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June 21-27, 2006

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Silicon Valley Bars & Clubs 2006


Silicon Valley Bars & Clubs 2006:
Intro | Bartender myths | San Jose | Campbell | Cupertino | Los Altos | Los Gatos | Mountain View | Palo Alto | Santa Clara | Saratoga | Sunnyvale | Other cities

1875 S. Bascom Ave, in the Pruneyard, Campbell; 408.371.4404

Boswell's is the quintessential local bar in Campbell, even though it's located inside the Pruneyard shopping center, which hasn't lost any of its old-school charm—or pricing structure—from its heyday in the now painfully resurgent '70s and '80s. You can catch cover band live music at Boswell's starting on Wednesdays and stretching right through the weekend. Seriously though, we've spent some great nights, and afternoons, drinking at this local bar—and even remember most of them.

Campbell Billiards
1777 S. Bascom Ave, Campbell; 408.377.9886

Not exactly a bar in the traditional sense because its open to all ages, but Campbell Billiards does serve beer to those of you that are of age from its small snack bar, and the prices for pool—even at the hourly rates—are cheap. There are also video games and pinball for entertainment, and on Sundays it hosts a $5 open buy in tournament where local sharks can brush up on their skills before they aim their cue at bigger fish.

Capers Eat and Drink
1710 W. Campbell Ave, in the Kirkwood Plaza, Campbell; 408.374.5777

Capers has been providing the Campbell community with excellent food and drink for a number of years in its sports-friendly confines. Nearly every seat at the bar provides you with a view of a television, and the bartender is always willing to put your favorite team on while you down a brew or cocktail from the extensive house selection.

Cardiff Lounge
260 E. Campbell Ave, Campbell; 408.374.7477

The Cardiff Lounge existed as a scruffy neighborhood bar until it got a modern makeover and cemented itself as the new Campbell hot spot for chilling out and dancing to slick DJ stylings.

2240 S. Winchester Blvd, Campbell; 408.379.2654

Family-friendly restaurant by day and rocking neighborhood bar by night, Coach's provides an amicable, relaxing spot to chow down on some nachos or burgers, down some beer and watch a game. When the game isn't on, Coach's supplants the televised entertainment with a host of other distractions, including foosball and darts. On Fridays, the local wannabe crooners belt out their renditions of all your favorites, while every other Saturday they host hip-hop DJs.

Effie's Restaurant and Bar
331 W. Hacienda Ave, Campbell; 408.374.3400

An older mix of business professionals step into the distinguished dining room of Effie's in Campbell, which is reminiscent of the dining decks on luxury liners from times gone by. The unintentionally retro restaurant features a variety of excellent cuisine to delight the palate coupled with its equally well-prepared cocktails and extensive wine list.

Elephant Bar
499 E. Hamilton Ave, Campbell; 408.871.8401

It's literally a jungle in the Elephant Bar, and during one drunken evening there, sampling some supposed liquid aphrodisiac called Amarillo Cream, we actually believe that we saw Dr. Livingstone hiding in the corner—or maybe it was Jane Goodall. Anyway, the jungle motif is taken to the extreme, providing endless entertainment to the kids that crowd the dining area of this restaurant and bar with their families. While in the bar area, a more adult atmosphere prevails, with TVs thankfully showing a variety of sports rather than the Crocodile Hunter.

Goosetown Lounge
1072 Lincoln Ave, San Jose; 408.292.4835

Goosetown Lounge in San Jose's Willow Glen neighborhood is like a rocking nightly party with 100 or so close friends jammed into a place that's the size of a modest living room. Seriously, few other neighborhood bars take care of their drinkers better than Goosetown, which serves up single shots that look like doubles, gaming entertainment galore and some downright hilarious karaoke nights.

The Garret
1777 S. Bascom Ave, Campbell; 408.559.7930

Regulars happily co-exist with future hall of famers from local Little Leagues at the Garret, which happens to be the best place in Campbell to catch a game, grab a surprisingly wide selection of excellent eats and down some inexpensive draft beer. Patrons queue up to the counter, cafeteria-style, to order anything from pizza and burgers to cheese fondue; yeah, what other neighborhood bars offer cheese fondue? None.

Jersey's Tavern
1781 S. Winchester Blvd, Campbell; 408.374.1415

Sunday mornings during football season, it's almost impossible to get a table at Jersey's Tavern, which bills itself as the West Coast home of the Philadelphia Eagles, for some of their mouth-watering cheese steaks and beer. Jersey's is broken up into several rooms, each sporting TVs and deep wooden booths, so multiple games can be shown at once at this Campbell favorite.

Katie Bloom's
369 E. Campbell Ave, Campbell; 408.379.9687
As an age-old drinking rule, you must have fun at Irish bars, and Katie Bloom's in the heart of Old Town Campbell is certainly no exception, because this local bar gets extremely packed nearly every night of the week with drinkers of all ages raising their pints to the sounds of some of Ireland's favorite sons and daughters. You can also grab some authentic Irish food stuffs from their grill, because Katie Bloom's is owned and operated by Irish lads and lassies who've decided to reside in California even thought they still refer to Ireland as home.

300 Orchard City Dr, Campbell; 408.379.6340

With its large inviting space, numerous TVs broadcasting all major sports, and other entertainment diversions that drinkers love, Khartoum is the perfect local bar in Campbell to spend an afternoon in over a few beers and whiskey shooters. We've spent many a day doing just that, and the amicable staff doesn't even care when we stumble a bit across the floor to grab another round from the bar.

King's Head Pub & Restaurant
201 Orchard City Dr, Campbell; 408.871.2499

A favorite local bar to Anglophiles in Campbell and across the South Bay, the King's Head Pub & Restaurant serves up authentic British grub and pints in its rustic two-story interior. Also, the King's Head sports the largest back patio of any bar in Campbell complete with a pool table for some alfresco billiards and large tables that can accommodate all of your drinking buddies. Live music is also on the bill, featuring original and cover bands rocking out many nights of the week.

Left at Albuquerque
1875 S. Bascom Ave #50, in the Pruneyard, Campbell; 408.558.1680

Tequila lovers pack into Left at Albuquerque because it boasts more 75 varieties of that evil little agave spirit to go along with its better than average Southwestern culinary selections. The interior looks as if some tornado traveled through Mexico before it hit Texas and then dumped the jetsam down in this local bar, but, taking into account the previous provided facts, the décor should be the last thing on your mind, as should what's being broadcast on the TVs.

Off the Hook
2369 S. Winchester Blvd, Campbell; 408.374.3257

Regulars are attracted to this neighborhood bar because there are miles of entertainment provided with pool, pinball, and air hockey. Off The Hook will even let you shoot pool for free on Sunday nights and has free appetizers during happy hour. But even better than free pool, It has a huge patio out back that has decidedly different seating than you'll find at any other local bar, like a swing glider.

Rock Bottom Brewery
1875 S. Bascom Ave, in the Pruneyard, Campbell; 408.377.0707

It's hard to miss the large water tower looming over the Rock Bottom Brewery beckoning microbrew lovers to pull up a stool and sample their latest offerings. Rock Bottom keeps its five standard brews on tap at all times along with one of three specialty brews, which is dictated by the season. The bar also has a great patio where you can bring your canine companion, because dogs like beer, too.

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