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The 14th Annual Guide to
Bars, Clubs & Cafes
in the Silicon Valley

[whitespace] cocktail
Christopher Gardner

This year's bars and clubs guide takes its inspiration from the stars

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, astrology enjoyed the status of a useful and respected pseudoscience. Specifically, it was a pseudoscience enlisted in support of the very real science of figuring out how to get someone to go home with you. If the history books are fair, they'll give astrology its due: it played a key role in the sexual revolution by always giving people something they could talk about for a while before hopping into the Trans Am and roaring away to a night of frenzied passion between the satin sheets.

But long before those heady days, astrology was a respected real science--the twin brother to astronomy, the last word for kings and high priests on making peace and war and raising taxes. During the Middle Ages astrology worked its way into a starring role in the intellectual culture of Europe. For a few hundred years after that, the smartest people in the world knew their horoscopes.

Recently a 400-year-old yellowed piece of paper bearing astronomer Johannes Kepler's astrological doodlings turned up in the Lick Observatory archives. Kepler was no pre-New Age freak; his discovery of elliptical orbits laid the foundation for Sir Isaac Newton's theory of gravity. Kepler was probably just helping his friend Hans Hannibal Hutter von Hutterhofen make one of the many difficult decisions Austrian noblemen faced in those days.

Now here we are, perched on the cusp of the millennium. The days of court mathematicians who moonlighted as astrologers are over. Astrology has assumed a complicated, if peripheral, role in our culture. Some of us sprinkle our conversation with phrases like "I don't date fire signs," some of us check out our horoscopes in the paper every now and then for kicks, and still others think it's a load of crap and don't even know our signs. Astrology is just one of many things we don't agree on.

But most of us have one thing in common: more information bombards us than anyone could possibly use. What we need is a return to simplicity, some organization. Something to help making choices a little easier. That's where a guide like this one comes in.

Every year we send out brave spies to report on the state of the demimonde. In this, our 14th annual guide to bars and clubs, we've done the footwork of checking out the bar scene so readers' decisions about entertainment will be simpler. And we've organized the information in the only way anyone knows how to organize anything in the 20th century--scientifically.

Or pseudoscientifically, if you will. Tapping the accumulated wisdom of the ages, we found connections between the stars and the bars that no one else has discovered, as far as we know. Dubbed The Baroscope, this brave new philosophy takes elements of real astrology, gives them a creative twist and applies them to clubbing culture. The result, we hope, is an engaging and useful handbook to night life in the valley.

And if The Baroscope really catches on, we'll start hearing people ask the really important questions in a new way: "So, what sign is your favorite bar?"


Aries: Live rock venues.
Taurus: Country and western bars.
Gemini: Neighborhood bars.
Cancer: Pubs and microbreweries.
Leo: Latin music venues.
Virgo: Coffeehouses.
Libra: Cocktail lounges.
Scorpio: Strip clubs and bikini bars.
Sagittarius: Sports bars.
Capricorn: Billiards halls.
Aquarius: Jazz and blues bars.
Pisces: Dance clubs.

Navigating the Stars: Bars listed alphabetically and by city.

Freeze Tang: The best daiquiri is the simplest one.

Glorious Shades: In praise of the cocktail umbrella.

Baroscopes: A roving astrologer tests the Baroscope.
Baroscope #1
Baroscope #2
Baroscope #3

Contributors: Corinne Asturias, Nicky Baxter, Maggie Benson, Dale Bryant, Broos Campbell, David Cohen, Christie Cooley, Aimee D'Anna, Steve Enders, Jackie Forest-House, Liza Fournier, Sarah Gaffney, Camille Hamilton,Will Harper, Traci Hukill, Eric Johnson, Shari Kaplan, Jeff Kearns, Rob Leal, Michael Learmonth, Jessica Lyons, Dan Pulcrano, Sarah Quelland, Jim Rendon, Troy Richardson, Ann Elliott Sherman, Mary Spicuzza, Shannon Stillman, Sharan Street, Celeste Tahamont, Michael Vaughn, Kelly Wilkinson, Heather Zimmerman.

Photographer: Christopher Gardner

Copyediting and Proofreading: Sharan Street, Carol Bee

Issue Editor: Traci Hukill

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From the June 17-23, 1999 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 1999 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.