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[whitespace] Bars, Clubs and Coffeehouses 2000

Elephant Bar
Bottoms Up: The Big E. Beer is a favorite among locals at the Elephant Bar in Campbell.


1875 S. Bascom Ave, Campbell 408.371.4404

Hours: Daily, noon-2am
Crowd Age: Varies, but younger as the evening progresses
Music: Live rock nightly. $3 cover Thu, $4 on Fri and Sat
Decor: English pub, complete with mounted deer heads
Signature Drink: Chillem shot (vodka, grapefruit, cranberry, tonic)
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Darts, video games
Ambience: As far as bars go, Boswell's might be an overachiever. Decorated like a proper English pub (sans light sufficient for reading), this watering hole is generally a sports bar by day and rock/dance club by night. For more than 20 years, Boswell's has been putting live acts on stage almost every night. Regular rock bands take the stage Sunday to Thursday, with rotating headliners on Friday and Saturday nights. But the real star of the show is the laid-back atmosphere.

Campbell Roasting Company
1875 S. Bascom Ave #112, Campbell, 408.559.8040

Hours: Sun-Thu 6:30am-11pm, Fri-Sat 7:30am-midnight
Crowd Age: All ages
Music: None
Decor: None
Signature Drink: Mocha freeze
Dancing: None
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: Here, a quiet European-style patio area is as good a place as any to plop down with a mocha freeze on those summer days when Highway 17 is crammed or to relax with a coffee after shopping. And because they also roast their own beans, sometimes the strong smell of all that raw caffeine is enough to wake you up all by itself. Office workers from the nearby high-rises are regulars during the day, but the median age drops when the workday's done.

City Espresso #1
1820B W. Campbell Ave, Campbell 408.370.1477

Hours: Mon-Thu 6am-10pm, Fri-Sun 6am-11pm
Crowd Age: High school to gray ponytails
Music: Acoustic folk and blues Thu-Sat nights
Decor: It's not about the decor
Signature Drink: Mocha freeze
Dancing: None
Games/Amenities: Chess
Ambience: City Espresso makes up with personality what it lacks in cozy coffeehouse decor. For example, at what other cafes can one find the owner teaching tango lessons? And in addition to gourmet coffees, the lunch and breakfast-on-the-run crowds can choose from pasta salad, ready-made burritos, Rice Krispy treats and quiche, plus the usual soup, salad and sandwiches. And happy hour is 1-4pm.

C.S. Riff's
1505 S. Winchester Blvd, Campbell 408.866.0511

Hours: Daily, 11am-2am
Crowd Age: Everyone in the neighborhood; 21 and up after 10pm
Music: Live bands play blues and rock Fri and Sat, karaoke Thu
Decor: Clean and comfortable
Signature Drink: The fullest bar around, all kinds of tequilas
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Pool, darts, video games
Ambience: This cozy and clean neighborhood bar has plenty of tables and lounge chairs in which to get comfortable while watching, say, one of the best Eric Clapton songs ever performed on karaoke Thursdays. And the clientele spans all ages and nationalities. Burgers, steaks, sandwiches and other meals are on the menu.

Campbell Billiards
1777 S. Bascom Ave, Campbell 408.377.9886

Hours: Daily, noon-2am
Crowd Age: Teens, 20s
Music: Jukebox has classic rock, hip-hop and everything in between
Decor: Acres of flat green felt
Signature Drink: None
Dancing: None
Games/Amenities: Video games and trivia
Ambience: With 23 pool tables and one snooker table, Campbell Billiards offers little more than a single-minded devotion to living up to its name. Thursday night is tournament night, when anyone can show up and take a shot at winning a cut of that night's pot, and Monday is ladies night, when girls can rack 'em up for half price. Finger foods are available, and there's a selection of bottled beer for the older sharks.

Cardiff Lounge
260 E. Campbell Ave, Campbell 408.866.6345

Hours: Daily, 8am-2am
Crowd Age: 20s, 30s
Music: Jukebox; live jazz, country, metal, reggae, etc.
Decor: Textbook bar
Signature Drink: Beer and a shot
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Pool, darts, trivia
Ambience: Compared to downtown Campbell's other offerings, this humble bar in the shadow of the water tower does a better job of keeping it real. Sports are always on the TV, which is easier to see now that there's a new big-screen in the corner. "People are comfortable here," bartender Kelly Ann says. "I get a lot of women coming in who say they like it because they feel safe in here."

Effie's Restaurant and Bar
331 W. Hacienda Ave, Campbell 408.374.3400

Hours: Sun 6am-10pm, Fri-Sat 6am-11pm
Crowd Age: 40s, 50s
Music: Live music Thu-Sat, karaoke night Tue
Decor: Vegas, in brass and green leather booths
Signature Drink: None
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: Formerly known as Effie's Coffee Shop and Fine Dining, this restaurant changed its name in May because, well, it's not really a coffee shop. Catering to a crowd of mostly older regulars, Effie's isn't the place to look for a score. The tables in the bar area are more suited to a long conversation with a sweetheart over a couple glasses of chardonnay. And in the restaurant, big portions make it hard to leave without a doggie bag.

Elephant Bar
499 E. Hamilton Ave, Campbell 408.871.8401

Hours: Mon-Thu 11am-10:30pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11:30pm
Crowd Age: 20s
Music: None
Decor: Safari
Signature Drink: Jungletini
Dancing: None
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: A great place to go on safari--if you're looking for the other side of your species. A ring of elephants have the best seats in the house, looking down on all the action around the circular bar below. Elephant Bar also serves its own brand of brew, Big E Beer ($4.75 a pint). And if you don't mind being watched by a life-size elephant head, there's also a full-service restaurant that serves burgers, fajitas, pasta, jambalaya and more.

The Garrett
1777 S. Bascom Ave, Campbell 408.559.7930

Hours: Daily, 10am-1:30am
Crowd Age: Toddlers to middle age
Music: None
Decor: A cleaner version of the Dutch Goose
Signature Drink: Decent selection of 12 beers on tap
Dancing: None
Games/Amenities: Video games, big-screen TV
Ambience: Not many places are perfect for both getting a drink with the co-workers after a long day and taking the
T-ball team for pizza after a long game. The Garrett is one of these places. This pizza-and-beer place is slightly more upscale than most pizza-and-beer places, and in addition to a well-rounded menu that includes burgers, salads and sandwiches, the Garrett also boasts baseball on the big screen and offers an extra-large pile of communal newspapers for hungry newshounds.

Gaslighter Theatre
400 E. Campbell Ave, Campbell 408.866.1408

Hours: Vary depending on performances
Crowd Age: All ages
Music: Live bands
Decor: Big wooden stage, red plush carpet, old-fashioned
Signature Drink: None
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: Now and then, the theater puts on live punk and ska shows while the of-age sip Budweiser from plastic red party cups. Those not of age sip Sprite and Coke, also from big red party cups. The small theater has room for dancing so youngsters can get jiggy with it on the floor. Owners still host plays at the theater on a regular basis. Old black-and-white photos from performances line the building's plush-carpeted entryway.

Giuseppe Italian Restaurant
33 Central Ave, Campbell 408.374.3257

Hours: Tue-Thu 5-9pm, Sat-Sun 5-10pm
Crowd Age: Mixed crowd
Music: No
Decor: Rustic, Italian paintings on wall, historic building
Signature Drink: Wine list
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: No
Ambience: Giuseppe's in downtown Campbell makes any patron feel at home. The restaurant took up residence in a historic prune-drying shed. The family atmosphere booms there and a young singles crowd gets comfy at the wooden bar, too. The casual to dressy sit among Italian carnival paintings while selecting from a lengthy list of fine wines. Giuseppe recommends the prawns to anyone who's sitting at the bar sipping wine and craving a snack.

J.R.'s Sports Bar
2369 Winchester Ave, Campbell 408.374.3257

Hours: Daily, 10:30am-2am
Crowd Age: 25 and up
Music: Live blues, rock & roll
Decor: 16 TVs
Signature Drink: Draft beers on tap
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Dartboards
Ambience: Sports fans can catch a glimpse of a TV set no matter where they sit in J.R.'s Sports Bar. Holler, cheer and yell at the basketball or football players on the screen, and chances are the guys and gals sitting nearby will be doing the same thing. (While sipping on one of 12 beers on tap, of course.) Live blues and rock & roll on Friday and Saturday nights get quite a few rump-shakers out to the dance floor.

Katie Bloom's
369 E. Campbell Ave, Campbell 408.379.9687

Hours: Daily, 11:30am-2am
Crowd Age: 25-35
Music: Live Irish music on Sunday afternoons
Decor: Dimly lit, dark carpets, dark wood tables and barstools
Signature Drink: Pint of Guinness
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: With a pint of Guinness in the fist and live Irish music playing the background, it's hard to imagine that life could get much better than this. But it can. Patrons who indulge in the famous deep-fried fish and chips--munched either on a barstool inside, or outside on the cafe-style patio--are often hooked. And to those looking for something to wash down the meal, bartenders may recommend dropping a shot of Jameson's or Bushmill's Irish Whiskey down the throat.

300 Orchard City Dr, Campbell 408.379.6340

Hours: Daily, 11am-2am
Crowd Age: 21 and up
Music: No
Decor: Stained glass, couches
Signature Drink: Chillem shot
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: Foosball table, dartboard, TVs
Ambience: Low-key, comfy Khartoum--a fixture since the 1970s--is not a pack-'em-in, elbow-to-elbow sort of place. College-aged groups and singles often make their way into the joint to relax and chat on the many couches and barstools. However, bartenders say, the atmosphere picks up after bar-hoppers have thrown back a few of Khartoum's famous Chillem shots (with vodka, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice and a splash of tonic).

Kings Head Pub and Restaurant
201 Orchard City Dr, Campbell 408.871.2499

Hours: Mon-Thu 11:30am-midnight, Fri-Sat 11:30am-2am
Crowd Age: 21 and up
Music: Live Scottish bagpipes, karaoke
Decor: German beer hall style
Signature Drink: British and Irish beers on tap
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Darts, trivia Tuesdays
Ambience: Don't be surprised to find men dressed in kilts playing bagpipes at the Kings Head Pub on Thursday nights--or the bartender calling you "love." The cozy pub is a favorite to the boisterous locals. Throw some darts, play a little Tuesday-night trivia or, after a few, step up to the karaoke machine. The bar boasts British and Irish beers on tap and a hearty menu for those looking to swallow some good grub.

Left at Albuquerque
The Pruneyard, 1875 S. Bascom Ave #50, Campbell 408.558.1680

Hours: Sun-Thu 11:30am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-11pm
Crowd Age: 25-45
Music: Jukebox
Decor: Cowboy and Western art
Signature Drink: High Plains Drifter margarita
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: Jukebox
Ambiance: Go Left at Albuquerque and you are sure to find a fiesta. Among the cowboy and Western art, the upscale cuisine and lively bar scene is topped off by the famous margaritas, including the High Plains Drifter, made with freshly squeezed lime juice. Those who really want to get the party rolling can select from more than 125 tequilas for a made-to-order top-shelf margarita or a shot. Great Southwestern munchies can be ordered from the kitchen to accompany that frosted margarita, too.

Orchard Valley Coffee Roastery
394 E. Campbell Ave, Campbell 408.374.2115

Hours: Mon-Tue 6am-9:30pm, Wed-Sat 6am-10:30pm, Sun 7am-9:30pm
Crowd Age: 16 and up
Music: No
Decor: Couches
Signature Drink: Campbell blend
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: Computers
Ambience: Be it a toasted bagel topped with tomato-basil cream cheese, a scoop of rocky road ice cream, a veggie sandwich, a hot mocha or a pint of Gordon Biersch, there's something for every appetite here. It's a comfy place to hang out and read the paper, chat with friends over a smoothie or check email at the computer café. Or some bring a favorite book and nab a spot on the couch or outside on the patio.

Rock Bottom Brewery
The Pruneyard, 1875 S. Bascom Ave, Campbell 408.377.0707

Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-10pm, Sat-Sun noon-1am
Crowd Age: 22-38
Music: CD mix
Decor: California Craftsman, wooden bar
Signature Drink: Beer
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: TVs
Ambiance: Wondering where all the beautiful people went? Check out the Rock Bottom Brewery in Campbell. Friends pack into booths and fill tables inside and outside along the patio. The chic sip pitchers and pints of famous Rock Bottom microbrews like the Fire Chief ale, Liquid Sunshine pale ale and the famous NitWit wheat beer. Overhead music makes the brewery a great nighttime spot with a tasty late-night menu that includes wood-smoked pizzas and quesadillas.

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From the June 22-28, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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