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[whitespace] Bars, Clubs and Coffeehouses 2000

Hedley Club
Heads Up: The painted ceiling of the Hedley Club inside the Hotel De Anza makes a fabulous indoor view for Tony Pagliaro.

SJ Central

AP Stump's
163 W. Santa Clara St, SJ 408.292.9928

Hours: Sat-Wed 11:30am-10pm; Thu-Fri 11:30am-11pm
Crowd Age: 30s and up
Music: Jazz on Wed and Thu evenings
Decor: Warm-hued woodwork and amber glass chandeliers
Signature Drink: The Lily Pop (Absolute Citron with D'Arbo tangerine and fresh lemon juice)
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: No
Ambience: AP Stump's is a relatively new addition to the San Pedro Square scene, but it's already a favorite among the downtown professional class. The bar scene, however, isn't exactly hopping, as most patrons make a brief pit stop there before being seated at their dining table.


Bella Mia
580 S. First St, SJ 408.280.1993

Hours: Mon-Thu 11am-9:30pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm,
Sun 10am-9pm
Crowd Age: 35 and up
Music: Sunday jazz brunch
Decor: Nouveau Victorian
Signature Drink: Rusty Nail, Sex on the Beach, Purple Hooter
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: No
Ambience: No need to worry about veal substitutes at the Bella Mia bar. Unfortunately, the bar is in the middle of the waiting area, so things can get a little tight. But order yourself a Rusty Nail, fixate on ESPN and you won't mind having your personal space violated.


B-Hive
372 S. First St, SJ 408.298.2529

Hours: Wed-Sat nights until 2am
Crowd Age: 20s
Music: Hip-hop
Decor: Wood floor, dimly lit
Signature Drink: Kamikaze
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Billiards
Ambience: Big hair, big heels and big butts are plentiful here. Don't come too late on weekends because the place fills up pretty quickly to hear the DJs do their thing. Thrifty clubgoers might want to check out the B-Hive on Wednesdays, when ladies get in free. Also, be mindful of the dress code: no hats, no sneakers or sports apparel or white T-shirts.


Big Lil's Cabaret
157 W. San Fernando St, SJ 408.295.7469

Hours: Fri-Sat, dinner 7pm, show 8pm
Crowd Age: 30-50
Music: Ragtime, cabaret
Decor: Turn-of-the-century vaudeville
Signature Drink: No; beer and wine only
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: No
Ambience: Take a trip back to the turn of the century and see some good old-fashioned vaudeville entertainment at Big Lil's. Don't be surprised if the performers make you part of the show, which starts at 8pm on Fridays and Saturdays and costs $20. For $40, theatergoers can also indulge in a Tony Roma's-catered feast of ribs and barbecued chicken at 7pm.


Blake's
17 N. San Pedro Square, SJ 408.298.9221

Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm and 5-10pm, Sat 5-10pm,
Sun 10am-2pm
Crowd Age: 30s and up
Music: No
Decor: Warm brass-and-wood lounge
Signature Drink: None
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: No
Ambience: Who needs roughage? Salads are an afterthought at this top-shelf steakhouse. Seating at the bar is always plentiful as most people come here for the food, not the booze. Civic-savvy patrons might even catch a glimpse of former Mayor Tom McEnery reading his favorite newspaper--the San Jose Mercury News.


The Body Shop at Club Tropicana (formerly The Vibe)
47 Notre Dame Ave, SJ 408.279.3387

Hours: Fri, 9pm-2am
Crowd Age: 18 and up
Music: House, hip-hop, salsa
Decor: Modern
Signature Drink: None
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: Formerly known as The Vibe, this Friday night dance party is the only choice for the 18-and-over crowd in the South Bay. One side of the club has a fully stocked bar and is strictly for those 21 and up. Complete with go-go cages and a social lounge, The Body Shop asks its patrons to "dress to impress"--no hats, tennis shoes or sportswear.


Cactus Club
417 S. First St, SJ 408.280.0885 or 408.491.9300 for recorded info

Hours: Call for show times
Crowd Age: 18 and up, occasionally 16 and up
Music: Wed-Sun live acts; DJs on Mon and Tue
Decor: Dark and dank
Signature Drink: No
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Video games, darts and foosball
Ambience: The Cactus Club offers all the coziness of hip SF clubs. But unlike its northern counterparts, there's actually elbow room to maneuver on the dance floor and get close to the stage. All kinds of acts play here, from metal to punk to Goth. There's also a full-service bar open to the older folks in the crowd. The cover charge varies but is always reasonable (a $5 cover is common).


Cafe Matisse
371 S. First St, SJ 408.298.7788

Hours: Sun 8am-midnight, Mon-Thu 6:30am-midnight,
Fri 6:30am-2am; Sat 7:30am-2am
Crowd Age: 18 and up
Music: No
Decor: Airy cafe
Signature Drink: Coffee
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: Chess, books
Ambience: Located right in the middle of the SoFA club scene, Café Matisse offers an alcohol-free refuge for the underaged and booze-intolerant. While the elders get tanked at nearby venues, the Matisse crowd sips on $3 double lattes, plays chess and writes caffeine-inspired poetry.


Camera Café
288 S. Second St, SJ 408.998.0932

Hours: Daily, 11am-11pm
Crowd Age: All ages
Music: Classical and jazz
Decor: Art-house with cinema nostalgia
Signature Drink: Coffee
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: Walls and floors painted with cinema reels, film-can menus, handmade tables, unique industrial metal work and jasmine plants come together to make the Camera Café feel like a bit of Paris right here in Silicon Valley. Located in the lobby of the Camera 3 Cinemas, the full-service café offers beer and wine as well as espresso drinks, gourmet food and desserts.


The Caravan
98 S. Almaden Ave, SJ 408.995.6220

Hours: Sun-Sat, 6am-2am
Crowd Age: 25-35
Music: No
Decor: Dive
Signature Drink: No
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: Pool table and darts
Ambience: Right down the street from the trendy Fuel, this place is the antidote to hip. No frills or gimmicks here. Just a place to go and suck down a few brews and maybe play a game of pool or darts.


Cinebar
69 E. San Fernando St, SJ 408.292-9562

Hours: Daily, 6am-2am
Crowd Age: Aging stool-warmers in the day; younger blood flows in at night
Music: Yesterday's jukebox
Decor: Dive
Signature Drink: Root Beer Float
Dancing:
No
Games/Amenities: Pool and video games
Ambience: Among downtown bars, Cinebar rules as the King of Kitsch. The weekend bartender wears fantastic white suits reminiscent of Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island. The superb jukebox includes such obscure tunes as "Double Dutch Bus." Cinebar attracts both Gen-X hipsters and blue-collar boozers, making it one of the more unique bar-going experiences in the valley.


City Bar and Grill
300 Almaden Blvd, SJ, 408.947.4444

Hours: Daily, 6am-10pm. Late-night menu at bar 10pm-midnight
Crowd Age: Mid-20s to 50s
Music: Jazz, classical or swing
Decor: Modeled on classic American grills of the '40s and '50s
Signature Drink: Symphony martini with Chopin vodka
Dancing: None
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: Stylish but casual, decorated in green leather-backed booths, beveled glass and brightly polished wood, there's an air of unpretentious elegance to the restaurant. The black-marbled, streamlined bar looks sleek enough to shuffleboard off of, but please don't. A pleasant space that's upbeat and upscale without being stuffy.


Club 369
369 S. First St, SJ, 408.275.8828

Hours: Call for hours
Crowd: 20-ish hipsters
Music: Dance
Decor: Groovy Barbarella digs that are simply out-of-this-world
Signature Drink: No
Dancing: Of course, baby
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: Enter the new millennium and enjoy the cosmic, psychedelic vibe. 369 is awash in neon, striped carpeting, mirrors galore and delectable girlies who drape tables tucked into the galactic vista. A large dance floor and two circular bars keep the punters well-oiled to shimmy through the night.


Club Caribe
1001 S. First St, SJ 408.297.7272

Hours: Wed-Sun, 7pm-1:30am
Crowd Age: 21 and up
Music: Salsa, cumbia, tropicana, banda
Decor: Elegant tropical
Signature Drink: Jarritos
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: A San Jose favorite for many years, the spacious Club Caribe features live bands nightly and Jarritos, a mouthwatering concoction of six liquors including peach, melon, tequila and triple sec. This mostly Hispanic crowd enjoys dancing to salsa music on Thursdays and a variety of Mexican music on other nights. No sportswear, please.


Club Ibex
55 S. Market St, SJ 408. 971.4239

Hours: Call for hours
Crowd Age: 21+, Friday nights reserved for 30+
Music: Flamenco jazz with a South American/Mediterranean flavor, R&B, hip-hop
Decor: Faux '80s chunky glass bar and scattered round tables for packed seating
Signature Drink: No
Dancing:
You betcha
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: Dim the lights and relive the prom. Between the decorative stars dangling off the ceiling, the club's collection of crisp '80s photos and a strictly enforced dress code, Club Ibex has got the feel of a spruced-up high school dance. Except the music's much, much better and the drinking's legal.


Club Miami
177 W. Santa Clara St, SJ 408.279.3670

Hours: Thu-Sat, 9pm-2am
Crowd Age: 21 to mid-30s
Music: Salsa, merengue and kicking Latin beats
Decor: Think flashy, neon, and as cheesy as a Disney theme park
Signature Drink: Super icy margarita
Dancing: iUy hombre, claro!
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: The club's atmosphere is as thick and hot as the habañero salsa downstairs at Señora Emma's taqueria. Doors open at 8pm for free salsa lessons. You've got to know how to roll those hips, because the dancers--a mixed crowd of club hoppers--mean business. Just like the city, Miami attracts the unabashedly beautiful--and let's face it, it's time to leave that T-shirt at home.


Coconut Willie's Cocktail Lounge
1099 W. San Carlos St, SJ 408.947.9619

Hours: Daily, 10am-2am
Crowd Age: 30s to 40s
Music: Jukebox
Decor: Tropical
Signature Drink: Bloody Mary
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: Pool table, darts, arcade games, keno
Ambience: With a straw-lined canopy adorning the bar and bamboo accents throughout, this casual cocktail lounge with a friendly bartender welcomes all. Regulars and newcomers enjoy playing keno, darts and pool and listening to their favorite music picks from the jukebox. Besides the Bloody Mary, Coconut Willie's also makes a good Purple Hooter.


The Derby
13th and Washington streets, SJ (no phone)

Hours: Daily, 6am-2am
Crowd Age: 30s to 40s
Music: Jukebox
Decor: Casual
Signature Drink: Bottled beer
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: Pool table, darts
Ambience: "Where friends meet" reads the sign outside of The Derby, a bottled-beer-only type of neighborhood bar. Adorned with Irish touches like a painted mural of frolicking elves behind the bar, the Derby serves a group composed mainly of regulars. A pool table, darts and jukebox music provide the entertainment.


Eulipia
374 S. First St, SJ 408.280.6161

Hours: Tue-Sat 5:30-10pm, Sun, 4:30-9pm
Crowd Age: 20-50
Music: Jazz, classical and smooth-listening background music
Decor: Low-lit and elegant, white tablecloths deck the tables, spacious
Signature Drink: Blue agave margarita
Dancing: None
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: Minimalist yet stylish, Eulipia has an artful and timeless feel to it, as if the sun froze the moment it hit the horizon. Intimately lit and understated, the popular spot draws in business people and serious diners. Swirl that glass of wine slowly and enjoy the respite.


Fairmont Lounge
170 S. Market St, SJ 408.998.1900

Hours: Mon-Thu 11am-midnight, Fri-Sat 11am-1am
Crowd Age:
21 and up
Music:
Daily piano afternoon and evenings, Fri-Sat live bands
Decor:
Loungy
Signature Drink:
Martini Madness
Dancing:
None
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: The lounge gets a diverse crowd, tourist types from the hotel and street folks as well. Surrounded by fresh flowers, plush chairs and sofas, you may just get stuck here for a while, imbibing a 24-karat margarita. High tea on weekend afternoons is not to be missed.


Flying Pig Pub
78 S. First St, SJ 408.298.6710

Hours: Mon-Fri, 11:30am-2am
Crowd Age: Post-college professionals
Music: Straight from the jukebox
Decor: Narrow brick-walled space with a pressed metal ceiling
Signature Drink: With a name like this? Beer
Dancing: None
Games/Amenities: Darts
Ambience: Extremely casual and friendly, this is the kind of place where everyone knows your name--probably because you're buying. Crowded with accountants, students and serious drinkers, the Pig's a drinking man's bar. Our advice: drink up, rattle some brain cells and roll yourself onto the train--the tracks are right outside the door.


Fuel
44 Almaden Ave, SJ 408.295.7374

Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-2am
Crowd Age: 21-80s (yep, they still get out)
Music: Jazz, Latin, lounge, rockabilly, swing and whatever is current cutting-edge
Decor: Rustic wooden bar overlooks a collection of widely spaced tables.
Signature Drink: Cosmopolitan, martini
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: Breezy European café by day, well-stocked, cozy living room by night, Fuel's a low-key Latin-flavored watering hole with an earthy vibe. The bar radiates an eclecticism lacking in most mainstream spaces in San Jose, appealing to those who prefer an environment with personality. A small stage draped in red curtains lends a cabaret air to this inviting, contemporary, intimate space.


Gordon Biersch
33 E. San Fernando St, SJ 408.294.6785

Hours: Sun-Wed 11:30am-midnight, Thu-Sat 11:30am-1am
Crowd Age: 21-45
Music: Jazz in all its incarnations
Decor: Open-air, European-style patio
Signature Drink: In-house German lagers
Dancing: Live music Thu-Sat, so it's a possibility
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: A favorite watering hole for those with a palate for sophisticated brew. GB attracts clean-cut, well-manicured and well-behaved types and it's a hot spot for computer industry lawyers and the SJSU crowd. A beautiful outdoor patio serves up some of the best live jazz in town. The inside has as much soul as a hotel lobby, but since it's full of beautiful people, who really cares?


Grill on the Alley
172 S. Market St, SJ 408.294.2244

Hours: Mon-Thu 11:30am-10pm, Fri 11:30am-11pm,
Sat-Sun 5-11pm
Crowd Age: 25-55
Music: None
Decor:
American steakhouse
Signature Drink:
Martini
Dancing:
None
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: Big comfy chairs and old dark wood match the opulent atmosphere in the South Bay's top flophouse, the Fairmont Hotel. Sip on a wonderful hand-stirred martini while scoping for Sharks players after the game. The bartenders, like the surroundings, are top-notch.


Hedley Club
Hotel De Anza, 233 W. Santa Clara St, SJ 408.286.1000

Hours: Sun-Tue 11am-10pm, Wed-Thu 11am-11:30pm,
Fri-Sat 11am-12:30am
Crowd Age: Late 30s
Music: Wed-Sat jazz, salsa, swing
Decor:
Art deco
Signature Drink:
Chocolate Martini
Dancing:
Yes
Games/Amenities:
None
Ambience: This castle-like throwback to the 1930s is a good setting in which to play dress-up. For those hankering after more than just party mix, La Pastaia next door sends over some delectable appetizers. Once the music begins, jump in or just watch as lots of swanky jetsetters take the dance floor.


Henry's World-Famous Hi Life
301 St. John St, SJ 408.295.5414

Hours: Tue-Fri 11:30am-2pm, Mon-Thu 5-9pm, Fri-Sat 4-10pm, Sun 4-9pm
Crowd Age: 21-60
Music: Jukebox
Decor: Rustic
Signature Drink: None
Dancing:
None
Games/Amenities: Golf game, TVs for sports watching
Ambience: Henry's boasts to be more than 100 years old, put up as a saloon back in 1883. Today not much has changed. At the bar sit a colorful array of local folks, noisy sports fans, even students, eager to wash down the world-famous porterhouse steaks with some imported brew.


Il Fornaio Café
Hyatt Sainte Claire, 302 S. Market St, SJ 408.271.3366

Hours: Mon-Fri 6:30am-3:30pm, Sat-Sun 7:30am-2:30pm
Crowd Age: Mid-30s
Music: None
Decor: Palace-like
Signature Drink:
Italian coffees
Dancing:
None
Games/Amenities:
None
Ambience: A popular stop for all the business folks downtown, but don't wait till after work for a coffee, because its doors close early. Il Fornaio's sweet selection of decadent Italian pastries, awash with any sort of espresso drink you can imagine, will surely make up for this shortcoming.


Katie Bloom's
108 S. First St, SJ 408.294.4408

Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-2am, Sat-Sun 2pm-2am
Crowd Age: 21-40
Music: Jukebox
Decor: Irish pub
Signature Drink: Navy Grog
Dancing:
None
Games/Amenities: TVs, video games
Ambience: Watch funny-looking men, all dressed alike after work in their khakis and blue starched shirts, guzzle pints of Guinness just like the Irish. Music is often too loud here to chat to your neighbor, so you may want to saunter off to a quieter nook.


Mac's Club
39 Post St, SJ 408.288.8221

Hours: Daily, noon-2am
Crowd Age: 30 and up
Music: DJ on Sat, 9pm-1am
Decor: Pub-like
Signature Drink:
Cosmopolitian
Dancing: None
Games/Amenities: Jukebox on patio outdoors, darts
Ambience: As of last September, Mac's ventured from its former home between First and Market. San Jose's oldest gay bar is still a fun, friendly little neighborhood bar even if you're not gay. Its new, off-the-beaten-path location gives downtown a much-needed peaceful, low-key space to unwind on the weekends.


Mission Ale House
97 E. Santa Clara St, SJ 408.292.4058

Hours: Daily, 11am-2pm
Crowd Age: Over 40 daytime, under 30 nighttime
Music: Fri, acoustic night
Decor: Victorian
Signature Drink:
32-ounce schooner beers and margaritas
Dancing: None
Games/Amenities:
Video game, golf game, TVs
Ambience: Nearly doubling in size over the last two years, the house o' ale now maintains a "beer garden" out the back for outdoor seating on those warm summer nights. The building itself is nearly a century old, boasting exposed brick walls and that timeless city-bar charm. Beautiful bartenders and sports celebrities spice up the frat boy mix.


Paolo's
333 W. San Carlos St, SJ 408.294.2558

Hours: Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, Mon-Sat 5:30-10pm
Crowd Age: 35-40
Music: None
Decor:
Mediterranean
Signature Drink:
Ombretta di Paolo
Dancing: None
Games/Amenities:
None
Ambience: High ceilings and designer furniture make this four-star restaurant an elegant place to imbibe. Outdoor seating is available, and one would be wise to snap it up. Those warm, tranquil evenings are meant for dining under the stars with an old friend.


Polly Esther's
396 S. First St, SJ 408.280.1977

Hours: Thu-Sat, 8pm-2am
Crowd Age: Mid- to late 20s
Music: '70s disco and '80s retro
Decor: '70s and '80s nostalgia
Signature Drink: The Exorcist--it'll make your head spin
Dancing: Three floors of it
Games/Amenities: A Twister dance floor, elevated dancing cages
Ambience: Two clubs, three groovily lit dance floors and a 35-foot-tall Terminator all in one location make you feel like you've taken a trip to the past. If you want to do the Hustle, hit the '70s club upstairs; if you're longing for the '80s, hit the Purple Rain dance floor downstairs. For drinks, choose between the Sonny ("I had you, babe") or the Cher ("I don't want you, babe").


The Shark & Rose
69 N. San Pedro St, SJ 408.287.6969

Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-2am, Sat-Sun 4pm-2am
Crowd Age: Twentysomething
Music: No live music
Decor: British pub
Signature Drink:
Whatever you like
Dancing:
None
Games/Amenities:
Pool table
Ambience: Plain and simple, this is a pleasant spot to hang out, especially in front of the joint, where folks can down a brew or feast on seafood. An intriguing mix of hard-core regulars blends merrily with the after-work dotcom crowd. Maybe a few sports-bar types also stroll in.


South First Billiards
420 S. First St, SJ 408.294.7800

Hours: Daily, 4pm-2am
Crowd Age: 21 and up
Music: Bartender's choice
Decor: Casual
Signature Drink: The Player
Dancing: None
Games/Amenities: Pool, darts, foosball and video games
Ambience: A spacious, well-lit site with two levels and 29 pool tables, this is the place to go for billiards. Located downtown in the hip SoFA district and featuring a full-service bar, food and special tournament Tuesdays, South First Billiards serves as a hangout for a diverse yet mostly college crowd.


Spiedo Ristorante
151 W. Santa Clara St, SJ 408.971.6096

Hours: Sun-Thu 11:30am-2:30pm and 4:30-10pm,
Fri-Sat till 11pm
Crowd Age: Mostly 25 and up
Music: Soft jazz
Decor: Italian
Signature Drink: Wine
Dancing: None
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: Modern yet warm, this spacious restaurant is dimly lit and adorned with touches of cherry, walnut and mahogany wood. More than 300 wines to choose from, fresh Mediterranean cuisine and a balcony to dine out on make this a perfect place for a romantic evening. Featuring a full bar and occasional live music.


Stratta Grill and Café
71 E. San Fernando St, SJ 408.293.1121

Hours: Daily, 11:30am-midnight
Crowd Age: 25 and up
Music: None
Decor: Mediterranean
Signature Drink: Martini
Dancing: None
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: Now under new ownership, Stratta offers a contemporary setting that draws in a crowd of mostly young professionals. After being closed for renovation, Stratta reopened its doors this month. For a special treat, order a signature martini with your favorite international vodka.


Teske's Germania
255 N. First St, SJ 408.292.0291

Hours: Tue-Wed 11am-2pm and 5-9:30pm, Thu-Sat 11am-2am
Crowd Age: 25-40
Music: Occasional German music
Decor: Old World European
Signature Drink: Spaten
Dancing: Occasionally out in the biergarten (during Oktoberfest)
Games/Amenities: None
Ambience: In the tradition of Old World Germany, Teske's offers brew in a huge, stein-like liter serving called a mass (pronounced moss). Half-liter servings are available for the not-so-spirited. The small, inconspicuous sign make Teske's a bit easy to miss, but if you're looking for traditional German food and beer, it's the place to go. Friendly service and Oktoberfest celebrations included.


Tied House
65 N. San Pedro St, SJ 408.295.2739

Hours: Daily, 11:30am-10:30pm
Crowd Age: All ages
Music: AEI music system
Decor: Casual
Signature Drink: Cascade Amber Ale
Dancing: None
Games/Amenities: Large-screen TV, guest bartender night
Ambience: The "pioneering microbrewery of San Jose," the Tied House draws a mostly business crowd during the day. At night the crowd becomes more diverse as patrons gather to dine on the California cuisine and imbibe one or more of the eight in-house microbrewed beers next to the 28-foot-high beer hall. Get a Sampler Eight and try all types.


Toon's
52 E. Santa Clara St, SJ 408.292.7464

Hours: Daily, 7pm-2am
Crowd Age: College crowd
Music: Live bands, DJ
Decor: Drunk-proof
Signature Drink: $1 drink specials
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Pool tables, darts, arcade games, ATM machine
Ambience: The "busiest bar downtown," Toon's is the gathering place for college kids who want to rock out to live bands like Uncle Melvin and occasionally bigger names like Smash mouth and Dick Dale. With 50-cent beer from 8 to 10pm Sunday through Thursday and $1 drinks from 8 to 10pm Friday and Saturday, Toon's is the perfect place for broke students who want to drink more for less.


Trials Pub
265 N. First St, SJ 408.947.0497

Hours: Daily, 5pm-midnight
Crowd Age: 30 and up
Music: None
Decor: Victorian
Signature Drink: None
Dancing: None
Games/Amenities: Darts, Mon night trivia, guest bartender night
Ambience: An authentic British pub with British food and more than 20 draft and bottled British brews, Trials welcomes regulars and newcomers alike. Built in 1898, the building was a brothel whose basement was used as spillover from the County Jail. Reportedly, the ghost of a warden killed by a prisoner still roams about, but that doesn't scare this crowd out of having a frolicking good time.


The Usual
400 S. First St, SJ 408.535.0330

Hours: Tue-Sat, 8pm-2am
Crowd Age: 21-35
Music: Live bands and a variety of dance music
Decor: Progressive
Signature Drink: The Usual
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Pool table
Ambience: A SoFA district favorite, The Usual is the place to go to dance to a variety of music, including alternative, disco and '80s flashbacks. The darkly lit, spacious and often crowded club features live acts like the Cheeseballs as well as bigger names like Rick James, Dick Dale and the Royal Crown Revue. Both rooms house a fully stocked bar.


The Voodoo Lounge
14 S. Second St, SJ 408.286.8636

Hours: Tue-Fri 5pm-2am, Sat 8pm-2am, Sun 9pm-2am
Crowd Age: 20s
Music: Variety of '70s, '80s and '90s
Decor: Classy, retro
Signature Drink: Lava Lamp
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Pool tables
Ambience: With lush velvet couches and upscale decor, the Voodoo Lounge plays a variety of dance hits, including rock and soul from the past and present. Dance the night away or sit back and relax while sipping on a Lava Lamp, the club's signature drink: a cocktail with Jell-O floating inside.


Waves Smokehouse
& Saloon
65 Post St, SJ 408.885.9283

Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-1:30am, Sat-Sun noon-1:30am
Crowd Age: 21-35
Music: Live bands, reggae, house, DJ
Decor: Casual with historical touches
Signature Drink: Cosmopolitan
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Big-screen TV, cigar patio
Ambience: Built in 1873, the Waves site is the oldest commercial building in San Jose. A former bar and brothel, the club displays such bits of history as a 100-year-old mahogany and stained-glass bar and a marble spittoon left from the original bar. Waves features 24 beers on tap, humidified cigars for smoking on the balcony, and a complete menu of Texas barbecue from the upstairs restaurant.


Wine Galleria
377 S. First St, SJ 408.298.1386

Hours: Tue-Sat, 5pm-midnight
Crowd Age: Mature
Music: No
Decor:
Distinguished
Signature Drink: Aged grapes
Dancing:
No
Games/Amenities: No
Ambience: This is a sanctuary for both oenophiles and those needing a quiet retreat from the high-rise, cubicle crazies. Wine--and only wine--plus soft conversation provide the much-needed antidote to too much dotcom, IPO and NASDAQ noise.


[ Bars & Clubs Index | San Jose | Metroactive Central | Archives ]


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

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.




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