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Metro's Club of the Week

The Vbar
Hotel Valencia, Third Floor, 355 Santana Row, San Jose; 408.551.0010; www.hotelvalencia.com

Hours: Daily 5pm-2am
Amenities: Plasma-screen TVs, sangria, tapas, open-air courtyard and balcony
Ambience: The Hotel Valencia living room

By Todd Inoue

IN MOST BIG CITIES, a hotel bar is the place to meet up for a quick drink before you go to a real nightclub. Vbar, the sexy spot on the third floor of Hotel Valencia at Santana Row, has become a destination of its own, with regular lines coursing to the street.

The Vbar comes off as the upscale hotel's stylish living room. A valet helps you into the elevator that drops you at the third floor. Take a right out of the elevator and another quick right down a hallway--and there it is. Set apart by rows of beaded dividers, the 155-capacity lounge is dramatically sexy and splurgy with dark wood columns, fabric and leather couches and chairs, marble tiled tables and an impressive selection of elixirs, wine and bubbly, including Veuve Clicquot, Cristal and Cristallino. Tapas from the hotel's Citrus restaurant are available. The sound system pipes in house music; the speakers are built into the ceiling or tucked discreetly away. The open-air courtyard and balcony overlooking Santana Row make it possible to grab an intimate conversation.

Since opening in June, the Vbar is becoming the chic, cosmopolitan in-spot for the young social networkers who prefer F2Fs to IMs. Lines are a regular occurrence, so be prepared. Paris and Nicky Hilton haven't danced on the bar yet, but if the New York party girls find their way to the South Bay, this is where they'd be.

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From the August 7-13, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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