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The Metro Bars & Clubs 2004 Guide
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The Pruneyard,
1875 S. Bascom Ave, Campbell

408.371.4404; www.boswellsbar.com
Boswell's turned 30 last year, and while the Pruneyard shopping center has modernized, Boswell's has not. For that, people love it. Illuminated primarily by neon beer signs, Boswell's exudes a rustic feel further enhanced by the giant stuffed moose head that surveys the room. Cover bands play on the bar's small stage Thursdays through Mondays. Tuesdays are karaoke night; on Wednesdays, DJ Jazzy provides the music. Fridays also feature a hot-food happy hour. (SQ)

Campbell Billiards
1777 S. Bascom Ave, Campbell
With wall-to-wall pool tables and not much else, there's one reason and one reason only to head to Campbell Billiards: to shoot some stick. That's not entirely true, of course. The pool hall also boasts video games, pinball and a jukebox stocked with genres and just about every edition of the Now That's What I Call Music series. Hey, the place even has the Trapt album ready to be cued up. Fridays and Saturdays may bring a waiting list to get on a table. On Sundays, the hall hosts open tournaments with a $5 buy in. In the evenings, tables are $10.80 an hour for two people, but there are discounts during the day. Ask at the snack counter. (SQ)

Campbell Brewing Company
200 E. Campbell Ave, Campbell
Campbell is about to get a new attraction. The Campbell Brewing Company, owned by the partners in Campbell Ventures and operated by Bob Stoddard, is planning a grand-opening celebration July 4. "It's not Stoddard's in any way, shape or form," Stoddard says, referring to his namesake brewhouse and eatery in Sunnyvale. On the main level, a restaurant will serve upscale California cuisine—a fresh take on brewpub food. The upstairs bar will have a beer garden, decks and a big patio. Three core brews and three specialty brews will flow on tap and Stoddard says they'll keep one bottle lager available. For entertainment, CBC will have open mic, karaoke, jam and live band nights. Sundays will be themed nights bent toward ethnic music like Croatian and Latin, and Stoddard hopes to host some kids nights as well. Stoddard says he's creating a space where people can feel comfortable just sitting outside enjoying a coffee or an ice cream if they want to. (SQ)

Caper's Eat and Drink
1710 W. Campbell Ave, in the Kirkwood Plaza, Campbell; 408.374.5777
Gargoyles preside over patrons at this elegant but unintimidating establishment, voted Best Fine Dining/Cocktail in 2004 by the Campbell Reporter. According to Caper's staff, the gargoyles ward off evil spirits. Good spirits are more than welcome, though, in drinks like the Caper's Cooler, the Bermuda Triangle and the Bocce Ball. Sports memorabilia decorates the walls and Giants games broadcast on Caper's many TVs. (SQ)

Pour Excuse: Sonia Avila fortifies customers at Campbell's chic, quirky Cardiff Lounge.

The Cardiff Lounge
260 E. Campbell Ave, Campbell
408.374.7477; www.cardifflounge.com
The Cardiff of today is not the Cardiff of yesterday. Though the rock facade of the old dive bar still stands, the inside has become a stylish DJ lounge. Still, bartenders strive to maintain some of the warmth and comfort of the old dive. On slow nights, patrons are invited to bring along their own food. On packed nights, perceptive DJs spinning on corner decks read the crowd's mood. Three plasma-screen TVs show sports and movies; there's modern art for sale straight off the walls; and the popular drink Adios, Motherfucker adds to the Cardiff's chic quirkiness. (SQ)

2240 S. Winchester Blvd, Campbell
By day, kids are welcome to enjoy Coach's menu of burgers, sandwiches and nachos, but after 9pm it's strictly grown-ups. The bartendress says they mostly get beer drinkers there, but if anyone's interested, she makes a mean Apple Martini. This neighborhood bar offers plenty of distractions: darts, Megatouch, foosball, pool and a well-stocked jukebox. But when there's a game on, it becomes the center of attention. Friday is karaoke night; every other Saturday the bar brings in a hip-hop DJ. Coach's is wrapping up construction on a new patio. (SQ)

Effie's Restaurant and Bar
331 W. Hacienda Ave, Campbell
Stepping into Effie's is like stepping back in time to the dining deck of a luxury liner. The building—a lovely shade of honeyed lemon peach with white trim—looks out of place just off an industrial stretch of Winchester Boulevard. Frosted-glass front doors open to reveal a delightfully unintentionally retro restaurant. To the left is the bar area, where regulars gather to socialize, watch TV or sing karaoke with Erica (Tuesdays-Saturdays) over cocktails. Though the surroundings seem fit for an '80s-era soap queen, attire is typically casual or business casual. One older gentleman was spotted wearing a "Hooters Girls Dig Me" shirt and getting a kick out of its results! (SQ)

Elephant Bar
499 E. Hamilton Ave, Campbell
408.871.8401; www.elephantbar.com
It's a jungle in here: fire dances in the lanterns lighting the stairway; tropical fans swing lazily overhead; and a giant elephant head stares down over multiple levels. At the circular bar ringed by a brass rail, specialty drinks include the Jungle Colada, the Ivory Coast Margarita and a creamy liqueur with a fruity flavor from South Africa called Amarillo Cream that's rumored to be an aphrodisiac. It's sports-only on the TVs, and happy hour runs 4-6:30pm with drink and appetizer specials. (SQ)

The Garret
1777 S. Bascom Ave, Campbell
408.559.7930; www.thegarret.com
Done up in warm, sturdy red brick and rich, solid woods, the Garret offers lots of booth and table seating and a comfortable atmosphere. Future athletes and today's sports fans happily coexist inside this cheerful family-style restaurant and neighborhood bar. While area Little Leaguers battle their post-game hunger over pizza and sodas, sports enthusiasts hang out with the TV in the bar area and talk strategy over hot appetizers and cold brews. (SQ)

The Gaslighter Theater
400 E. Campbell Ave, Campbell
408.866.1408; www.thegaslighter.com
This historic theater has become as well known for its rock, metal, punk and ska shows as it has for its vaudeville. Proof positive that local bands value all-ages environments, nights at the Gaslighter are in constant demand. Some Fridays and every Saturday are reserved for theater productions, but live music takes the stage most Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays and Mondays. The Gaslighter has a cozy bar in the lobby that serves soft drinks, beer, wine and snacks. (SQ)

The Heritage Theatre
1 W. Campbell Ave #32, Campbell
408.866.2797; www.heritagetheatre.org
Located at the Campbell Community Center, the Heritage is establishing itself as the local hotspot for golden-oldies entertainment. The historic building has hosted Tommy Tune, the Count Basie Orchestra and adult-contemporary pianist Jim Brickman. It's not the hippest of rosters, but it's one that clearly appeals to a demographic with deep pockets. Organizers say that they are looking to spice up the lineup for the fall. (JH)

Jersey's Tavern
1781 S. Winchester Blvd, Campbell
Tucked in a strip mall sits a Philly lover's dream. A sign out front deems Jersey's the West Coast Home of the Philadelphia Eagles, and in addition to its Philly cheese steaks, its pizza sandwiches are a popular order. Broken into several rooms with a TV in every one, Jersey's is family-style restaurant and bar with tall wooden booths with bench seats and one Hulk-sized wooden-spool table surrounded by smaller bobbin bar stools. A recent outing found a uniformed Little League team shooting pool and playing pinball and videogames. Wonder if they saw the shuffleboard hiding near the back. (SQ)

Katie Bloom's
369 E. Campbell Ave, Campbell
408.379.9687; www.katieblooms.com
Irish pubs, by their very nature, are celebratory establishments, and Katie Bloom's is no exception. The heated outdoor patio is a huge draw, but inside, TVs broadcast sporting events and the jukebox is stocked with Irish sons like Shane MacGowan, the Chieftains and U2. To add to the entertainment, Leonard's Jazz Quartet plays the first Saturday of every month, and Celtic Heart plays folk songs and ballads on the first and third Sunday of every month. The restaurant offers high tables and booth seats and a menu of fried appetizers. (SQ)

300 Orchard City Dr, Campbell
408.379.6340; www.boswellsbar.com/khartoum.html
Named after the capital city of Sudan, Khartoum is an instantly inviting destination thanks to its colorful Tiffany-style lamps and backlit stained glass panels that depict scenes from the bar's African namesake. Legend has it the stuffed animal heads on the wall were shot by the late Bing Crosby. Though they're not likely to be rooting for the Boston Red Sox, Khartoum does broadcast all major league baseball games on its eight TVs. Other amenities include a jukebox, Megatouch, darts, foosball and a magazine rack to help pass the time if that date shows up late again. Khartoum also hosts karaoke every Thursday. (SQ)

King's Head Pub & Restaurant
201 Orchard City Dr, Campbell
408.871.2499; www.thekingshead.com
The pub and restaurant known for its rocky medieval mood is a popular stomping ground for Anglophiles, with its authentic British grub and infamous tartan nights, when folks of Celtic descent (and probably some well-disguised wannabes) arrive dressed in traditional garb. In addition, the King's Head has been cultivating new audiences; its weekly calendar offers a bounty of rock, open-mic and karaoke nights. Every Tuesday, kilts are kiboshed, as folks show up to boot scoot under the banners to live music by bands like the California Cowboys and the Patty Kistner Band. (SQ)

Left at Albuquerque
The Pruneyard, 1875 S. Bascom Ave #50, Campbell
408.558.1680; www.leftatalb.com
Wild West meets Mexican fiesta inside this restaurant and bar, where American flags fly over Dos Equis and Tecate piñatas, and longhorns and cowboy boots decorate the walls. In addition to frosty margaritas like Johnny's High Plains Drifter, Left at Albuquerque provides more than 75 tequilas to choose from. For tequila lovers, that's reason enough to turn left here. Whether spicy and smoky or more meat-and-potatoes, Southwestern dishes can be ordered at the bar where TVs broadcast sports. (SQ)

Off the Hook
2369 S. Winchester Blvd, Campbell
There are no fewer than 19 TVs at Off the Hook, down from 27 according to the bartender. Pool tables, pinball and air hockey, along with house specialty drinks like the Ankles in the Air and the Starburst Kamikaze, attract regulars, and the jukebox is said to be updated every Wednesday. During a recent visit, a group of women playing a game of darts scooted around to Alan Jackson's "Livin' on Love" before the disc switched over to AC/DC's "Back in Black." This neighborhood bar offers free pool every Sunday from 9pm to closing and Ladies Night on Wednesdays; Power Hour happens every Monday-Friday, 4-6pm, with free appetizers like taquitos, pizza and sandwiches. There's also a large outdoor patio out back with picnic tables, patio furniture with umbrellas, a glider, benches and a pool table. (SQ)

Rock Bottom Brewery
The Pruneyard, 1875 S. Bascom Ave, Campbell
408.377.0707; www.rockbottom.com
A haven for microbrew lovers, Rock Bottom has five standard brews on tap with one to three specialties dictated by the season. The most popular brew is the Raccoon Red, in part because it has an alcohol content of 6.5 percent. Inside, the spacious restaurant is decorated with artistic beer signs. The outdoor patio is dog-friendly and draws crowds when the weather's nice. The brewery supports all Bay Area sports teams, and celebrities like Jeff Garcia, Steve Caballero and Chris Isaak have been spotted there. Specialties include the mug club, semiannual brew fests, brew dinners and beer-to-go from the $6.95 -gallon Growler to the $85 15-gallon keg. (SQ)

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From the June 16-22, 2004 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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