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The Metro Santa Cruz 2005 Guide to Bars and Clubs


Pacific Avenue is indisputably the king when it comes to nightspots. There's something here for just about everyone and for every taste, from college hangs and dimly lit dives to gay dance-halls and trendy wine bars.

99 Bottles of Beer

Pub with more than 40 beers on tap, California wines and hard ciders. Weekday happy hour 4–6pm; also after 10pm Wednesday and all day Thursday. Karaoke on Monday. "Pint Night" on Tuesday, with happy hour prices for selected beer all night. "Quiz Night" on Wednesday. All day happy hour on Thursday. 110 Walnut Ave. (831.459.9999; www.99bottles.com)


Cocktail lounge. Monday–Friday happy hour 4–6:30pm. Monday–Thursday open until 10pm, Friday–Saturday till 11pm, Sunday till 10pm. 1116 Pacific Ave. (831.426.7588)

The Asti Cafe

Neighborhood bar. Pool tables, video lottery games, great jukebox. Monday–Friday happy hour 4–7pm. Thursday "Pint Night." Sunday Football specials. Open until 2am. 715 Pacific Ave. (831.423.7337)

The Attic

Cafe and Teahouse. Beer, wine, sandwiches, salads and soups; live entertainment varies. Tuesday–Friday 9am–4pm or later during events; Monday and Saturday 11am–4pm or later during events. 931 Pacific Ave. (831.460.1800)

The Avenue

Neighborhood bar. Pool tables and sports on nine TV screens. Outdoor back patio. Daily happy hour 5–7pm with cheap brews; Wednesday "Drink and Drown" after 8pm, with discount pitchers. Sunday barbecue on back patio. Open until 2am. 711 Pacific Ave. (831.426.3434)

Blue Lagoon Cocktail Lounge

Dance club. Two pool tables. Weekday happy hour 4–9pm. Open until 2am. Cover varies. Live music Wednesdays and Fridays. Drink specials nightly. 923 Pacific Ave. (831.423.7117)

Café Limelight

Beer and wine, hot panini sandwiches, fresh soups and salads. Happy hour 5–7pm daily featuring all local wines and extensive cheese menu. Tuesday–Friday lunch 11:30am–2:30pm and dinner 5:30–9:30pm; Saturday open noon–10pm and Sunday noon–5pm. 1016 Cedar St. (837.425.SURF)

Callahan's Pub

Pub and cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 5–7pm and until 2am (with free pool) Thursday. Open until 2am. 507 Water St. (831.427.3119)

The Catalyst

Nightclub. Three bars, pool tables. Friday happy hour 4:30–7pm. Open until 2am. Cover varies. 1011 Pacific Ave. (831.423.1336)

Clouds Downtown

Cocktail lounge with award-winning martinis. Late-night dining weekdays until 10pm, weekends until 11pm. Weekday happy hour 3–6pm. 110 Church St. (831.429.2000)

Club Dakota

Dance club. Weekday happy hour 4–7pm. Cover varies. 1209 Pacific Ave. (831.454.9030)

Costa Brava

Cocktail lounge. Daily happy hour 4:30–7pm, all night Monday and Tuesday (4:30–10pm). Bar open until 10pm on weekdays and until 1am on weekends. 1222 Pacific Ave. (831.425.7871)

The Garage Sports Bar

Sports bar. Pool table and TVs. Weekday happy hour 5–7pm. Karaoke on Thursday. Open until 2am. 603 Front St. (831.471.5555)

Jose's Cantina

Cantina and cocktail lounge adjacent to El Palomar restaurant. Happy hour Monday–Thursday 4–6pm in the cantina, 6–9pm in taco bar. $2 pints Tuesday 6–10pm. Tuesday "College Night" with $2 selected beers and $1.50 tacos. $5 Mojito Madness Wednesday 6–10pm. $2 pints of selected beer Thursday 7–9pm. 1336 Pacific Ave. (831.425.7575)

Kuumbwa Jazz Center

Nightclub. Nice wine list, bottled beers and beers on tap. Cover varies. 320-2 Cedar St. (831.427.2227)

Mobo Sushi

Cocktail lounge. Open until 10pm Monday–Wednesday, and until 11pm Thursday-Saturday. 105 S. River St. (831.425.1700)

Pearl Alley Bistro & Wine Bar

Cocktail lounge with extraordinary wine list. 110 Pearl Alley. (831.429.8070; www.pearlalley.com)

The Poet & Patriot Irish Pub

Neighborhood bar with real room-temp Guinness. Darts. Weekday happy hour 5–7pm. Open-mic Saturdays 2–6pm. 320 Cedar St. (831.426.8620; www.poetandpatriot.com)

Red Room

Cocktail lounge. Jukebox. Weekday happy hour 4:30–6:30pm. Open until 2am. 1003 Cedar St. (831.426.2994)

The Red

Cocktail lounge and upscale restaurant. Open until 2am. 200 Locust St. (831.425.1913)

Rosie McCann's Irish Pub

Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 4-6pm. Open until midnight on weekdays and until 1:30am on weekends. DJs Thursday–Saturday. 1220 Pacific Ave. (831.426.9930; www.rosiemccanns.com)

Rush Inn

Neighborhood bar. Pool table, pinball and jukebox. Monday night football specials. Monday and Wednesday, $6.50 pitchers of Bud after 8pm; Tuesday $2.50 Hefeweizen and Red Hook pints after 8pm. Open until 2am. 113 Knight St. (831.425.9673)


Extensive wine bar and gourmet dining. Live jazz Monday and Tuesday. Open weekdays until 11pm, Saturday 3–11pm, Sunday 4–10pm, bar open as long as customers are still drinking. 105 Walnut Ave. (831.423.2020)


Sure, the area lacks definable personality, and even we're not sure where its boundaries begin and end. We encourage you to go exploring--one thing's for sure, these neighborhood nooks boast some of the friendliest bartenders and the best live music in town.

Bocci's Cellar

Cocktail lounge. Free bocce every night, tournaments and $3 pints. Happy hour 2–5pm weekdays with $2 beer. 140 Encinal St. (831.427.1795)

The Hindquarter Bar & Grill

Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 4:30–6pm. Monday night football specials. Open until 11pm on weekdays and until midnight on weekends. 303 Soquel Ave. (831.426.7770; www.thehindquarter.com)

The Jury Room

Cocktail lounge. Pool table, pinball, video games and fireplace. Thursday ladies' night. Free pool on Monday. Open until 2am. 712 Ocean St. (831.426.7120)

Linwood's at Chaminade

Cocktail lounge. TVs for sport viewing, billiards and a fireplace. Open on weeknights until 1am, weekends until 2am. Weekday happy hour 4:30–6:30pm. Live music on Friday and Saturday. 1 Chaminade Lane. (831.475.5600; www.chaminade.com/dining)

Moe's Alley

Nightclub. Weekday happy hour 4-8pm. Open until 2am. Cover varies. 1535 Commercial Way. (831.479.1854; www.moesalley.com)

Peachwood's at Pasatiempo Inn

Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 11:30am–5pm. Highway 17 and Pasatiempo Drive. (831.426.6333; www.peachwoods.com)


We're not going to lie to you: the West Side doesn't have much in the way of club-crawling potential. Still, a drive down Mission Street will turn up rewards at both ends of the nightlife spectrum.

Ristorante Avanti

Eclectic wine bar. Rotating wine-tasting flights, gourmet appetizers. Lunch specials Monday–Friday 11:30am–2pm. Open Sunday–Thursday until 9pm, Friday and Saturday until 9:30pm. 1711 Mission St. (831.427.0135)

Ye Olde Watering Hole

Sports bar. Classic-rock jukebox and pool table. Open until 2am. 2405 Mission St. (831.469.4653)


Seabright-area residents claim their neighborhood has the most character in Santa Cruz. With Yacht Harbor, Live Oak and the Avenues riding on Seabright's coattails, we guarantee you'll find the brewpub haven, cozy tavern or cocktail lounge of your dreams.


Neighborhood bar. Pool tables, darts, video games, pinball and a jukebox. Tuesday is neighborhood night. Sunday and Monday night football on four TV screens. Daily happy hour 5–9pm. Free food on Monday and Friday. Open until 2am. 529 Seabright Ave.

Brady's Yacht Club

Neighborhood bar. Tuesday is neighborhood night. 413 Seabright Ave. (No phone: "Just go," they say.)


Surf bar. Pool tournaments. Weekday happy hour 4–7pm. Monday night football specials. Open until 2am. 3623 Portola Dr. (831.462.1319)

Cayuga Vault

Concert, performance and public event venue. 1100 Soquel Ave. (831.421.9471; www.cayugavault.com)

The Corner Pocket

Billiards and darts hall with full bar. Happy hour 4–7pm weekdays; noon–3pm on weekends. Cold beer and hot chicks. Open until 2am. 3102 Portola Dr. (831.475.9819)

The Crepe Place

Neighborhood bar with unique drinks. Weekday happy hour 5:30–7pm, all night on Tuesday. Open until 11:30pm on weekdays and until 1am on weekends. 1134 Soquel Ave. (831.429.6994)

Crow's Nest

Cocktail lounge. Indoor and outdoor decks overlooking Yacht Harbor. Happy house weekdays 4–6pm, all day Wednesday. Monday–Thursday food and selected drinks on special. Cover varies. Yacht Harbor, 2218 East Cliff Dr. (831.476.4560; www.crowsnest-santacruz.com)

One Double Oh Seven Club and Smoking Parlor

Sports bar. Several pool tables, dart boards, foosball machines, video games, pinball, shuffleboard and Hot Spot on the TV, plus online trivia game, QB1 Football every night. Weekday happy hour 4–6pm. Open until 2am. Full humidor. 1007 Soquel Ave. (831.425.9589)

Over the Hill Gang Saloon

Neighborhood bar. Happy Hour 4–7pm. In-house dart Monday– Wednesday nights. Very good jukebox. Open until 2am. 3530 Portola Dr. (831.476.3679)

Portola House

Cocktail lounge. 3326 Portola Dr. (831.476.2733)

Seabright Brewery

Pub. Tuesday is Neighborhood Night 9–11pm. Weekday happy hour 3–6pm. Live music on Friday. Open until 11:30pm. 519 Seabright Ave. (831.426.2739; www.seabrightbrewery.com)


Contrary to popular belief, Beach Street and the Municipal Wharf aren't just for tourists. Reasons to cover the waterfront include but are not limited to: breathtaking sunset views, a dizzying whirl on the Big Dipper and a divine seafood meal on the wharf.

Boardwalk Bowl

Bowling alley, restaurant and bar. Atomic bowling Thursday 10pm and Sunday 8pm. $2 off pitchers anf half-price bowling after 9pm Monday and Tuesday; live entertainment on Friday; karaoke Wedmesday, Thursday, Saturday–Sunday at 8pm. 115 Cliff St. (831.426.3324; www.boardwalkbowl.com)

Carniglia's Seafood

Cocktail lounge. Happy hour 3–5pm. 49a Municipal Wharf. (831.458.3600)

Gilbert's Seafood Grill

Cocktail lounge. 460 Municipal Wharf. (831.423.5200)

Ideal Bar and Grill

Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 2:30–5pm. 106 Beach St. (831.423.5271)

The Mainsail Restaurant

Cocktail lounge with spectacular view. Nightly dinner special. West Coast Santa Cruz Hotel, 175 W. Cliff Dr. (831.426.4330)

The Miramar

Cocktail lounge. Happy hour 2:30–6pm with margaritas. Open until closing. 45 Municipal Wharf. (831.423.4441)

Neptune's Kingdom

Fun for the whole family. Beer in upstairs bar, other food and drink downstairs. Arcade, miniature golf, pool tables, foosball, air hockey and more. 400 Beach St. (831.426.7433; www.beachboardwalk.com)


Cocktail lounge with specialty drinks and extensive wine list. Weekday happy hour 3–6pm. Tuesday and Thursday taco and drink for $5. Open Tuesday–Sunday noon–close, Monday 3:30pm–close. Municipal Wharf. (831.458.9393; www.olitassantacruz.com)

Riva Fish House

Cocktail lounge. Spicy bloody marys made from scratch. 500 Municipal Wharf. (831.429.1223)


Cocktail lounge. 59 Municipal Wharf. (831.423.2180; www.stagnarobros.com)


If you've never explored Scotts Valley, Felton, Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek or Brookdale, unforgettable nightlife adventures lie in store. Locals, of course, have been singing the rustic charms of their mountain towns for decades.

Boulder Creek Brewery

Pub. Weekday happy hour 4–6pm; 2–6pm Wednesday; 9:30– 10:30pm Saturday; 8:30–9:30pm Sunday. Open until 10pm on weekdays and until 10:30pm on weekends. 13040 Highway 9, Boulder Creek. (831.338.7882; www.bouldercreekbrewery.com)

Brookdale Lodge

Cocktail lounge. Live music showcase Friday and Saturday, cover varies. Karaoke Sunday and Wednesday, "Tiki" Tuesday island drinks 5–9pm with $3 all-you-can-eat buffet, Acoustic bluegrass folk jam in lounge 9pm–midnight. Monday night $7 all-you-can-eat buffet, $2 Bud and Coors. Sunday night swing jazz in Brook Room 6–8pm. Open until 11pm Sunday–Thursday and until 1am Friday–Saturday. 11570 Highway 9, Brookdale. (831.338.6433; www.brookdalelodge.com)

Don Quixote's

Cocktail lounge. Happy hour 3:30–6:30pm on draft/bottle beers and well drinks/margaritas seven days a week. Cover varies. 6275 Highway 9, Felton. (831.335.2800)

Henfling's Firehouse Tavern

Classic roadhouse. Weekday happy hour 5–7pm on draft beers and well drinks. Tuesday Martini Madness $2.75 for martini's. Wednesday College Night/ Ladies Night show your ID happy hour prices all night. Cover varies. 9450 Highway 9, Ben Lomond. (831.336.9318; www.henflings.com)

Joe's Bar

Neighborhood bar. Happy all the time! Cheap jukebox with rock classics, dart room, sports TV and quarter pool tables. Thursday night pool tournaments 7:30pm. Open 10am–2am daily. 13118 Central Ave., Boulder Creek. (831.338.9417)

Malone's Grande Grille

Neighborhood bar. Karaoke Saturday night at 8:30pm. Monday–Thursday happy hour 4–6pm. Oct. 29 Halloween party with Zipper at 9pm. 4402 Scotts Valley Dr., Scotts Valley. (831.438.2244)

Max's Lounge at the Hilton

Cocktail lounge. Happy hour half-off appetizers 5–7pm, seven days a week. Open until 10pm Monday–Thursday, 11pm Friday–Saturday, 9pm Sunday. 6001 La Madrona Dr., Scotts Valley. (831.440.1000)

Trout Farm Inn

Cocktail lounge. Happy hour weekdays and appetizer special 4–6pm. Monday Night Football (prizes).Open until 11pm. 7701 E. Zayante Rd., Felton. (831.335.4317; www.thetroutfarminn.com)


Full bar. Open Wednesday–Sunday 11:30am–9:30pm. 13300 Big Basin Highway, Boulder Creek. (831.338.4444)


From the clean, well-lighted places of Capitola to the saucy saloons of Soquel Village, you won't find better places to meet new friends or renew old acquaintances.

Cafe Cruz

Cocktail lounge overlooking spacious patio. Good list of wines by the glass. Weekday happy hour 4–6pm. 2621 41st Ave., Capitola. (831.476.3801; www.cafecruz.com)

Caffe Lido

Full bar/lounge area a nd outside deck. Open until 9pm Monday–Thursday, until 10pm Friday–Saturday. 110 Monterey Ave., Capitola. (831.475.6544)

Fast Eddy's Billiards

Billiards hall with beer and wine. Video games, pinball and sports on big screen TVs. Weekday happy hour 4:30–6:30pm. Free pool for ladies Tuesday after 6:30pm. Wednesday $5 pitchers Sierra Pale Ale 7pm–midnight. Open until 2am. 4300 Capitola Rd., Capitola. (831.462.1882).

JJ's Saloon

Sports bar. Pool tables, shuffleboard and jukebox. Good drinks for good prices. Open until 2am. 4714 Soquel Dr., Soquel. (831.462.1631)

The Fog Bank

Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 3–6pm. Open until midnight on weekdays and 1am on weekends. Karaoke Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 7pm–11pm. Live Music Friday, Satirday, Sunday 8pm–midnight. 211 Esplanade, Capitola. (831.462.1881).

Paradise Beach Grill

Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 4–6pm. Tuesday Pasta Night. Wednesday Surf and Turf Night. 215 Esplanade, Capitola. (831.476.4900)

The Shadowbrook

Cocktail lounge. "Winemaker Wednesdays" featuring wines from Santa Cruz Wine Makers Association $10–$15 per flight of wine, free appetizers 5–8pm through April. Live music Saturday evening. Dinner specials starting in November. 1750 Wharf Road, Capitola. (831.475.1511; www.shadowbrook-capitola.com)

Sir Froggy's Pub

Neighborhood bar. Pool table, darts, jukebox, TVs for sports. Monday Night Football Dinners $8. Karaoke Thursday 8pm–1am. Open 6am–2am. 4771 Soquel Dr., Soquel. (831.476.9802)

Takara Japanese Restaurant

Sake bar/lounge. Happy hour 3:30–5:30p. Open until 9:30pm. 3775 Capitola Road, Capitola. (831.464.1818)

Wharf House

Restaurant with full bar on the Capitola wharf. Open weekdays until 8:30pm, weekends until 9:30pm. 1400 Wharf Road, Capitola. (831.476.3534; www.wharfhouse.com)


Cocktail lounge. Back deck overlooks Capitola beach. Dance floor, TVs, live music. Weekday happy hour 2:30–5pm. Open until 1am on weekdays and until 2am on weekends. 203 Esplanade, Capitola. (831.475.4900)


Wear jeans in Aptos Village and Rio Del Mar or don some fancy duds and mix it up in upscale Seascape. Either way, you'll find redwoods, sunset views and outdoor decks, along with generous samplings of live jazz.

Aptos Club

Nightclub. Modest dance floor, outside patio for smokers, pool tables and jukebox. Daily happy hour 4–6pm. Open until 2am. 7941 Soquel Dr., Aptos. (831.688.9888)

Bittersweet Bistro

Cocktail lounge with single-malt scotches, fine cognac and extensive wine list. Daily "Bistro Hour" 3–6pm, with two-for-one pizzettas and $1 off specially priced wines by the glass, $2 beer and spirits $3.50. Monday half-price on selected martinis. Wednesday half-off selection of wines. 787 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Aptos. (831.662.9799; www.bittersweetbistro.com)

The Britannia Arms

Pub. Pool table and league darts in game room, Wednesday trivia nights. Weekday happy hour 2:30–6pm. Open until 2am. Sunday and Monday night football specials. Ten TVs and a big screen for sports. Karaoke Friday, Live music Saturday. 8017 Soquel Dr., Aptos. (831.688.1233; www.brittanniaarms.com)

Cafe Rio

Cocktail lounge, indoor and outdoor at Rio Del Mar beach. Open weekdays until midnight, weekends until 1am. Weekday happy hour 3–5:30pm. Every night's a special night. 131 Esplanade, Rio Del Mar. (831.688.8917)

The Mediterranean

Neighborhood bar. Weekday happy hour 4:30–6:30pm. Darts, juke box, golf game, gong. Open until 2am. 265 Center St., Aptos. (831.688.7004)

Palapas Restaurant & Cantina

Cocktail lounge and cantina with margarita specials, extensive tequila selection. 21 Seascape Village, Aptos. (831.662.9000)


Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 4:30–6:30pm. Free Taco bar on Fridays. Open Sunday–Thursday until 9pm, Friday–Saturday until 10pm. Sunset dinner Sunday–Thursday 5–7pm for $11.95, Sunday and Monday $12.95 prime rib. 7500 Old Dominion Court, Aptos. (831.688.8987; www.seacliff.inn.com)


They say as you head south, the weather gets balmier, the folk get friendlier and the music gets livelier. To verify the truth of this local legend, check out these watering holes in Freedom, Watsonville and Moss Landing.


Cocktail lounge. Happy hour Monday–Thursday 5–7pm. Tuesday Tecate and tacos for $3. Sunday and Monday night football specials, $7 domestic pitcher, $2 domestic draft. Rotating specials every night. Open until 11:30am weeknights, 1am on weekends. 1934 Main St., Watsonville. (831.761.2161)

El Alteño

Cocktail lounge. Happy Hour 4–6pm, two TVs for sports. Open daily until 9:30pm. 323 Main St., Watsonville. (831.768.9876)

El Tarasco Cafe

Cocktail lounge. 328 Walker, Watsonville. (831.728.5197)

Green Valley Grill

Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 4–6:00pm. Open Monday–Thursday until 9pm, Friday–Saturday until 9:30pm or until last customer leaves. Live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Rotating drinks specials nightly. 40 Penny Lane, Watsonville. (831.728.0644)


Cocktail lounge includes over 20 tequilas. Weekday happy hour 3–6pm. Mariachis on Friday night. Open until 9:30pm on weekdays and until drink till you drop on weekends. 618 Main St., Watsonville. (831.728.9080)

The Villager

Cocktail lounge. Open daily 6am–2am. 1032 E. Lake Ave., Watsonville. (831.722.5200)

Wooden Nickel Bar & Grill

Neighborhood bar. Open until 10pm weekdays, midnight weekends. 1819 Freedom Blvd., Freedom. (831.724.2600)

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From the October 26-November 2, 2005 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

Copyright © 2005 Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.

For more information about Santa Cruz, visit santacruz.com.

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