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The Metro Bars & Clubs 2003 Guide
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Los Gatos
#1 Broadway
102 S. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.354.4303

Hours: Mon-Sat 3pm-2am
Crowd Age: 30-50
Music: Tue jam night, Wed karaoke, "Sunday Drive" DJ night first Sun of month
Decor: Mountain getaway
Signature Drink: Funky Monkey
Amenities: TV with Monday-night football and other sporting events, pool table, dance floor, balcony (shuffleboard coming soon)

The lofty view of the Santa Cruz Mountains at this upstairs nightclub gives it a secluded feel. Loyal regulars can dance the night away to groups like Sage, the Hitmen and Pacific Standard Time playing live blues, R&B and Motown. When bands aren't playing, the dominant visual of this 15-year-old family-run establishment is the majestic stained-glass scene of an oak tree, a work of art that miraculously survived the Loma Prieta earthquake.

The Black Watch
141 1/2 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.354.2200

Hours: Daily 9am-2am
Crowd Age: 21+; Fri-Sat attract a younger crowd
Music: Bartender's choice of rock, blues and jazz
Decor: Dark Scottish pub
Signature Drink: $7 Kamikaze pints
Amenities: English darts, pinball, video game, Megatouch video game, TVs, ATM

Friendly and sociable, this Scottish-themed pub established in 1959 has become a Los Gatos institution, attracting bikers and business people and college students. Swords and shields are sharply effective decorations. Its most notable attraction is the street-side multicolored cut-glass window. Bartenders use a special technique when pouring the kamikaze pints--don't miss it.

Boulevard Tavern
15043 Los Gatos Blvd, Los Gatos; 408.358.0774

Hours: Daily 10am-2am
Crowd Age: Mixed
Music: Live bands, jukebox heavy on classic and motorcycle rock
Decor: Rough roadhouse
Signature Drink: Chillum
Amenities: Darts, video games, two pool tables, Megatouch video game, TVs

Formerly Otto's, formerly Friends, the Boulevard is a rocking beer joint where regulars belly up to the bar to watch the game. Meanwhile, pool games are racked and cracked. The walls are decorated with sports memorabilia and metal street signs honoring various sports figures, and peanut shells cover the floor.

C.B. Hannegan's
208 Bachman Ave, Los Gatos; 408.395.1233

Hours: Daily 11:30am-2am
Crowd Age: 21-70
Music: No
Decor: Traditional family pub and restaurant
Signature Drink: Single malt whiskey
Amenities: Outdoor patio

Over the past 23 years, this bustling pub and restaurant has become a home away from home for some. During mealtime, C.B. Hannegan's is a noisy and lively family establishment with people dining inside and outside on the jasmine-covered enclosed patio area. Every year Hannegan's honors Scottish poet Robert Burns with a Burns Supper. It's also one of the South Bay zones on St. Patrick's Day and is open for other holiday celebrations.

Carry Nation's
8 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.354.1771

Hours: Daily noon-2am
Crowd Age: 25-40
Music: Jukebox, occasional live music
Decor: New England-style pub
Signature Drink: Lemon Drop
Amenities: Big-screen TV, jukebox stocked with lots of familiar classic rock, contemporary country, pop and jazz; outdoor smoking steps

A stained-glass peacock greets patrons entering through the back of this cool, comfortable and classy pub located at the jumping end of North Santa Cruz Avenue. An intimidating painting of the bar's hatchet-wielding prohibitionist namesake graces one wall, but red-brick floors and walls, rich woods, marble and mirrors give this smart establishment an elegant feel. A mixed crowd protests prohibition at the accommodating bar, the intimate tables or the cozy couches tucked in the rear corner.

The Cats
17533 Santa Cruz Hwy, Los Gatos; 408.354.4020

Hours: Dining 5:30-9 or 10pm; music 7pm-close
Crowd Age: 35-50
Music: Live jazz, blues, classic rock and folk
Decor: Cartoonishly eclectic roadhouse
Signature Drink: Margarita
Amenities: Barbecue

The scent of Cats' oak-wood barbecue greets hungry carnivores arriving at mealtime, but the bar, lounge and stage area take up more than half of the rustic old building. There's never a cover, and Fridays and Saturdays get pretty busy as Cats fanciers of all types settle into the booth and table seating for the evening. Old stained glass, lamps and light fixtures give the space a warm, cozy red glow and, naturally, there is an abundance of cat decorations, including a rocky wall mosaic mural in the dining area.

The Chart House
115 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.354.1737

Hours: Mon-Thu 5-9:30pm; Fri-Sat 5-10pm; Sun 5-9pm
Crowd Age: 27+
Music: Piped in
Decor: Yacht lounge
Signature Drink: Anything from the Martini list
Amenities: Heated patio, TV

This ornate Victorian mansion is the restaurant of choice for special occasions, holiday celebrations and first dates. The bar and lounge are really more of a waiting area, but some lingerers crack plates of crab legs at the bar while watching sporting events on the overhead TV. The Chart House's raised heated outdoor patio with its view of the winding red-brick walkway and manicured lawns is also popular.

Double D's Sports Grille
354 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.395.6882

Hours: Mon-Tue 11am-10pm, Wed-Thu 11am-11pm, Fri 11am-midnight, Sat 9:30am-midnight, Sun 9:30am-10pm
Music: Jukebox, the ESPN theme
Decor: Jock dorm room without the sweaty socks
Signature Drink: Beer!
Amenities: Pool tables, video games, pinball machine, golf game

When the need to get out of the house hits, especially when chores pile up, there's no better place to escape to than a sports bar--and Double D's is a consistent winner in this category. 24 televisions are tuned to some form of competitive event. There are plenty of tables and chairs to spread out stat sheets and the sports section, and the tasty food (especially the jambalaya pasta) and cold beers kick butt on your Hot Pockets.

Goguen's Last Call
408 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.354.9748

Hours: Daily 10am-2am
Crowd Age: 21+
Music: Good jukebox filled with classic rock, modern metal and soul
Decor: classic dive
Signature Drink: Water Shot
Amenities: Pinball, video games, Megatouch video games, pool tables, TVs

One look at the heavy metal dungeon door fronting Goguen's Last Call might be enough to scare some people off. Bravely grasping the handle, heave the door open and step inside, and the Last Call proves to be a basic good dive bar with a jukebox, a pool table and plenty of bench seating stretching along the wall.

Hotel Los Gatos, 210 E. Main St, Los Gatos; 408.354.8290

Cuisine: New California/Mediterranean
Hours: Daily 11:30am-10pm
Crowd Age: Late 20s-50
Music: Jazz
Decor: California Designer
Signature Drink: Cosmopolitan; premium wines
Amenities: Wraparound restaurant; boutique hotel

Catering to the after-work R&D crowd, Kuleto's is the top pit stop for CFOs, career babes and the very rich. Sexy wines by the glass listing gets the attention of those who meet after work and stay for signature pasta and grilled opa. The newly divorced could get lucky at the polished wood bar--if not, bartenders provide mega eye candy.

La Hacienda Inn
18840 Saratoga/Los Gatos Rd, Los Gatos; 408.354.6669

Hours: Bar 10am-closing; lunch Mon-Sat 11am-2pm; champagne brunch Sun 10am-2pm; dinner Mon-Thu 5-10pm, Fri-Sat 5-10:30pm
Crowd Age: 50+
Music: Live music and dancing with Keane and West HOURS: Fri-Sat, 8:30pm-12:30am; otherwise soft music plays overhead
Decor: Country club
Signature Drink: Veranda Cooler
Amenities: Veranda seating, TVs

Adjacent to this fine Italian continental restaurant and inn sits the cocktail lounge, a quiet little bar with lots of polished wood and soft lighting. While the classic lounge area serves as a rich refuge, the veranda is a breath of fresh air, offering a view of La Hacienda's surrounding flowers and greenery.

Los Gatos Bar & Grill
15 1/2 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.399.5424

Hours: Sun-Thu 5-1pm (though hours are subject to change); Fri-Sat 5pm-12:45am
Crowd Age: 24-34, varies
Music: Jukebox heavy on disco with CDs from Sinatra to 50 Cent
Decor: Chandelier chic
Signature Drink: Blue Meguino
Amenities: Jukebox, two pool tables, video game, TVs, shared smoking patio

Jeans and a T-shirt won't get patrons too far here, but dress to impress and it's a good pickup scene. A large dining area overlooks North Santa Cruz Avenue; the bar offers a late-night menu of burgers, calamari, pizza, wings and Gummi worms until midnight. A lofty back area sports a couch, red-felt pool tables and a jukebox. The bartenders have ultimate say over the music though--one touch of a red button cuts short a song that's bringing down the mood.

Los Gatos Outhouse
4 New York Ave, Los Gatos; 408.395.5553

Hours: Vary; check schedule at www.lgouthouse.com; most live shows are Fri 7-11pm with all-acoustic Cafe Nights one Thu a month
Crowd Age: Teenagers and twentysomethings
Music: Live bands
Decor: Cool teen lounge with couches and colorful murals
Signature Drink: Soda pop (no alcohol is served at this venue)
Amenities: Snack bar, TVs, video games (Terminator pinball; vintage 720º, etc.), substance-free patio with barbecue, free parking

If word spread far enough, this teen center tucked away behind Los Gatos High School would be the envy of every small town east of, well, Los Gatos. Every teenager should be so lucky as to have a place like this to hang out with friends and catch real local and touring indie bands like the Mountain Goats, Creeper Lagoon and Ozma in a spot that doesn't feel like church camp or day care. It's A+ for sure.

Mountain Charley's Saloon
15 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.395.8880

Hours: Tue-Sat noon-2am
Crowd Age: 23-27
Music: Tue and Thu DJ nights; Fri-Sat live bands; Wed karaoke
Decor: California-style Wild West saloon
Signature Drink: Whatever's popular; currently Car Bombs and the Washington Apple
Amenities: Shared smoking patio

Stand in line to get into this hot spot for young and restless singles on the prowl--Mountain Charley's is consistently the jumpingest joint on Santa Cruz Avenue. If the stuffed game on the walls or the big cat decked out in Mardi Gras beads are meant to bring out the animal in patrons, it seems to be working. Strands of blue lights shed a nice hue on the busy dance floor. There's a $5 cover on Thursdays and a $7 cover Fridays and Saturdays.

Steamer's Grillhouse
31 University Ave., Los Gatos; 408.395.CRAB

Hours: Lunch daily 11am-2pm; dinner Sun-Thu 5-10pm, Fri-Sat till 11pm
Crowd Age: 25-45
Music: No
Decor: Sleek, tasteful and high-end
Signature Drink: Martinis in a wide range of tastes
Amenities: TV

The softly lit bar features some discreetly appointed banquettes and a ripple of frosted glass with martini glass designs. Ten beers are available on tap. Attached as it is to a superior seafood restaurant, Steamer's is a good place to consider an appetizer to go along with the drinks.

Toll House Hotel, Lounge & Restaurant
140 S. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.395.7070

Hours: Daily 4-11pm
Crowd Age: 35 and up
Music: Piano
Decor: Traditional European
Signature Drink: Wine from local wineries
Amenities: First Tue of month wine tastings, 5-7pm; Sun champagne brunch; fireplace

Cozy on up to the fireplace at the Toll House Lounge, or stay at the bar and let the waitstaff bring dinner. This loiter-friendly bar has a library feel to it, crossed with sports TV.

Wine Cellar
50 University Ave, Los Gatos; 408.354.4808; www.winecellarlosgatos.com

Hours: Live music Thu 6:30-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 10pm-1am
Crowd Age: 30s-50s
Music: Flamenco, jazz, blues, acoustic
Decor: Subterranean Mediterranean
Signature Drink: A hearty Shiraz
Amenities: Fine foods

In player parlance, the Wine Cellar is a "clincher." Located underground in Los Gatos' Old Town, the Wine Cellar establishes that critical wooing mood. Candles light the intimate booths, and the menu is filled with cheese and chocolate fondues, fine wines and cocktails. Furthermore, the Wine Cellar is hyping its "After Hours" live music entertainment. By the second glass of wine, patrons could be rounding third and heading for home.

Metro Bars & Clubs 2003 Features

Five Terrifying Minutes of Fame: Friends don't let friends sing, "Dude Looks Like a Lady" ... and other karaoke tips.

Caffeine Nation: A list of coffeehouses--the cream of the crop.

Thanks, Designated Driver!: An appreciation, and some tips, for the nondrinker.

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From the June 19-25, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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