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The Metro Bars & Clubs 2004 Guide
[ Intro | Coffee | Tea | Famous South Bay Drunks | San Jose | Campbell | Cupertino | Los Altos | Los Gatos | Menlo Park | Mountain View | Palo Alto | Redwood City | Santa Clara | Saratoga | Sunnyvale ]

Sunnyvale

Blue Bonnet Bar
203 S. Fairoaks Ave, Sunnyvale
408.245.6651
This brick-walled sports bar has "a little bit of everything," according to bartender Amanda Lewis, who adds that all ages are welcome. The Blue Bonnet relies heavily on its regulars, and its morning and lunch crowd usually consists of retired people. Friday and Saturday nights can get wild, though, with occasional live music on Fridays and a pool tournament on Saturdays (the place has three pool tables). Management isn't stingy; every Sunday there's a free barbecue (tips are welcome, though) and there's free popcorn and peanuts all the time. Beer is the drink of choice. (AB)

Blue Max
828 W. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
408.746.9500
Bartender Al Heil calls his workplace "a little hometown bar." Lots of regulars of all ages hang out at this sports bar, which has a pool table, two dart boards, video games and a golf machine. Airplane models serve as decoration. The bar's specialty is the Blue Max Margarita, mixed with blue Curaçao. There is karaoke Thursday through Saturday, and live music once in a while. (AB)

Bourbon One
927 E. Duane Ave, Sunnyvale
408.736.3993
Homey yet wild (depending on the hour), Bourbon One is ideal for darts and pool in the early evening, but DJs playing house music turn it into a carousing party later at night. No matter what time of night it is, Bourbon One is one interesting place. (AB)

Club Monaco
769 N. Mathilda, Sunnyvale
408.245.8777
Roq en español is a rowdy time—concerts consist of a lot of jumping, dancing and loud, drunken sing-alongs. Club Monaco is a Latin nightclub that frequently books roq en español bands in addition to its weekly roundup of house, pop, merengue and salsa. The club and its shows are mentioned often on the new Latin pop/rock station Viva 105.7. Club Monaco is all-ages, with a short wall separating the drinking seniors from the Similac-swilling freshmen. Guys line the walls in the back and stare at everyone walking by. Cute girls get pulled onstage to strut their stuff. The restrooms are barely tolerable. But Club Monaco makes up for its lack of style with intimacy—fans are free to worship bands from spitting distance. "I like it because it's a no-frills club. You just go in, grab some drinks and groove to some kick-ass bands," says Armando Aguillon, a die-hard rockero. (CL)

Fibbar Magee's
156 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale
408.749.8373; www.fibbars.com
The brother bar of Molly Magee's in Los Altos, Fibbar's offers much of the same: traditional Irish fare, darts, big-screen televisions and live music on Fridays and Saturday nights. Dark and woody, Fibbar's truly encompasses the essence of Ireland. Pints of Guinness are the obvious drinks of choice here. (AB)

Forum Restaurant and Nightclub
146 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale
408.737.2271; www.sfclubs.com
Perhaps the most lavish and brightly colored of the Sunnyvale clubs, the European-style Forum is where the beautiful people dance. Formerly the Palace, the 15,000-square-foot nightclub has an impressive sound system and lighting worthy of Vegas. Three lavish floors, each featuring a different type of music, means there's something for everyone, but before going, be sure to know which night is which. Tuesdays are 18 and up, Fridays and Saturdays are 21 and up and Sundays are exclusively for the 14-to-17 crowd. Most of the time, the cover charge ranges from $10 to $15. (AB)

Lion and Compass Restaurant
1023 N. Fair Oaks Ave, Sunnyvale
408.745.1260; www.lionandcompass.com
Mix palm trees and old-time lampposts, and the result is the prim but elegant Lion and Compass. Digerati in business attire come in to sample the contemporary American cuisine or to linger over a daiquiri at the formal-looking bar. So business-oriented is the Lion and Compass that mounted above the bar is a bona fide stock ticker. (AB)

Murphy's Law
135 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale
408.736.3822; www.murphyslawpub.com
Murphy's Law says fame is great. This lengthy bar's walls pay tribute to the greatest athletes and entertainers of all time, and classic movie and concert posters plaster the ceiling. Five televisions and an 8-foot projection screen sporting events during the week, and movies on Sundays. Enjoy the Monday-night blues jam or partake in the Thursday karaoke. On Friday and Saturday nights, Murphy's Law brings in local bands to entertain with live music. (AB)

Paul and Harvey's
130 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale
408.736.5770
Bartender Amy Lane says of Paul and Harvey's, "I would call it a higher-class dive bar." The clientele is undeniably blue collar, she says, and these "working folks" mostly order Budweiser, though the bar has a wide selection of bottles and four beers on tap. It also has three pool tables, two dartboards and an array of video games. Try the bar's secret recipe, which it calls the Tropical Hooter. Invented by a bartender named Maria, the only aspect Lane will divulge about the drink is that it's somewhat like a Purple Hooter, but with pineapple. On Thursdays, musicians gather here to jam, and live bands perform some Saturdays. (AB)

Pebble Roppongi Karaoke Lounge
160 S. Frances St, Sunnyvale
408.738.0392; www.pebbleroppongi.com
Though its hours (8pm-2am) would suggest that Pebble Roppongi is an after-dinner club, it actually offers a menu of small Japanese dishes and some French desserts (the sushi is terrific and the crème brûlée divine). It's no stretch to choose sake as your drink for the night, but with the bar's many selections, it may take a while to decide which sake. The karaoke lounge's mostly Asian clientele make use of state-of-the-art sound system while belting out their favorite tunes. Pebble Roppongi occasionally hosts singles mixers and often has Saturday night DJs spinning hip-hop and house music. (AB)

Quarter Note Bar and Grill
1214 Apollo Way, Sunnyvale
408.732.2110; www.quarternote.com
The music-themed Quarter Note Bar and Grill (even the menu has musical notes on it!) is in a hard-to-find nook but offers great live music every night of the week and karaoke Tuesday and Thursday. In addition, the bar area features televisions, pool tables shuffleboard and pinball. With eight on-tap beers and a menu featuring an unlikely combination of Moroccan and American food, the Quarter Note is a cozy, in-the-know type of place. (AB)


Mr. Mix-It: At Rooster T. Feathers, bartender Michael Demetrius' cocktails make customers crow.

Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Club
157 W. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
408.736.0921; www.roostertfeathers.com
For those who'd rather split their side laughing than bust a move, watching standup comedy at Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Club makes for a perfect night out. Comedy greats like Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams and Ellen DeGeneres have performed here, and once in a while the club offers classes and workshops that teach wannabes how to be successful as standup comics. Tickets into the club are $12 (though a two-for-one admittance coupon is available on the website) and a two-item minimum is enforced. Martinis are the bar's specialty. (AB)

Scruffy Murphy's Irish Pub
187 S. Murphy St, Sunnyvale
408.735.7394
During the day, Scruffy Murphy's draws "a friendly Irish crowd," says server Alicia Ammann. With 13 beers on tap, including Guinness and Carlsberg, plus some fruit ciders, this pub is always prepared for the fun schedule it has lined up. Tuesdays are trivia nights, Wednesdays are Irish nights, Thursdays are for karaoke and Sunday showcase have jazz. Fridays and Saturday nights host the real parties, when DJs preside over a crowded dance floor. (AB)

Shooters Bar and Grill
769 N. Mathilda Ave, Sunnyvale
408.738.2787
Shooters, a comfortable sports bar, provides amenities like pool tables, dart machines, a jukebox, pinball and even a mini-golf machine. Thursdays are karaoke nights, but clients hanging out any other weeknight can wash down the grill's American food with a cold one (Shooters has 11 domestic and imported beers on tap) while watching the game on a big-screen television. Owner Jim Saiti describes the crowd as "some neighborhood people, some Silicon Valley people," and recommends the Lemon Drop Shot made with pineapple liquor. (AB)

Stoddard's
111 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale
408.733.7824; www.stoddardsbrew.com
The signature drink at Stoddard's? "We're a brewery, so it's the beer," says bartender Susie Maldonado, who recommends the Summer Wheat Ale above all others. The on-site brewer, Steve Donohue, has produced beers that garnered no fewer than three awards at the California State Fair. In addition, this upscale brewpub serves American food to a diverse clientele. The unique décor? Call it brewhouse chic. (AB)

Tarragon Restaurant & Bar
140 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale
408.737.8003; www.dinetarragon.com
At Tarragon, the drinks and food are as striking as the architecture. A warm wood-and-brick interior and divine outdoor patio set the scene for a memorable dining or drinking experience (unless you order one too many off the 50-strong Martini list, that is). Though the bar has a seemingly endless selection of wines and cocktails, the food must be sampled too; Tarragon's executive chef used to work at L.A.'s Spago and has created a delectable Pacific Rim-influenced Mediterranean menu. (AB)


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

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