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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

Abyss Nightclub
146 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale; 408.732.2977

Formerly the Forum, the Abyss has made its name with weekday and weekend events that stand out from the pack. The best-known is $2 Tuesdays, which first made a splash with DJ Slick D back in 2002 and are still going strong. The club features multilevel dance areas, go-go cages and three full bars. Big and hip, it's a big-league Silicon Valley club experience.

767 N. Mathilda Ave, Sunnyvale; 408.245.8777

Barcelona takes care of Sunnyvale's Latin dance party needs by catering to the younger dance crowds with DJs spinning the latest in raggaeton, Spanish rock, salsa, merengue and hip-hop on the weekends. Also, Barcelona showcases live music by up and coming Latin acts in an appreciated effort to bolster the live music scene.

Blue Bonnet Bar
203 S. Fair Oaks Ave, Sunnyvale; 408.245.6651
A great low-key alternative for a night out in Saratoga, Blue Rock Shoot offers its patrons a casual, lodgelike woodsy atmosphere in which to enjoy some local live music in the folk, bluegrass or jazz veins. The outdoor back patio at Blue Rock Shoot is the perfect place to catch up with old friends and, while the interior of the club is small, it totally provides fans with an intimate, memorable experience from any act that rolls through.

Blue Max
828 W. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale; 408.746.9500

Regulars of all shapes, sizes and legal ages frequent the Blue Max, a sports bar that is always a good time whether there's a game being broadcast or not. Also, for pre-, post- or no-game diversions Blue max sports a pool table, two dart lanes and various video games to try your drunken hand at. Local karaoke revelers can belt out their boozy renditions every Thursday through Saturday, and Blue Max also hosts the occasional live music act.

Faultline Brewery
1235 Oakmead Pkwy, Sunnyvale; 408.736.2739

Faultline Brewery in Sunnyvale sports nine varieties of housemade microbrews on tap, out of the 22 that they regularly brew throughout the year, depending on the season, making it a great beer lovers' local bar, especially for the after-work crowds to drink and dine in, because of its close proximity to all of the commuter freeways. Other amenities at Faultline Brewery are an outdoor patio, TVs over the bar and enough room for even the largest departmental function. Unfortunately, however, Faultline Brewery is not open on the weekends except for private parties.

Fibbar Magee's
156 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale; 408.749.8373
You can get your fill of traditional Irish fare and good, strong beer at Fibbar Magee's, a local bar that provides all of your favorite Irish pastimes: darts and drinking. On the weekends Fibbar Magee's gets an all-together different kind of party going by hosting local Sunnyvale and Bay Area live-music acts.

Firehouse Grill & Brewery
111 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale; 408.773.9500

Welcome Firehouse to the Bay Area's stand-out cluster of microbreweries. Their brewmaster has already produced five original beers that are available stoolside, and there's a full bar as well. Firehouse boasts 11 plasma Tvs for the sports crowd, and a gigantic patio that as of this month has become a home for live blues music on Sundays.

Lion and Compass Restaurant
1023 N. Fair Oaks Ave, Sunnyvale; 408.745.1260

The Sunnyvale biz pro set call the Lion and Compass Restaurant their local bar of choice for its prim but elegant confines where they can relax after a day's work. The restaurant itself serves up contemporary American cuisine that is complimented by the Lion and Compass' cocktail and wine lists.

Murphy's Law
135 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale; 408.736.3822

Located on Sunnyvale's bar strip, Murphy's Law exudes that local bar feel by combining a comfortable drinking establishment where anyone is welcome with a well-packed and raucous nightly party scene. Five televisions and a huge 8-foot projection screen broadcast all of your favorite sporting events except on Sundays when Murphy's Law shows movies of the bartenders' preference to its host of regulars. Also, it has a Monday blues jam session, karaoke on Thursdays and brings in local live music on the weekends, not that its party image needed any bolstering.

Off the Hookah Lounge
196 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale; 408.530.0325

Now, after the whole hookah smoking craze has spawned countless smoke lingering chill-out lounges with nothing more potent than tea or coffee to imbibe, along comes Off the Hookah in Sunnyvale that finally does it right by including a full bar within their its confines. Also, Off the Hookah has some slick DJs spinning the tunes and serves an eclectic blend of Middle-Eastern food to take the edge off those hunger pangs.

Paul and Harvey's
130 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale; 408.736.5770

Paul and Harvey's is a neighborhood bar where the blue-collar and Budweiser set comes to drink. Also, Paul and Harvey's has three pool tables, two dart lanes and a slew of video games to keep your mind occupied, well as much as your mind should be occupied at a bar. On Thursdays, local musicians come to jam, and there is occasional live music on Saturdays.

Pebble Roppongi Karaoke Lounge
160 S. Frances St, Sunnyvale; 408.738.0392

Pebble Roppongi Karaoke Lounge is just getting started when it opens up at 8pm for a night of traditional karaoke sung by its mostly Asian clientele. But don't let the late start time fool you because Pebble Roppongi serves up some exquisite small-plate Japanese fare and some French desserts to go along with its staggering selection of sake.

Quarter Note Bar and Grill
1214 Apollo Way, Sunnyvale; 408.732.2110

One of the last places left in Sunnyvale, and most of the South Bay for that matter, that strives to bring its patrons live music on a nightly basis is the Quarter Note. An unlikely combination of Moroccan and American food is served from the Quarter Note's kitchen and the bar area sports TVs, shuffleboard, pool tables and pinball. The only night that this Sunnyvale live music club takes a break from bringing great bands is on Tuesdays when it brings you the great live musical entertainment of karaoke ... yay.

Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Club
157 W. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale; 408.736.0921
Sunnyvale's home for world-class standup comedy is Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Club, whose roll call of past performers includes the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams and Ellen DeGeneres. Instead of standing at a bar and laughing at your buddy's lame attempts to pick up that hottie he's been ogling all night, check out Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Club in Sunnyvale and laugh at someone who actually gets paid for it; also, tickets to shows are usually only $12 with a two-drink minimum—which definitely comes in under our nightly bar tab.

Scruffy Murphy's Irish Pub
187 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale; 408.735.7394
Irish expats and anyone who enjoys a good old Irish party pack into Scruffy Murphy's in Sunnyvale or a heaping dose of the Emerald Isle. Scruffy Murphy's sports 13 beers on tap and serves up all of the heart-stopping cuisine classics that you'd expect from a local Irish bar. Be sure to check them out on Wednesdays which is the designated Irish night—complete with live music sometimes—and the real party here is on the weekends when a DJ pumps up the crowd on the dance floor. The karaoke action goes down on Thursdays.

Shooters Bar and Grill
769 N. Mathilda Ave, Sunnyvale; 408.738.2787

Shooters is everything that you'd expect from a little Sunnyvale neighborhood sports bar with 11 beers on tap and plenty of other distractions like pool, darts and video games to occupy your brain when the game isn't on its big screen TV. Also, this no-frills bar plays host to karaoke on Thursdays so you can kick-start your weekend by drunkenly belting out "I Will Survive" to all your adoring fans.

St. John's Bar & Grill
510 Lawrence Expy, Sunnyvale; 408.738.8515

One of this area's most popular pubs, St. John's is a sports bar that prides itself on a wide selection of brewskies. There are some great deals, too, making this a popular hangout for the Happy Hour crowd (try $1.99 well drinks and $3.99 pitchers before 8pm on Thursdays). With all the local-favorite teams represented on lots of TV, it gets loud at peak hours. If it's too dark for you inside, try the ginormous outside patio area.

Tarragon Restaurant and Bar
140 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale; 408.737.8003

We could go on and on about the extensive wine and drink lists at Tarragon, like a 50-selection-strong martini list alone, but that would do a huge disservice to Sunnyvale's chic restaurant and lounge because the food here is nothing short of inspired. The head chef has developed an interesting infusion that combines Pacific Rim influences with Mediterranean cuisine to form one of the most eclectic menus anywhere. You can drink and dine in Tarragon's striking interior or enjoy the awesome Sunnyvale weather on their stellar back patio.

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