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69 E. San Fernando St, San Jose 408.971.0209

Mineral Wealth

Mining for meaning under the disco ball

By Justin Berton

It was our first date, and we met each other downtown on a hot summer night. She wore jeans, a white tank top and sandals. We walked around a little bit, held hands at the pinkies and stepped into Cinebar, a good dive bar with dirty floors, a lopsided pool table and a Motown-heavy jukebox. We took a seat at the bar, nursed a few sips from our drinks and let our eyes do the talking.

The disco ball above us twirled with a limp, like it wasn't going to make it another rotation. Ace, the bantam-sized bartender, smiled and tucked his thumbs into a belt buckle the size of a watermelon. He bought the belt buckle at a pawn shop around the corner a dozen years earlier, he said, and it was plated with real buffalo nickels. Take a good look, Ace said. Buffalo nickels.

That was three summers ago. Since then, Cinebar has cleaned up its décor, but not its story. Ace doesn't work there anymore and some fresh paint and new floors helped tidy the place. The pool table got a fixing, and the bathrooms are scented fresh. The jukebox still helps men fall in love. And that disco ball? Oh, it's still twirling, thank you.

Hours: Daily 6am-2am
Crowd Age: Everyone over 21
Music: Jukebox
Décor: Titty dive bar
Signature Drink: Beer
Games/Amenities: Pool table, video games

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From the June 21-27, 2001 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2001 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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