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Photograph by Felipe Buitrago

Club Life

180 Restaurant and Lounge
15 1/2 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos; 408.395.1804; opens in March

By Todd Inoue

FOR OVER three decades, Mountain Charley's has shared a staircase with a cross-lobby neighbor. During the late '80s it was the Alligator Bar & Grill and from the '90s to the present it went by Los Gatos Bar and Grill. This March, the space will be home to a new dining experience called 180 Restaurant and Lounge.

The 180 name came to owner Mark Achilli —who also owns Mountain Charley's—during a conversation with a friend. "I wanted it to be the exact opposite of Mountain Charley's," Achilli says. "Charley's is a rock & roll nightclub and it's been like that 32 years. It works and that's great but the new place will be the exact opposite, 180 degrees. That's where the name comes in."

Achilli says that 180 will be akin to something seen in San Francisco—a high-end restaurant and lounge. "It won't be hot, loud and crowded. It'll be cool and upscale."

Achilli chose Anchor Tap chef Kevin Dreyfuss to prepare a menu that samples a little bit of everything that Los Gatos does well—steaks, chops, seafood, Asian dishes. The décor will get an industrial makeover. They've sandblasted the brick to return it to original rustic. They installed steel on the walls. Bars in Los Gatos range between noisy, quiet, biker, tony and frat boy. Upscale lounge isn't in the mix yet, but Achilli hopes 180 will be the first.

"I think that's exactly what's missing," Achilli says. "We're going to take it to the next level."

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From the January 26-February 1, 2005 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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