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The Metro Bars & Clubs 2003 Guide
[ San Jose Central | San Jose Outskirts | Campbell | Cupertino | Los Gatos | Mountain View | Peninsula | Santa Clara | Saratoga | Sunnyvale ]

Illustration by Craig LaRotonda/Revelation Studios

Caffeine Nation

A list of coffeehouses: the cream of the crop

The seduction of coffee began long before Starbucks went global. The first coffeehouse opened in England circa 1650, and soon these charged gathering places became wildly popular, with guilds and social groups staking out their own spots. The tradition lives on in both chain and independent operations. The best coffeehouses offer everything a good bar does minus only the alcohol.

For Bars & Clubs, we have concentrated on those coffee joints in the valley that provide something like a bar experience: they stay open late, host live music and art events or provide the locus for an active art scene.

Barda's Coffee and Cafe
1820B Campbell Ave, Campbell; 408.370.1477

Hours: Mon-Wed 6am-6:30pm or so, Thu-Sat till about 9pm, Fri-Sun open at 7am

Poetry nights, amateur comedy, some live jazz and piano; plus beer and wine.

Barnes and Noble
3600 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose; 408.984.3495

Hours: Daily 9am-11pm

The Pruneyard
1875 S. Bascom Ave, Suite 240, Campbell; 408.559.8101

Hours: Daily 9am-10pm

Blossom Hill
5353 Almaden Expwy, Bldg B, San Jose; 408.979.0611

Hours: Daily 9am-10pm

What better place to read and maybe compose a bestseller; open late, with music and special events in the stores.

Bean Scene
186 S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale; 408.738.4523

Hours: Sun-Thu 6:30am-8pm, Fri-Sat 6:30am-10:30pm

The Bean Scene is known for its Saturday-night jazz and piano shows.

Bean Scene Cafe
Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St, Mountain View; 650.903.4871

Hours: Mon-Thu 7-9pm, Fri 7am-10pm, Sat 8am-10pm, Sun 8am-5pm

This new cafe at the performing arts center stays open for show patrons and has plans to host live acoustic jazz.

Blue Rock Shoot
14523 Big Basin Way, Saratoga 408.868.1613

Hours: Open until 10pm

Blue Rock Shoot hosts karaoke on Tuesdays and Thursdays plus Spanish-language comedy and other entertainment.


356 Santana Row, Suite 1030, San Jose; 408.241.9100
Hours: Mon-Thu 9am-10pm, Fri-Sat 9am-11pm, Sun 9am-9pm

316 W. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale; 408.730.5050
Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-11pm, Sun 9am-9pm

50 University Ave, Suite 280, Los Gatos; 408.395.6622
Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-11pm, Sun 9am-9pm

456 University Ave, Palo Alto; 650.326.3670
Hours: Mon-Sun 9am-10pm

The lively bookstore chain keeps late hours and hosts many book-related events.

Cafe La Dolce Vita
299 S. California Ave, Palo Alto; 650.323.0478

Hours: Mon 8am-10pm, Tue-Fri 8am-11pm, Sat 9am-11pm

The cafe hosts music every Friday night, including the South Bay Guitar Society on June 14; plus nightly chess matches.

Cafe Matisse
371 S. First St, San Jose; 408.298.7788

Hours: Mon-Thu 7:30am-11pm, Fri till 1 am, Sat 8am-1am, Sun 9am-11pm

South First Street's caffeine central hosts rotating art shows and occasional readings and receptions.

Cafe Verona
236 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto; 650.326.9942

Hours: Mon-Thu 7am-10pm, Fri-Sat 7am-11pm, Sun 8am-3pm

Open-mic session every second and last Thursday of the month.

330 Third St, San Jose 408.995.6023

Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-11pm

Open-mic nights dominate on Mondays and Thursdays, Tuesday is X-Factor nights (Christian-based bands); and Fridays are hip-hop nights.

Camera Cafe
Second and San Carlos streets, San Jose; 408.998.3300

Hours: Daily 11am-11pm

During the summer, the cafe hosts a live music series; call for update info.

Coffee Society
21265 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino; 408.725.8091

Hours: Sun-Thu 6am-11pm, Fri 6am-11:30pm, Sat 7am-11:30pm

In a spot convenient to De Anza College and the Flint Center, the cafe features an irregular schedule of live music.

Dana Street Roasting Company
755 W. Dana St, Mountain View; 650.390.9638

Hours: 6:30am-10pm Mon-Thurs, 6:30am-11pm Fri, 8am-11pm Sat, 8am-6pm Sun

This truly neighborhood cafe gets the joint jumping with live music on Friday and Saturday nights, including jazz, blues, and alternative rock.

Espresso Garden and Cafe
814 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose; 408.298.0808

Hours: Mon-Wed 7:30am-3pm, Thu-Fri 7:30am-3pm, 6:30-11pm, Sat 7pm-11pm

The active schedule features live , blues and rock-pop bands Fridays and Saturdays, plus a Thursday open-mic session.

Great Bear Coffee Company
19 N. Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos; 408.395.8607

Hours: Mon-Wed 6am-9pm, Thu-Fri 6am-10pm, Sat-Sun 7am-10pm

The popular java joint features local art shows that rotate monthly.

Koinonia Koffeehouse
1755 S. Winchester Blvd., Campbell; 408.370.4345

Hours: Fri 7:30pm-11pm; Sun 10:30am-1:30pm

Live Christian music most Fridays, check www.koinonia.com/koffeehouse/for details.

Los Gatos Coffee Roasting Company
101 W. Main St, Los Gatos; 408.354.3263

Hours: Daily 6am-6pm

Not open late, but Los Gatos Coffee Roasting offers one of the valley's great people-watching opportunities--see the beautiful people in their jogging clothes.

Mission City Coffee
2221 The Alameda, Santa Clara; 408.261.2221

Hours: Daily 6am-11pm

Open-mic session on Wednesday nights and live music on Friday nights.

Omega Coffeeshop and Lounge
90 S. Park Victoria, Milpitas; 408.946.8748

Hours: Mon-Thu, Sun 7am-9pm; Fri-Sat 7am-10pm

The perfect crossover: Omega serves a full complement of both alcoholic and caffeinated drinks. Get high, then get sober, all at the same place.

Orchard Valley Coffee Roasting
349 E. Campbell Ave, Campbell; 408.374.2115

Hours: Sun 7am-9pm, Mon-Tue 6am-9pm, Wed-Sat 6am-10pm

The Orchard usually presents live music on Fridays, with performances on other nights irregularly; the cafe also hangs rotating art shows.

Printer's Ink Cafe
320 California Ave., Palo Alto; 650.323.3347

Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-10:30pm, Sat-Sun 8am-10:30pm

Printer's Ink has an art gallery that displays the work of more than 40 different local artists.

Red Rock Coffee Co.
201 Castro St, Mountain View; 650.967.4473

Hours: Tue-Fri 7am-9pm, Sat-Mon 7am-11pm

Red Rock holds a Monday-night open-mic session for anything from music to poetry. it also hosts live music on the weekends.

Sugars Cafe
1082 E. Santa Clara St, San Jose 408.295.4049

Hours: 9am-midnight, closed Sun

The Hooters of coffee bars--'nuff said.

Willow Glen Coffee Roasting Company
1383 Lincoln Ave, San Jose 408.297.9077

Hours: Mon-Fri 6am-10pm, Sat 7am-11pm, Sun 7am-6pm

Catch jazz and blues Friday and Saturday nights.

Metro Bars & Clubs 2003 Features

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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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