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Club Life

Dive Bar
78 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose; 408.288.5252; www.sjdivebar.com

By Jim Harrington

Hours: Noon-2am daily; no cover; 21 and over
Amenities: Big-screen TV plus six smaller TVs, jukebox, full bar, pool table, DJ booth

THERE'S a swinging new hot spot for local Rat Packs to congregate in downtown San Jose. The retro-hip Dive Bar is a classic cocktail lounge that celebrated its grand opening with a full house on Oct. 15. Despite the name, this bar definitely isn't a dive. Located in a high-profile spot on Santa Clara between Second and Third, Dive is an attractive drinking establishment highlighted by red-leather booths and a vintage 36-foot-long mahogany bar. As one would expect, the main draw is the cocktail.

Dive specializes in both classics (think vodka martini) and contemporary creations (chocolate martini, anyone?). Although the feel is all cocktail lounge, Dive tempts patrons with a variety of bar attractions. There's a huge 8-foot screen and six smaller TVs that show music videos from the '70s to present as well as all the big games. There's also a DJ booth in place to fuel the upcoming dance nights and a pool table just aching for some nine ball.

"I wanted to create a nice ambient environment," says owner Michael Smith. "It's not a nightclub. It's not a traditional sports bar. It's really just a good neighborhood cocktail lounge." The bar is already doing big business but it hopes to attract even a larger share of the after-work crowd with its happy hour, which runs from 4 to 7pm, Monday-Friday, and offers reduced prices on draft beers and well drinks. There will be nightly drink specials and regular promotions, such as a possible college night, so check in regularly with the Dive's website for more information. Also, bring some change with you to Dive to play the killer jukebox, which features everything from Dean Martin to Beyonce. No offense to Jay-Z's lady, but Dean-O is certainly the right choice here.

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From the October 27-November 2, 2004 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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