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Bars & Clubs 2002

A Neighborhood Guide to Bars, Pubs, Clubs, Watering Holes and Other Assorted Favorite Nightspots

Downtown Santa Cruz

Pacific Avenue is indisputably the king when it comes to nightspots. There's something here for just about everyone and for every taste, from college hangs and dimly lit dives to gay dance-halls and trendy wine bars.

The Acapulco
Cocktail lounge. Daily happy hour 3-6pm. Open weekdays until 10pm and until 11pm Fridays and Saturdays. 1116 Pacific Ave. (426.7588)

Cocktail lounge. Daily happy hour 4-6pm. Open until 9pm. 525 Water St. (423.4403)

Asti Cafe
Neighborhood bar. Pool tables, video lottery games, great jukebox. Weekday happy hour 4-7pm. Open until 2am. 715 Pacific Ave. (423.7337)

The Avenue
Neighborhood bar. Pool tables and sports on nine TV screens. Outdoor back patio. Daily happy hour 5-7pm with cheap brews; Wednesdays "Drink and Drown" after 8pm, with discount pitchers. Open until 2am. 711 Pacific Ave. (426.3434)

Blue Lagoon Cocktail Lounge
Dance club. Two pool tables. Daily happy hour 6-9pm. Open until 2am. Cover varies. 923 Pacific Ave. (423.7117)

Callahan's Pub
Pub and cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 5-7pm and until 2am (with free pool) on Thursdays. Open until 2am. 507 Water St. (427.3119)

The Catalyst
Nightclub. Three bars, pool tables. Friday happy hour 4:30-7pm. Open until 2am. Cover varies. 1011 Pacific Ave. (423.1336)

Clouds Downtown
Cocktail lounge with award-winning martinis. Late- night dining. Weekday happy hour 4-6pm. 110 Church St. (429.2000)

Club Dakota
Dance club. Weekday happy hour 4-7pm. Cover varies. 1209 Pacific Ave. (454.9030)

Jenna at Costa Brava The Name: Jenna; The Place: Costa Brava; The Drink: Mojito

Costa Brava
Cocktail lounge. Daily happy hour 4:30-7pm. Ladies' Night Mondays, with an "Industry Night" all day Wednesdays that offers discounts to employees of downtown businesses (bring your pay stub). Late-night lounge snacking continues after kitchen closes. Open until midnight on weekdays and until 2am on weekends. 1222 Pacific Ave. (425.7871)

Andi at the Garage Bar The Name: Andi; The Place: Garage Bar; The Drink: Chocolate Cake

The Garage Sports Bar
Sports bar. Pool table and TVs. Weekday happy hour 5-7pm. Half-off pitchers on Tuesdays, free pool Wednesdays, karaoke on Thursdays. Open until 2am. 603 Front St. (471.5555)

Jose's Cantina
Cantina and cocktail lounge adjacent to El Palomar restaurant. Happy hour 4-6pm Mondays-Thursdays in the taco bar. 1336 Pacific Ave. (425.7575)

Kuumbwa Jazz Center
Nightclub. Good wine list, bottled beers. Cover varies. 320-2 Cedar St. (427.2227)

Mobo Sushi
Cocktail lounge. Open until 10pm Mondays-Wednesdays, and until 11pm Thursdays-Saturdays. 105 S. River St. (425.1700)

99 Bottles of Beer
Pub with more than 40 beers on tap, California wines and hard ciders. Weekday happy hour 1-6pm; also after 10pm Wednesdays and all day Thursdays. Karaoke on Mondays; "Pint Night" on Tuesdays, with happy hour prices for selected beer all night. 110 Walnut Ave. (459.9999)

Pearl Alley Bistro & Wine Bar
Cocktail lounge with extraordinary wine list. 110 Pearl Alley. (429.8070)

Poet & Patriot Irish Pub
Neighborhood bar with real room-temp Guinness. Darts, open-mic offerings on Saturdays. Weekday happy hour 5-7pm. 320 Cedar St. (426.8620)

Red Room
Cocktail lounge. Jukebox with mix of '70s soul, adrenal rock and lounge music. Weekday happy hour 4:30-7:30pm. Open until 2am. 1003 Cedar St. (426.2994)

Rosie McCann's Irish Pub
Cocktail lounge. Happy hour all night Tuesday. Weekday happy hour 4-6pm. Open until midnight on weekdays and until 1:30am on weekends. 1220 Pacific Ave. (426.9930)

Rush Inn
Neighborhood bar. Pool table, pinball and jukebox. Open until 2am. 113 Knight St. (425.9673)

Wine bar. Open weekdays until 11pm, weekends until midnight. 105 Walnut Ave. (423.2020)

Central Santa Cruz

Sure, the area lacks definable personality, and even we're not sure where its boundaries begin and end. We encourage you to go exploring--one thing for sure, these neighborhood nooks boast some of the friendliest bartenders and the best live music in town.

Bocci's Cellar
Cocktail lounge. Bocci ball tournaments every Tuesday. Weekday happy hour 4-6pm. 140 Encinal St. (427.1795)

Hindquarter Bar & Grill
Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 4:30-6:30pm. Open until 11pm on weekdays and until midnight on weekends. 303 Soquel Ave. (426.7770)

The Jury Room
Cocktail lounge. Pool table, golf video game and fireplace. Open until 2am. 712 Ocean St. (426.7120)

Linwood's at Chaminade
Cocktail lounge. TVs for sport viewing, billiards and a fireplace. Open on weeknights until 11am, weekends until midnight. One Chaminade Lane. (475.5600)

Moe's Alley
Nightclub. Weekday happy hour 4-8pm. Open until 2am. Cover varies. 1535 Commercial Way. (479.1854)

Peachwood's at Pasatiempo Inn
Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 11:30am-5pm. Hwy 17 and Pasatiempo Drive. (426.6333)

West Side Santa Cruz

We're not going to lie to you: the West Side doesn't have much in the way of club-crawling potential. Still, a drive down Mission Street will turn up rewards at both ends of the nightlife spectrum.

Ristorante Avanti
Eclectic wine bar. Open Sundays-Thursdays until 9pm, Fridays and Saturdays until 9:30pm. 1711 Mission St. (427.0135)

Ye Olde Watering Hole
Sports bar. Classic-rock jukebox and pool table. Open until 2am. 2405 Mission St. (469.4653)

East Side Santa Cruz

Seabright-area residents claim their neighborhood has the most character in Santa Cruz. With Yacht Harbor, Live Oak and the Avenues riding on Seabright's coattails, we guarantee you'll find the brewpub haven, cozy tavern or cocktail lounge of your dreams.

Brady's Yacht Club
Neighborhood bar. Tuesday is neighborhood night. 413 Seabright Ave. (no phone; just go)

The Castaways
Sports bar. Pool, darts, casino nights and pool tourneys. Weekday happy hour 4-7pm. Open until 2am. 3623 Portola Dr. (462.1319)

Cayuga Vault
Concert, performance and public event venue. 1100 Soquel Ave. (425.1865)

The Corner Pocket
Billiards hall with beer and wine. Happy hour 4-7pm weekdays; noon-3pm on weekends. Open until 2am. 3102 Portola Dr. (475.9819)

The Crepe Place
Neighborhood bar with unique drinks. Weekday happy hour 5-7pm. Open until midnight on weekdays and until 1am on weekends. 1134 Soquel Ave. (429.6994)

Crow's Nest
Cocktail lounge. Indoor and outdoor decks overlooking Yacht Harbor. Cover varies. Yacht Harbor, 2218 East Cliff Dr. (476.4560)

Charis at 529
The Name: Charis; The Place: 529; The Drink: Prairie Fire

Neighborhood bar. Pool tables, foosball, video games, pinball and a jukebox. Tuesday is neighborhood night. Daily happy hour 2-7pm. Open until 2am. 529 Seabright Ave. (426.5898)

Harbor Cafe
Beer and wine. Jazz on Friday and Saturday evenings. Happy hour Friday-Saturday 5:30-6:30pm. Open at night on Friday and Saturday only until 10pm. 535 Seventh Ave. (475.4948)

One Double Oh Seven Club and Smoking Parlor
Sports bar. Several pool tables, dart boards, foosball machines, video games, shuffleboard and Keno on the TV, plus online trivia game on Friday nights and pinball. Weekday happy hour 4-6pm. Full humidor. 1007 Soquel Ave. (425.9589)

Over the Hill Gang Saloon
Neighborhood bar. Open until 2am. 3530 Portola Dr. (476.3679)

Portola House
Cocktail lounge. 3326 Portola Dr. (476.2733)

Seabright Brewery
Pub. Tuesday is Neighborhood Night 9-11pm. Weekday happy hour 3-6pm. Open until 11:30pm. 519 Seabright Ave. (426.2739)

Boardwalk and Waterfront

Contrary to popular belief, Beach Street and the Municipal Wharf aren't just for tourists. Reasons to cover the waterfront include but are not limited to: breathtaking sunset views; a dizzying whirl on the Big Dipper and a divine seafood meal on the wharf.

Boardwalk Bowl
Bowling alley, restaurant and bar. Atomic bowling Thursdays 10pm and Sundays 9pm. 115 Cliff St. (426.3324)

Carniglia's Seafood
Cocktail lounge. Daily happy hour 3-5pm; weekend happy hour 3:30-5pm. 49a Municipal Wharf. (458.3600)

Gilbert's Seafood Grill
Cocktail lounge. 460 Municipal Wharf. (423.5200)

Ideal Bar and Grill
Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 2:30-5pm. 106 Beach St. (423.5271)

The Mainsail Restaurant
Cocktail lounge with spectacular view. West Coast Santa Cruz Hotel, 175 W. Cliff Dr. (426.4330)

Cocktail lounge. Happy hour 2:30-6pm with margaritas. Open until 11:30pm. 45 Municipal Wharf. (423.4441)

Neptune's Kingdom
Fun for the whole family. Beer in upstairs bar, other food and drink downstairs. Arcade, miniature golf, pool tables, foosball, air hockey and more. 400 Beach St. (426.7433)

Riva Fish House
Cocktail lounge. 500 Municipal Wharf. (429.1223)

Sea Cloud Restaurant & Social Club
Cocktail lounge with specialty drinks and extensive wine list. Weekday happy hour 3-6pm. 50 Municipal Wharf. (458.9393)

Stagnaro Brothers
Cocktail lounge. 59 Municipal Wharf. (423.2180)

San Lorenzo Valley

If you've never explored Scotts Valley, Felton, Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek or Brookdale, unforgettable nightlife adventures lie in store. Locals, of course, have been singing the rustic charms of their mountain towns for decades.

Boulder Creek Brewery
Pub. Weekday happy hour 4-6pm; 2-6pm on Wed. Open until 11pm on weekdays and until midnight on weekends. 13040 Hwy 9, Boulder Creek. (338.7882)

Brookdale Lodge
Cocktail lounge. Live music, cover varies. Open until 11pm Sunday-Thursday and until 1am Friday-Saturday. 11570 Hwy 9, Brookdale. (338.6433)

Don Quixote's
Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 3:30-6pm. Cover varies. 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. (335.2800)

Empire Grille
Cocktail lounge. 6250 Hwy 9, Felton. (335.2127)

Henfling's Firehouse Tavern
Classic roadhouse. Weekday happy hour 4:30pm-7pm on draft beers and well drinks. Cover varies. 9450 Hwy 9, Ben Lomond. (336.8811)

Joe's Bar
Neighborhood bar. Jukebox with rock classics, dart room, sports on TV and pool tables. Open until 2am. 13118 Central Ave., Boulder Creek. (338.9417)

Malone's Grande Grille
Neighborhood bar. Live music on patio 5 to 8pm. 4402 Scotts Valley Dr., Scotts Valley. (438.2244)

Max's Lounge at The Hilton
Cocktail lounge. Open until 11pm. 6001 La Madrona Dr., Scotts Valley. (440.1000)

One-Eyed Mike's Pub & Grill
Sports bar. Billiards, video games and sports on TV. 9410 Mill St., Ben Lomond. (336.2234)

Full bar, blues on Friday nights. 13300 Big Basin Hwy, Boulder Creek. (338.4444)

Trout Farm Inn
Cocktail lounge. Open until 11pm. 7701 E. Zayante Rd., Felton. (335.4317)

White Cockade Pub
Pub with Harp, Guinness and Bass, California microbrews and less familiar Irish and British beers. Darts and fireplace. 18025 Hwy. 9, Boulder Creek. (338.4148)


From the clean, well-lighted places of Capitola to the saucy saloons of Soquel Village, you won't find better places to meet new friends or renew old acquaintances.

Cafe Cruz
Cocktail lounge overlooking spacious patio. Good list of wines by the glass. Weekday happy hour 4-6pm. 2621 41st Ave., Capitola. (476.3801)

Caffe Lido
Full bar/lounge area. Open until 11pm Fri-Sat. 110 Monterey Ave., Capitola. (475.6544)

Fast Eddy's Billiards
Billiards hall with beer and wine. Video games, pinball and sports on TVs behind the bar. Weekday happy hour 4:30-6pm. Open until 2am. 4300 Capitola Rd., Capitola. (462.1882).

Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 3-6pm. Open until 11pm-midnight on weekdays and until 1am on weekends. 211 Esplanade, Capitola. (462.1881). Monday Night Football specials.

Hurry Back Inn
Neighborhood bar. Weekday happy hour 4:30-6pm. Open weekdays until midnight, Fridays and Saturdays until 2am. 910 41st Ave., Capitola. (475.4932).

JJ's Saloon
Sports bar. Pool tables, shuffleboard. Open until 2am. 4714 Soquel Dr., Soquel. (462.1631)

Paradise Beach Grill
Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 4-6pm. 215 Esplanade, Capitola. (476.4900)

Cocktail lounge. "Winemaker Wednesdays" 5-8pm. 1750 Wharf Rd., Capitola. (475.1511)

Sir Froggy's Pub
Neighborhood bar. Open until 2am.

4771 Soquel Dr., Soquel (476.9802)

Takara Japanese Restaurant
Sake bar/lounge. Open Mondays through Thursdays until 9:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays until 10pm, Sundays until 9pm. 3775 Capitola Rd., Capitola. (464.1818)

Wharf House
Restaurant with full bar on the Capitola wharf. Open weekdays until 10pm, weekends until midnight. 1400 Wharf Rd., Capitola. (476.3534)

Cocktail lounge. Back deck overlooks Capitola beach. Dance floor, TVs, live music. Weekday happy hour 2:30-5pm. Martini Night Wednesdays after 5pm. Open until midnight on weekdays and until 2am on weekends. 203 Esplanade Capitola. (475.4900)


Wear jeans in Aptos Village and Rio Del Mar or don some fancy duds and mix it up in upscale Seascape. Either way, you'll find redwoods, sunset views and outdoor decks, along with generous samplings of live jazz.

Aptos Club
Nightclub. Modest dance floor, outside patio for smokers, pool tables and jukebox. Weekday happy hour 3:30-5:30pm. Open until 2am. 7941 Soquel Dr., Aptos. (688.9888)

Bittersweet Bistro
Cocktail lounge with single-malt Scotches, fine cognac and extensive wine list. Daily "Bistro Hour" 3-6pm, with half-price pizzettas and specially priced wines by the glass, beer and spirits. 787 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Aptos. (662.9799)

Britannia Arms
Pub. Pool table and league darts in game room, Wednesday trivia nights. Weekday happy hour 2:30-6pm. Open until 2am. 8017 Soquel Dr., Aptos. (688.1233)

Cafe Rio
Cocktail lounge, indoor and outdoor at Rio Del Mar beach. Open weekdays until midnight, weekends until 1am. 131 Esplanade, Rio Del Mar. (688.8917)

Neighborhood bar. Weekday happy hour 4:30-6:30pm. Darts. Open until 2am. 265 Center St., Aptos. (688.9840)

Palapas Restaurant & Cantina
Cocktail lounge and cantina with margarita specials. 21 Seascape Village, Aptos. (662.9000)

Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 4:30-6:30pm. Open Sundays-Thursdays until 9pm, Fridays and Saturdays until 10pm. 7500 Old Dominion Court, Aptos. (688.8987)

The Windjammer Lounge
Neighborhood bar. Daily happy hour 5-7pm. Open until 2am. 1 Rancho Del Mar Shopping Center, Aptos. (688.4433)

South County

They say as you head south, the weather gets balmier and the music gets livelier. To verify the truth of this local legend, check out these watering holes in Freedom and Watsonville.

Cocktail lounge. Happy hour Monday-Thursday 5-7pm. Open until 12:45am on weekends. 1934 Main St., Watsonville. (761.2161)

El Alteño
Cocktail lounge. Open daily until 11pm. 323 Main St., Watsonville. (768.9876)

El Tarasco Cafe
Cocktail lounge. 328 Walker, Watsonville. (728.5197)

Garbini's Hideout
Neighborhood bar. Shuffleboard lane. Open until midnight. 589 Auto Center Dr., Watsonville. (728.0272)

Green Valley Grill
Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 5-6:30pm. Open Mondays-Thursday until 9pm, Fridays and Saturdays until 10pm. 40 Penny Lane, Watsonville. (728.0644)

Cocktail lounge includes 20 tequilas. Mariachis on Friday and Saturday nights. Open until 9:30pm on weekdays and until 10pm on weekends. 618 Main St., Watsonville. (728.9080)

Lorene's Packing Shed
Cocktail lounge. Open until 2am. 972 Main St., Watsonville. (722.2566)

The Villager
Cocktail lounge. Open daily until 10pm. 1032 E. Lake Ave., Watsonville. (722.5200)

Wooden Nickel Bar & Grill
Neighborhood bar. Open until 12:30am weekdays, 2am weekends. 1819 Freedom Blvd., Freedom. (724.2600)

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From the October 23-30, 2002 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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