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Box Seat Sports Grill and Bar
15650 Vineyard Blvd, Morgan Hill 408.778.7102

Hours: Sun-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm
Crowd Age: All ages
Music: Jukebox
Decor: Sporty
Signature Drink: None
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: Pool, pinball, video games, TVs, foosball

With two large-screen TVs downstairs and 12 other TVs elsewhere, the Box Seat sports pub has some screen for everyone. Kids can play arcade games and pinball in the game room; Mom and Dad can feel like kids while enjoying grilled food, beer and wine and watching their favorite team from the inside of a boxing ring.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: Raging bull, to go with the boxing theme


Camelot
275 E. Dunne Ave, Morgan Hill 408.782.2525

Hours: Tue-Fri 11:30am-midnight, Sat-Sun 12:30pm-2am
Crowd Age: 21-35
Music: Friday and Saturday DJ or live blues and jazz bands
Decor: Medieval--iron chairs, stone walls
Signature Drink: Pink Panther
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: No

In the mood to be treated like a king? Pull up a wrought-iron barstool at Camelot and order a black, blue or red Merlin Martini. Bartenders and cocktail waitresses dress as pageboys and wenches and serve up drinks at the bar or on the two-story patio. There's no jester in this King Arthur's court, but there are DJs and live bands on Friday and Saturday nights.

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


Claddagh
1300 First St, Gilroy 408.848.5050

Hours: Mon-Thu 11am-midnight, Fri-Sat 11am-2am, Sun 11am-11pm
Crowd Age: 21-35
Music: Fri-Sat classic rock, Irish, jazz or blues bands
Decor: Green carpets, wooden booths, Irish pictures on walls
Signature Drink: 14 beers on tap
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Nine TV screens, small arcade, dart boards, pool tables

Garlic isn't the only taste treat in Gilroy. When locals want to drown their taste buds in good beer, they step up to the bar at Claddagh and get a frosty pint. The authentic Irish bar has a sports-fan atmosphere by day, with nine TVs. By night, a young crowd hits the green-carpeted floor, dancing to live classic rock, jazz, blues or Irish music.

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


Coyote Inn
102 Monterey Rd, Coyote 408.463.0970

Hours: Daily, 11am-2am
Crowd Age: 25-45
Music: Live Country Western, karaoke
Decor: Country western theme
Signature Drink: None
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Pool tables, dart boards

The Coyote Inn doesn't have a country western theme just because the owners like line dancing. In fact, the weathered building has been around since the 1860s, when California was, well, country western. But today cowboys and cowgirls can play pool, shoot darts or sing Garth Brooks hits on karaoke nights at the famous inn. And when those vocal cords tire, just boot-scoot that wrangler butt on out to the dance floor.

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


Gaslighter's Music Hall
7430 Monterey St, Gilroy 408.848.3488

Hours: Tue-Sun 6pm-12:30am
Crowd Age: All ages
Music: Western bands, modern rock bands, DJs nightly
Decor: Old theater
Signature Drink: Two beers on tap, soda and Snapple
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Big dance floor, pool tables and video games

Most local bands make their debuts on this old theater's stage, while moms and little brothers watch from the dance floor munching on candy bars, sodas or chips. On Friday nights, the barnlike atmosphere is great for the featured country western bands and line dancing. Other nights, punk, modern rock or heavy metal bands take over the stage and youngsters dominate the sunken dance floor and the wooden benches that surround it.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: Alley cat that adapts to everything and still looks cool


Golden Oak
1665 Condit Rd, Morgan Hill 408.779.8085

Hours: Daily, 11am-2am
Crowd Age: 30-40
Music: Jazz, blues and oldies live bands
Decor: Redbrick walls, redwood ceilings
Signature Drink: Vodka Martinis
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: No

If one orders that vodka Martini politely at Golden Oak, the bartender just might perform one of his famous magic tricks. The historic building was once a winery, opened after Prohibition ended in 1933. The building is constructed from 400,000 handmade bricks and the ceiling is made from Santa Cruz redwood trees. Rumor has it the place is haunted, so don't get spooked while listening to live jazz music and sitting on the vineyard-surrounded patio.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: Red-tailed Hawk.


Oakwood Lounge
7421 Monterey St, Gilroy 408.848.1094

Hours: Daily, 11am-2am
Crowd Age: 30 and up
Music: Jukebox
Decor: Long table, benches
Signature Drink: None
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Pool table, shuffleboard, Keno

They don't take American Express and they don't take Visa. But the bartenders at the Oakwood Lounge will take cash, and in return patrons are almost guaranteed a good time. After work, friendly locals rally for a good game of pool or shuffleboard. The rest of the thirtysomething-and-over crowd chats atop the long line of bar stools. On weekends the jukebox is jamming, and the crowd hits the dance floor.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: Any animal at a good watering hole


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

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