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The Metro Bars & Clubs 2003 Guide
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The Bank
14421 Big Basin Way, 408.867.5155

Hours: Mon-Wed 3pm-midnight, Thu-Sun 4am-2am
Crowd: 20-60
Music: Live music every few weeks, jukebox, rock, alternative/New Wave, vocal standards
Decor: Classic
Signature Drinks: Chocolate Martini, Cinful Apple
Amenities: Darts, private booths, fireplace in the winter

"There are probably more degrees in here than on a thermometer," says Jim Sullivan, one of the Bank's owners. "But people also talk about hobbies and books and vacations, and I never fail to learn something during the course of the day's work." Sullivan upholds the PG, "no profanity" policy his father initiated when he bought the former bank and turned it into a bar 33 years ago.

Big Basin Bistro
14480 Big Basin Way, Saratoga; 408.867.1764

Hours: Wed 1pm-9pm, Thu-Sat 1pm-11pm, Sun 1pm-6pm
Crowd: 20s-50s
Music: Live Thu-Fri, 7pm
Decor: Light woods
Signature Drink: A menu full of wines

Known as much for its oysters and tapas as for its wines and beers, the Big Basin Bistro has a definite Mediterranean comfort feel. Both regulars and the staff know their food and spirits but aren't pedantic about it.

Crazy Horse Saloon
At the Plumed Horse, 14555 Big Basin Way; 408.867.4711

Hours: Mon-Fri 5:30-midnight; Sat-Sun 4pm-midnight
Crowd: 30s on up
Music: Live jazz weekends 7:30-midnight
Decor: Sinatra's country getaway
Signature Drink: Cognac
Amenities: Fireplace

This is one joint where the signature drink really does say something--Crazy Horse, although situated out in the woodsy boondocks, is classy with cosmopolitan cachet. Rich dark paneling decorates the alpine-style bar and restaurant.

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.

Send a letter to the editor about this story to letters@metronews.com.

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

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

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