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Boswell's
1875 S. Bascom Ave, Campbell 408.371.4404

Hours: Daily, noon-1:30am
Crowd Age: College to 40s
Decor: English pub
Music: Live rock bands
Signature Drink: Chill'um
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Darts, video games

If your idea of a good time is "popping down to the pub," Boswell's welcomes you home. Stuffed deer heads keep watch over an eclectic crowd groovin' to live rock music nightly. A popular hangout for college students, white-collar workers and retirees, the unpretentious atmosphere at Boswell's ensures a good time will be had by all.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: A crow


Campbell Billiards
1777 S. Bascom Ave, Campbell 408.377.9886

Hours: Daily noon-2am
Crowd Age: Teens, 20s
Music: Jukebox
Decor: pool hall
Signature Drink: Beer
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: Pool, video games, trivia

Some things turn out best when they're left to the single-minded--and Campbell Billiards is proof positive. Seven days a week, pool is the rule at this longtime favorite hall. Those 21 and over can add a little beer to their bank shots, but otherwise the distractions are minimal.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: A shark--of the pool variety, of course.


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

Hours: Daily 7am-11pm
Crowd Age: 16-30
Music: Jazz CD mixes in the background
Decor: Wall-to-wall tables
Signature Drink: Mocha Freeze
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: None

You think Starbucks is a hangout? C'mon, you can do better than that--this place is open later and boasts a more studious, social crowd as opposed to the commuter traffic in that other, corporate joint. There are also plenty of confections like chocolate chip cookies, pastries, muffins, and for the hungrier patron, sandwiches. Inside, it's quiet enough to spend some time with an iBook, while the outside patio area resembles a concrete beach. Scores of young and attractive people mingle late into the night, sipping on espressos or gossiping about last weekend's prom.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: A panting puppy dog


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

Hours: Sun, Mon, Wed 11am-10pm, Tue, Thu 11am-12:30am, Fri-Sat 11am-1:30am
Crowd Age: 30-50
Music: Karaoke Thu-Sat
Decor: '70s Casino lounge
Signature Drink: None
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: Happy-hour buffet nightly, 4-7pm

While Effie's is one of those longtime local favorite neighborhood bars, karaoke has given the place new lifeblood. Everyone knows Erica, the talented songstress who hosts karaoke Thursday through Saturday. Friday, it's her chance for the spotlight. "People have a great time," says one local, "all the way to closing."

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: A mockingbird


The Garrett
1777 S. Bascom Ave, Campbell 408.559.7930

Hours: Daily, 10am-2am
Crowd Age: 21-40
Music: No
Decor: Pizza parlor
Signature Drink: Beers on tap
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: Video game room

Little League central in the daytime, the Garrett becomes a sports bar by night. Pizza and beer--what could be better?

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: One heavy-hitting pop fly


Gaslighter Theatre
400 E. Campbell Ave, Campbell 408.866.1408

Hours: Vary depending on performance
Crowd Age: All ages
Music: Live shows and musicals
Decor: Old-school theater elegance
Signature Drink: Bottled beer
Dancing: Sometimes
Games/Amenities: No

Not your usual bar animal, the Gaslighter offers up musical entertainment of a theatrical sort--along with the occasional live local ska or punk show. The plush red carpet and black-and-white photos give the theater an old-school elegance and provide a perfect spot for local performances. Beer is served, and soft drinks and concessions are also offered for the underaged.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: Peacock


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

Hours: Daily, 11am-2am
Crowd Age: 21-35
Music: Jukebox
Decor: Irish pub
Signature Drink: Guinness
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: Fenced-in patio out front for drinking and eating

The Irish are known for their sociability, and Katie Bloom's makes her parent country proud. A roomy place to meet friends, groups here tend to mingle happily on the weekends--especially Sunday nights, when live bands are featured.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: Ladybug


Khartoum
300 Orchard City Dr, Campbell 408.379.6340

Hours: Daily 11am-2am
Crowd Age: 21-50
Music: Jukebox
Decor: Leather couches and animal heads
Signature Drink: Chill'um
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: Foosball, video dart games and big screen TVs

A saloon named Khartoum? It's a mix of cultural references, but stained glass and faux Tiffany lamps fill out the bar's interior. A mixed crowd hangs out here, with younger patrons tending to patronize after work. Become a regular and reap the benefits not advertised to the rest of us, like promotional nights similar to the one where Smirnoff vodka hooked up the house.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: Camel


Kings Head Pub
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 bagpipes, karaoke
Decor: Traditional beer hall
Signature Drink: Guinness
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Darts, trivia Tuesdays, karaoke

More proof that multiculturalism works, the Kings Head has a wee bit of an identity crisis--the menu suggests a English pub, the décor a German beer hall, and Scottish bagpipes and kilts only further the confusion. It all adds to the charm of this cozy pub, where friendly locals of all ages congregate to throw darts, play Tuesday night trivia or guzzle U.K. beers on tap. It's a must-go for those with a soft spot for bartenders with charming accents and men in kilts.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: A mutt


Murphy's Bar & Grill
2240 S. Winchester Blvd, Campbell 408.379.2654

Hours: Daily 10am-2am
Crowd Age: 21 and up; older by day, younger by night
Music: Occasional DJs, jukebox
Decor: Sporty
Signature Drink: Jolly Rancher Watermelon
Dancing: When the DJs spin
Games/Amenities: Pool table, dart board, video game, TVs

With wall-to-wall sports memorabilia, this neighborhood bar and grill attracts a variety of sports-happy customers with an emphasis on Oakland A's and Raiders fans. The grill cooks up good old American grub like burgers, dogs and cheese steaks. Specials include the One-Pound Murph Burger and the Winchester Burger. During football season, the place can get a little excitable, but it's all in good fun.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: Pussycat


Neza Bar and Grill
1505 S. Winchester Blvd, Campbell 408.866.0511

Hours: Daily 11am-10pm
Crowd Age: All ages
Music: No
Decor: Casual
Signature Drink: Corona
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: Pool, darts, big-screen TV

All ages and types gravitate to this comfy neighborhood watering hole in Campbell. The pool tables are always popular, and the TVs play Spanish music videos. Neza's menu offers a tasty selection of tacos, tortas and seafood.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: A friendly neighborhood dog


Off the Hook
2369 Winchester Blvd, Campbell 408.374.3257

Hours: Daily 11am-2am
Crowd Age: 21-50
Music: Jukebox; DJ Wed and last Sun of month; live bands Sat
Decor: Casual
Signature Drink: Diggler
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Beer patio, three pool tables, putting green, 24 TVs, foosball, pinball, Ping Pong, video and dart games

When just sipping and quaffing aren't enough, Off the Hook provides a veritable groaning board of activities for its patrons: more TVs than a Fahrenheit 451 apartment, pool tables, games of every description, even a putting green. And Ping Pong is on the way. Before rackin' them up, try a Diggler, described by one bartender as a "Long Island but stronger." Finding Off the Hook can be a challenge: watch for the Campbell Plaza sign. It's next to Safeway.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be? Tiger


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

Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-2am, Sat-Sun noon-2am
Crowd Age: 21-35
Music: CD mixes
Decor: High wood ceilings and cozy booths
Signature Drink: Raccoon Red
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: Ten full-screen TVs, NFL Ticket package for complete football coverage

The Rock Bottom Brewery--a cavernous Tahoe chalet paired with a long bar--offers 10 handcrafted beers on tap for patrons, who tend to pack the place when football season starts, and all the games are available on a full spectrum of TVs. Need some incentive to cut work early?: every Tuesday 2pm-6pm is pint night, where a glass (which you get to keep) is $4.95, and refills are $2.25 a pop. On Thursdays, 6-7pm, beers go all the way down to $1.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: A giraffe, because "the bartenders are so fast." Er, OK.


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From the July 18-24, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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