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Club Life

Touchdown Tommy's
5837 Camden Ave., San Jose; 408.723.9981

By Jim Harrington

Hours: 8am-midnight
Dress: No dress code; 21 and over
Amenities: Televisions, full-service bar, on-site ATM, pool table, shuffleboard table, video card game, karaoke night

TOUCHDOWN TOMMY'S is Tommy Meyers' place. And that's why most people come to the cozy neighborhood bar on Camden Avenue--to hang out with Tommy, a man who looks astoundingly like Gene Hackman, and talk sports.

As one would expect by the name, Touchdown Tommy's is decorated with football and sports memorabilia, some of which reflect the owner's short career as an NFL referee. There are also more modern souvenirs, such as a signed poster by former Baltimore Oriole (and my former next-door neighbor) Scott Erickson.

Tommy's serves more frozen tequila shots than any other drink except beer. They keep the Cuervo in the freezer and pull it out at a rapid rate for those looking for some icy liquid courage. The bar draws a friendly collection of regular customers, many of which have been coming to the place for a good portion of the 16 years that Meyers has owned it. A newcomer is quickly noticed but, after a few Buds at the bar, casually accepted into the mix. The big game of the moment, be it baseball, basketball, hockey or tennis, draws the biggest crowds. Football is king, but currently all the March Madness and NCAA Final Four action is onscreen for hookey-playing bracketeers.

The crowd at Tommy's is treated like family. Manager Juanita Zuniga celebrates each holiday occasion with appropriately themed meals. Last week, she served corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day. On Fridays, the joint is rocking for karaoke night as locals try to imitate Gordon Lightfoot, Alan Jackson and John Lennon. On other nights, the balls are usually rolling on the pool table and it's not hard to find a good game with (and get beaten by) one of the regulars.

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From the March 24-31, 2004 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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