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June 20-26, 2007

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Mountain Charley's

Look at the rack on the one: Stuffed heads—but not stuffed shirts—are always welcome at Mountain Charley's in Los Gatos.

Silicon Valley Bars & Clubs 2007

Los Gatos

Silicon Valley Bars & Clubs 2007:
Intro | The Barman's revenge | San Jose | Campbell | Cupertino | Los Altos | Los Gatos | Mountain View | Palo Alto | Santa Clara | Saratoga | Sunnyvale

#1 Broadway
102 S. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.354.4303
Judging by its place in a strip mall and its bland exterior, you wouldn't think that #1 Broadway in Los Gatos would rock. But rock it does for the 30-and-up set whose lives still have room for partying. This little local bar hosts live music on some nights further packing the already claustrophobic dance floor. It's a rarity in Los Gatos, but at #1 Broadway you can actually take your drinks out on the patio that overlooks the street for a breather.

180 Restaurant and Lounge
151/2 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.399.1804
With its swanky industrial interior and surprisingly eclectic culinary choices, 180 restaurant and Lounge has established itself as the hip place to dine and drink in Los Gatos. The menu samples a little bit of everything from contemporary American fare to Asian infused choices, and the cocktail selections reflect the chic interior. This is the lounge in Los Gatos for the upscale hipster set who want to relax with their drinks and not be bothered by frat boys/sorority girls hitting on their dates.

Black Watch
1411/2 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.354.2200
Los Gatos' venerable dive bar, the Black Watch has that low key vibe that belongs in a more urban setting, but that certainly doesn't mean that we're not thankful it's here. You're likely to hear the loud rock & roll music coming out of the Black Watch before you step inside the dimly lit interior to take part in their signature drink special: a pint glass of kamikazes.You can also toss a few rounds of darts or just kick back with friends.

Boulevard Tavern
15043 Los Gatos Blvd, Los Gatos; 408.358.0774
Local Los Gatos bikers hang out at the Boulevard Tavern to inspect the latest offerings from Harley Davidson, swill some cheap beer, listen to some rock & roll and generally forget that they're in one of the tiniest neighborhoods around. The Boulevard Tavern sports this set to capacity nearly every night and is no slouch when it comes to partying.

C.B. Hannegan's
208 Bachman Ave, Los Gatos; 650.395.1233
Home to the largest St. Patrick's Day celebration in the area, C.B. Hannegan's also gets pretty rocking the other 364 days of the year. Regulars describe this Los Gatos local bar as a home away from home, and if you've even been there once, you know exactly what they're talking about. The outdoor patio comes with a fireplace for those chilly evenings when you haven't had enough of the sauce to warm your bones.

Carrie Nation's
8 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.354.1771
This mainstay of the Los Gatos bar scene has a little something for everyone and gets it done every night of the week. Carrie Nation's is small and extremely popular with the 20- and 30-year-old crowds and has a back room with TVs where you can catch all your sports. This local Los Gatos bar is a perennial favorite for the big game and the perfect place for a before or after-dinner drink and even the last ditch effort for people trying to hook up. You see? Something for everyone.

Double D's Sports Grille
354 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.395.6882
A sports haven in Los Gatos, Double D's Sports Grille will happily put on any game you want. Seriously. Even if you don't know what channel it's on, the bartenders will find it faster than it takes you to drink half of your first beer. For this reason, and also for their awesome grillwork and semi-separate arcade room, Double D's is one of our favorite sports bars to camp out on a Saturday or Sunday scoping the sports action beamed in from across the nation—and beyond.

Forbes Mill Steakhouse
206 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.395.6434
One of the most popular culinary destinations in Los Gatos, and across the South Bay for that matter, Forbes Mill Steakhouse knocks the proverbial ball out of the park with its contemporary twists on classic steakhouse cuisine. Also, the bar lounge at Forbes Mill has established itself as a chic watering hole, serving eclectic cocktails to the well-heeled thirtysomethings that flock there after work and before a night out sampling the other Los Gatos nightlife.

Johnny's Northside Grill
532 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.395.6908
Johnny's Northside Grill in Los Gatos makes it incredibly easy to stop in and stay awhile with its many TVs showing any and all sports, its awesome grill works that pumps out classic American pub fare, its more than reasonably priced booze and its back patio and basketball hoop in the parking lot. This little local bar is a favorite for families to hang out in after a gathering or game, and even when the soccer wagons don't pull up out front, Johnny's Northside Grill is still packed with regulars sharing stories over a few beers.

210 E. Main St, Los Gatos; 408.354.8290
Kuleto's, a slightly upscale restaurant and lounge in Los Gatos, serves up the freshest contemporary Italian cuisine because they change their menu daily to reflect the ingredients that are in season. But don't think that Kuleto's is a starched linen type of place—they maintain a funky vibe in both the restaurant and lounge that compels diners and drinkers to keep coming back.

La Hacienda Inn Hotel
18840 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road, Los Gatos; 408.354.6669
Although saddled with a rep as a hangout for the over-50 set, La Hacienda Inn Hotel in Los Gatos is a cool joint to kick up your heels on some wayward night when you get sick of the clubbers downtown. In hopes of drawing in a younger crowd, La Hacienda showcases live music on the weekends, usually a mix of oldies and contemporary rock to keep its regulars and newcomers dancing.

Los Gatos Brewing Company
130 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.395.9929
With a popular roster of handmade microbrews, including some really good seasonal selections, and a menu that covers not only your pub basics but also moves into more contemporary cuisine, Los Gatos Brewing Company has a firm hold on the Los Gatos brewpub scene. LGBC also features a decent happy hour during the week to help you unwind your workday wind-ups, and those in the know skip work all together on Tuesdays when happy hour is on all day long. But any night or day of the week, Los Gatos Brewing Company is always a great place to hang with friends or go for a casual first date.

Mountain Charley's Saloon
15 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.395.8880
The place to party hard in Los Gatos, Mountain Charley's Saloon sports two bars that can barely keep up with the twenty- and thirtysomethings' demands for booze when they pack into this local bar every night of the week, sometimes creating a line that seems to go on forever. When Mountain Charley's has a live band strutting their stuff, or when the DJ drops some beats, the dance floor becomes a mass of gyrating flesh that would make Caligula proud, meaning if you can't hook up here you might as well hang up your spurs and grab another drink.

Steamer's Grillhouse
31 University Ave, Los Gatos; 408.395.2722
A great place at which to start an evening out or even make an evening of, Steamer's Grillhouse in Los Gatos makes you want to kick back and relax while sipping on some selections from their extensive wine and cocktail lists. Also, Steamer's contemporary seafood cuisine never fails to satisfy, compelling one to settle back into their overstuffed chairs for a whole five courser.

Three Degrees Restaurant and Bar
140 S. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.395.7070
Three Degrees Restaurant and Bar, located inside the Toll House Hotel in downtown Los Gatos, has removed the imaginary lines between an upscale, stuffy restaurant and a kicked back, casual lounge by melding them into one. The cuisine at Three Degrees is contemporary Californian, and the chefs concoct some true culinary masterpieces using the freshest ingredients. And we won't even get started on their extensive wine list that features some of the best of what California has to offer. Also, Three Degrees Restaurant offers happy hours during the week featuring drinks and appetizers at prices that belie the upscale, chic surroundings.

The Wave Room
50 Los Gatos-Saratoga Road, Los Gatos; 408.354.3300
This tropically themed local Los Gatos bar located within the Los Gatos Lodge was touted as the best pick-up joint for nearly four decades by authorities more renowned than us, and now the Wave Room is holding onto that rep by offering good, cheap drinks in their kitschy interior. They still pack the crowds in here like they did back in their swingin' heyday, but we understand that the food and drink have improved since then.

Wine Cellar
50 University Ave, Los Gatos; 408.354.4808
Once known as a secretive little spot for fortysomething romantics, the Wine cellar in Los Gatos has been exposed and the younger crowds are moving in to get their taste of the sophisticated life, or as one colleague put it, maybe they're searching for their own Mrs. Robinson. Whatever the reason, people are flocking to the Wine Cellar to sample their extensive—you guessed it—wine selection, imbibe their funky cocktails and dine on their eclectic cuisine.

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