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June 20-26, 2007

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Silicon Valley Bars & Clubs 2007

Santa Clara

Silicon Valley Bars & Clubs 2007:
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777 Lawrence Expwy, Santa Clara; 408.241.0777
The Avalon dance club in Santa Clara was once solely dedicated to showcasing only DJ talent, but now the owners have gotten wise and started mixing up your standard DJ fare of techno, house trance and hip-hop with Middle-Eastern themed dance nights. Also the Avalon has started hosting live music shows that include a veritable roll call of '70s and '80s rockers—so catch them down at Avalon in Santa Clara soon before these acts stop touring and start collecting Medicare.

Baltimore Bullet
1992 Lafayette St, Santa Clara; 408.988.1482
With a name like the Baltimore Bullet you'd think that this would be a solid old school dive bar in Santa Clara, but for some unknown reason, the owners have shortened the bar's hours and put the kibosh on the karaoke nights—not that we miss the boozy renditions of "Friends in Low Places," OK, maybe just a little. However, the Baltimore Bullet still serves some wicked drinks (a definite plus) to a slew of loyal regulars, but they close at 9 (a definite minus), so we guess the best you can hope for at this local Santa Clara bar is to break even.

4565 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara; 408.248.6244
You'd be doing yourself and By-Th-Bucket in Santa Clara a huge disservice if you merely referred to it as a local sports bar because it is more of an old school bar and restaurant where you can always take in a game and always get taken care of. Also, the food at By-Th-Bucket is not your typical bar fare. Their excellent seafood, pizzas and classic American cuisine go perfectly with their more than dangerous signature cocktails that never fail to please the gaggle of local Santa Clara bar regulars who frequent this restaurant, or curious passers-by that are intrigued by the grammatically challenged name.

The Claran
1251 Franklin Mall, Santa Clara; 408.296.9558
Hands down one of the best local bars in Santa Clara is the Claran, which takes all kinds into its murky, bunkerlike booze filled depths and satisfies the need for a blue-collar dive bar of the neighborhood regulars and Santa Clara University students. Unlike other local bars in other university towns, the Claran's daytime loyalists don't flee when the students start rolling in after classes, creating a great mix of young and old at this Santa Clara neighborhood bar. Also, the Claran has started to showcase local live music, which totally adds to the already potent recipe for good clean dive bar fun at this local favorite.

Club Savoy
3546 Flora Vista Ave, Santa Clara; 408.244.6909
The hottest all-woman gay club in Santa Clara is Club Savoy, which functions as a self-styled lesbian clubhouse full of pumped up DJ dancing and raucous partying nearly every night of the week. The DJs take a much needed break on Wednesdays, however, to give the ladies a chance to try their signing chops at Club Savoy's karaoke night.

Hops Bar
2151 Laurelwood Road, Santa Clara; 408.988.8411
Inside Santa Clara's Biltmore Hotel lies the microbrew oasis of Hops Bar, which fills the local niche for biz pros in search of some much needed and nearby relief after they've been cooped up in their labyrinthine cubicles all day. We stop in at Hops Bar occasionally when we're on that side of Santa Clara because we totally enjoy the raised Vegas style lounge seating and the extensive beer selection at this local bar.

The Hut
3200 The Alameda, Santa Clara; 408.296.6024
The other best local dive bar in Santa Clara is the Hut, which has been serving local regulars and Santa Clara University students plenty of cheap booze for years. During the school year the Hut gets packed, wall to wall, with drunk college students who go for the laid-back party atmosphere and the stumbling proximity to their overpriced dorms and apartments. When school's not in session, however, the Hut still gets rocking with a slew of Santa Clara regulars who call this neighborhood bar home—and, if you take endorsements, we drink here all the time whether there's drunk Santa Clara University coeds to ogle or not.

Martin's Lounge
1828 Main St, Santa Clara; 408.243.7976
Martin's Lounge, we believe, is the only local Santa Clara bar that opens its doors at the blessedly obscene hour of 6am and it has been serving the neighborhood for over 60 years, so something must be right about opening that early. Also, during exam times at nearby Santa Clara University, the students must be eternally thankful for the early hours at Martin's Lounge to calm those pre-test jitters or for an after test celebration. Even when there are no students to fill the space at this local Santa Clara bar, Martin's Lounge teems with regulars searching for some after (or before) work liquid solace.

Smoke This
2271 The Alameda, Santa Clara; 408.247.6653
Santa Clara has gotten into the whole new hookah craze with Smoke This hookah bar located near Santa Clara University. Smoke This features over 100 hookahs in which you can place 31 different flavors of tobacco for your smoking pleasure, as well as a wrap restaurant next door. Also, this Santa Clara tobacco lounge sports rotating DJs that spin everything form chill out music to a mix of Arabic dance tracks.

Tinker's Dam
46 N. Saratoga Ave, Santa Clara; 408.243.4595
As Santa Clara's partying gay bar, Tinker's Dam sports a youngish crowd of well-manicured guys drinking and dancing with their shirts off until closing time. There's a minimum of attitude from the regulars at Tinker's Dam, and those in the know all show up on Sundays for the wildly popular free barbecue.

Woodham Lounge
4475 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara; 408.296.9810
The Woodham Lounge in Santa Clara has plenty to keep its neighborhood regulars busy—there's pool, darts, foosball and karaoke, but we frequently drink here for the same reason we drink at any local bar: cheap booze. Also, for all you drinking ladies out there looking for a Santa Clara local bar to change up your scene a bit, Mondays are ladies' night at the Woodham Lounge with drink specials reserved solely for the fairer sex.

Ye Olde Royal Oak
1240 Coleman Ave, Santa Clara; 408.588.1111
Here at Metro, we like to stay ahead of the curve. So, even though Ye Olde Royal Oak isn't opening up in Santa Clara until the beginning of July, it's a bar and therefore deserves some coverage. Owned by the original proprietor of the King's Head pub in Campbell, Ye Olde Royal Oak is situated in the old Coleman Still location. While it still looks rustic on the inside, the inside has been entirely renovated. It will be a British pub with a full menu of British food (fish and chips, Beef Wellington, sausages, etc.), and a full bar featuring all the British beers. They have a front patio dining and a rear one as well, and with a full entertainment license, they can host parties with live music. They'll have Celtic music some nights and what we guess will be one of the best lunch and happy hours around. Look for an "Open" sign in the first week of July.

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