 Willow St., San Jose; 408.971.7080; and 1554 Saratoga Ave., San Jose; 408.871.0400. The Willow Glen location of the popular mini-chain is undergoing a significant expansion that should be done before the end of summer.

Santana Row

Blowfish Sushi to Die For

355 Santana Row, Suite 1010, San Jose; 408.345.3848


355 Santana Row, San Jose; 408.551.0010. A wine bar on the roof of the Hotel Valencia.

Consuelo Mexican Bistro

377 Santana Row, San Jose; 408.260.7082. The varied Mexican menu roams beyond the obvious, and the bar stocks an enormous selection of tequilas. The covered sidewalk seating is perfect for people-watching while still being a bit insulated from the hubbub of the Row.

El Jardan

386 Santana Row, San Jose; 408.246.1744. The outdoor restaurant and bar sits on an island between the ranks of stores.

Rosie McAnns OUTREACH PROGRAM: Jessica Kopang of Rosie McCann's keeps the drinks pouring like rain. Photograph by Felipe Buitrago
Rosie McCann's Irish Pub

355 Santana Row, Suite 1060, San Jose; 408.247.1706


377 Santana Row, San Jose; 408.247.8880


333 Santana Row, Suite 100, San Jose; 408.246.6320

The V-Bar

355 Santana Row, San Jose; 408.551.0010. A chic lounge inside Hotel Valencia.

Yard House

300 Santana Row #101, San Jose; 408.241.9273. Seemingly the most popular bar in San Jose for the last few months, Yard House often has a long queue that reflects its top ranking on the Row. Pipe-organ-style tubes run from an upstairs room full of kegs down to the bar. More than 100 varieties of beer are available.