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The Metro Bars & Clubs 2003 Guide
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Mountain View

Alberto's Nightclub
736 W. Dana St, Mtn. View; 650.968.3007

Hours: Mon-Sat 7pm-2am, Sun 6pm-midnight
Crowd Age: 21-40
Music: Tue, Thu DJ Oscar; weekends live Latino music
Decor: Swanky salsa
Signature Drink: Corona
Amenities: Mon Mambo lessons; Tue, Thu, Sun Salsa lessons; Wed Lindy and Swing lessons

In the past year, Alberto's has only gotten spicier. The owner, Raúl, says the crowd here has the sexiest moves in the South Bay--and if they don't, they can take lessons to learn how. Mambo, salsa, and swing mix it up with DJ nights.

California Billiard Club
881 E. El Camino Real, Mtn. View; 650.965.3100

Hours: Daily 11:30am-2am
Crowd Age: 18 and up
Music: Jukebox
Decor: Upscale pool hall
Signature Drink: Beer, wine, soft drinks
Amenities: 34 tables, pinball and shoot-'em-up arcades games, foosball

This is a serious place for pool--winners can take in more than $1,000, even if they get less than first place. Pool costs $10 an hour for two, there's tavern-style food, and when you win you can do your victory dance on the giant eightball design in the carpet.

King of Clubs (Daybreak Bar)
893 Leong Dr, Mtn. View; 650.968.6366

Hours: Daily 6pm-2am
Crowd Age: 20s-30s
Music: DJ Wed & Fri-Sun
Decor: Nightclub
Signature Drink: Fishbowl
Amenities: Karaoke Mon and Thu; Country & Western Tue; jukebox

Half sweet lil' hideaway, half hot dance club, the KOC used to be a bar for the Navy boys from nearby Moffett. Now this self-described "alternative" bar fills its schedule with a number of gay/lesbian nights, including the only gay Country & Western night in town. A Family Affair offers up the Thursday night karaoke, and every Sunday people in their undies go-go dance to house Latin and hip-hop at Club Fever, where the happy hour offers $5 pitchers and Mexican food.

Molly Magee's
241 Castro Ave, Mtn. View; 650.961.0108

Hours: 5pm-2am
Crowd Age: 20s-30s
Music: DJ Thu-Sat
Decor: Tavern
Signature Drink: Beer
Amenities: Vending machine (sugary treats and smoky treats); pool table; jukebox

There is nothing like being greeted at the door with a Guinness Cat-in-the-Hat hat. This spacious Irish pub is just dark enough on the inside and has a smoking patio, too. And when you've slurped one too many Harps, you can have Amici's Pizza from down the street delivered to your table. But it's not just the array of standard Irish bevvies they've got on tap--knock back a few surprisingly swank Peartinis and you'll never be the same.

Office Bar
820 E. El Camino Real, Mtn. View; 650.969.2098

Hours: Mon-Fri noon-2am, Sat-Sun 10am-2am (happy hour is 3-6pm every day)
Crowd Age: 21-50
Music: Karaoke on Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 8.30pm-2am
Decor: Neighborhood bar with a hint of tavern and a little sports bar, too, plus a suit of armor displayed behind the bar
Signature Drink: Michelle's Special (the owner's frothy concoction of blended Baileys, butterscotch schnapps, Malibu rum and a cherry on top)

Amenities: Pool, darts, pinball, video games, big screen TV, lotto

Time at this Office is spent playing pool or warbling away at karaoke. It's a tiny place, but the atmosphere is friendly. Kick back in one of the red Naugahyde chairs under an inflated Nascar with a bottle of Bud and dial up your boss--when he asks where you are, you'll be able to give him the bar's favorite line.

Shoreline Billiards
1400 N. Shoreline Blvd, Mtn. View; 650.964.0780

Hours: Daily, 11:30am-2:30am
Crowd Age: 18 and up (juniors have to be accompanied by a parent)
Music: Jukebox
Decor: Pool tables deluxe
Signature Drink: Corona
Amenities: 24 pool tables, one billiards table, two snooker tables, five arcade games

With this much entertainment, you might forget about the drinking. The clientele at this laid-back pool hall spans the gamut of age, ethnic backgrounds, and playing proficiency. Right around the corner from the Century 16 cineplex, it's a cool place to knock off a few hours while waiting to get into the latest blockbuster.

The Sports Page
1431 Plymouth St, Mtn. View; 650.961.1992

Hours: Daily, 10am-2am
Crowd Age: 21-50
Music: Live music Fri-Sun; Karaoke Tues and Sat nights
Decor: Comfortable old-style come-as-you-are bar
Signature Drink: Bocce Ball (vodka, Amaretto, pineapple and orange juice), Long Island Ice Tea
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Beach volleyball all year, two pool tables, 10 video games, darts, pinball, coin-op basketball

Talk about hidden amenities--the Sports Page sports its very own backyard sand-filled volleyball court, plus lots of picnic-table seating on a heated outdoor patio. Friday night happy hour brings out appropriately happy regulars, who say the bar pours generously. Add to that 24 beers on tap, an old-school curtained photo booth, and the recipe for Spring Break-style shenanigans is complete.

St. Stephen's Green
223 Castro St, Mtn. View; 650.964.9151

Hours: Daily 11am-1:30am
Crowd Age: 0-60
Music: DJ Thu-Sat
Decor: Irish pub
Signature Drink: Guinness!
Amenities: Three big screen TVs

Bangers and Mash! Bangers and Mash! When the patrons of two-doors-down Molly Magee's get older and/or hungry they can migrate here. This well-replicated Irish pub is comfortable and family-oriented during the day, when patrons sip a pint or sample from a full menu of the world's most maligned culinary treasures (see Shepherd's Pie). Weekends bring in an evening DJ or live music, and a crowd of dancin' fools.

Tied House
954 Villa St, Mtn. View; 650.965.2739

Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am-midnight, Sun 11:30 am - 10:30pm. Mon-Thurs kitchen open until 10pm, Fri 11pm and Sun 9:30pm
Crowd Age: 21-50
Music: Live bands on Sat night
Decor: Warehouse chic
Signature Drink: Cascade amber (brewed in-house)
Amenities: A bunch of 625-gallon brewing tanks

Jokes about "tying one on" at the Tied House may get a laugh, but they'd be woefully historically incorrect. The name actually hearkens back to 18th century England, when a pub was tied to one brewery and could only serve that brand of beer, as opposed to a free house, which was allowed to contract with other breweries. This pub sports a California cuisine menu. Popular live bands play Saturday nights, adding to the general din.

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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