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Alberto's Nightclub
736 W. Dana St, Mtn. View 650.968.3007

Hours: Mon-Sat 7pm-2am, Sun 6pm-midnight
Crowd Age: 21-40
Music: Latin rock, salsa, swing
Decor: Swanky bar meets spacious dance studio
Signature Drink: Corona
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: No

Poised for a summer-fresh renovation, the owner, Raúl, says this salsa-swing and upscale drinking hybrid will only get better. As it is, it's a great place to learn to dance or make others jealous with your sly, practiced moves. Alberto's serves the indispensable social service of teaching alcohol imbibers coordination, rhythm and metaphorical sex via salsa and swing.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: "A tiger--because we are very aggressive," says Raúl

California Billiard Club
881 E. El Camino Real, Mtn. View 650.965.3100

Hours: Daily 11:30am-2am
Crowd Age: 18 and up
Music: Jukebox
Decor: Upscale pool hall
Signature Drink: Beer, wine, soft drinks
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: Thirty-four pool tables, pinball and shoot-'em-up arcades games,


This is a serious place for pool (and foosball). And it's only getting seriouser. Proof of the seriousness phenomenon is in the prize money inflation. Tournaments used to bring in a couple hundred bucks for first prize, but the stakes are much higher just one year later. Now, winners can take in more than $1,000, even if they get less than first place. Pool costs $10 an hour for two, there's tavern-style food, and when you win you can do your victory dance on the giant eight-ball design in the carpet.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: An adorable poodle puppy. Owner, Sarah, just got one, and named it Rex. She's planning to hire it out as a comfort device for seniors.

The Lime Light
228 Castro St, Mtn. View 650.903.4833

Hours: Sun 8pm-1am, Wed 9:45pm-2am, Thu-Sat 9:30pm-2am
Crowd Age: 20s
Music: Dance
Decor: Schizophrenic rave warehouse
Signature Drink: Liquid Cocaine (shot of Jagermeister, Goldschlager and 151)
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Unparalleled people-watching

Club Limelight, formerly "The Lime Light," was adopted by new ownership in December of last year, and since then Mtn. View's pleasure palace has gotten a makeover. There are still three levels (or 17,000 square feet) of partying, with two dance formats, but now there are also cushy couches on which to rest your well-shaken butt, and new specialty nights. It's best to visit Limelight's website, www.clublimelight.com, to see which personality to put on before you go, because every night is different. The Soaked Sundays foam party, however, is a constant favorite.

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

Molly Magee's
241 Castro St, Mtn. View 650.961.0108

Hours: Daily 5pm-2am
Crowd Age: 21-40
Music: DJ
Decor: Irish Pub
Signature Drink: Red Bull and Vodka
Dancing: Does a camel hump?
Games/Amenities: Pool tables, air hockey and video golf

Molly Magee's middle name might be "Sound System," if there were an Irish way to put that. Magee's doesn't just have a great drinking pub name, it's also got a powerful bump in its trunk and a hefty crowd for flirting. If the hefty crowd gets too hefty, there's a heated outdoor patio for a quick escape.

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

Pockets Billiards
251 Castro St, Mtn. View 650.961.7744

Hours: Mon-Wed 5pm-midnight, Tue-Sat 5pm-2am, Sun closed
Crowd Age: 21 and up
Music: DJ Sat
Decor: Industrial, social pool hall
Signature Drink: Kamikaze
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Ten pool tables; full bar

Check your Pockets--Mtn. View's self-proclaimed "smallest dance club ever" is about to change. But manager Alex won't say exactly how. Currently, this bilevel swanky establishment is more club than pool hall, and we suspect the changes afoot will make it even more clubby--which is good news if the words "bank shot" mean "financial establishment security camera" to you.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: A panther, says Alex, "because it's dangerous, cool and exciting"

St, Stephen's Green
223 Castro St, Mtn. View 650.964.9151

Hours: Daily 11am-1:30am
Crowd Age: 20s-40s
Music: Live music most weekends
Decor: Pub, very Irish
Signature Drink: Beer
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Darts, big-screen TVs.

Yellow moons and pink diamonds! Dancing queen Molly Magee's evil twin is quite capable of shaking his own boot-ay, thank you. Live bands and DJ nights keep the party pumping, working up a good thirst for any of 26 beers on tap. The crowd feels more collegiate as the night goes on ... and on. Come St. Paddy's Day, the place is a sea of green.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: A little leprechaun! What do you mean that's not an animal?

Shoreline Billiards
1400 N. Shoreline Blvd, Mtn. View 650.964.0780

Hours: Daily 11:30am-2:30am
Crowd Age: 18 and up (juniors have to be accompanied by a parent)
Music: Jukebox
Decor: Pool tables deluxe
Signature Drink: Corona
Dancing: No (victory dances only)
Games/Amenities: Twenty-four pool tables, one billiard table, two snooker tables, five arcade games

This traditional, laid-back pool hall is loaded with game tables and attracts a mixed clientele of guys and gals of various ages, ethnic backgrounds and playing proficiency. In other words, the slick pool sharp and the amateur shooter go at it side by side, the way it should be. Right around the corner from the Century 16 cineplex, it's a cool place to knock off a few hours while waiting to get into the latest blockbuster.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: A shark--the nice kind

The Sports Page
1431 Plymouth St, Mtn. View 650.961.1992

Hours: Daily 10am-2am
Crowd Age: 21-50
Music: Live music Fri-Sun, karaoke Tuesday and Saturday nights
Decor: Comfortable, old-style, come-as-you-are bar
Signature Drink: Bocce Ball (vodka, amaretto, pineapple and orange juice), Long Island Ice Tea
Dancing: Yes
Games/Amenities: Beach volleyball all year, two pool tables, 10 video games, darts, pinball, coin-op basketball

Talk about hidden amenities--the Sports Page sports its very own sand-filled volleyball court, plus lots of picnic-table seating on a heated outdoor patio. Friday-night happy hour brings out appropriately happy regulars, who say the bar pours generously. Add to that 24 beers on tap, a curtained photo booth, and the recipe for Spring Break-style shenanigans is complete.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: A ferret--ferreting out the good times, that is

Tied House
954 Villa St, Mtn. View 650.965.2739

Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am-midnight, Sun 11:30 am-10:30pm; Mon-Tue kitchen open until 10pm, Fri till 11pm and Sun till 9:30pm
Crowd Age: 21-50
Music: Live bands Sat
Decor: Warehouse chic
Signature Drink: Cascade Amber (brewed in-house)
Dancing: No
Games/Amenities: No

The "Tied" in Tied House has nothing to do with neckties--in fact, this brewpub is about as casual friendly as you can get. The name actually hearkens back to 18th-century England, when a pub was tied to one brewery and could only serve that brand of beer, as opposed to a free house, which was allowed to contract with other breweries. While the handcrafted ales here may be steeped in history, the California-cuisine-inspired menu is all modern gourmet. Popular live bands play Saturday nights, adding to the general din.

If Your Bar Could Be Any Animal, What Would It Be?: A sleek Peregrine falcon

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

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