RestaurantsSanta Cruz
October 18-25, 2006

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Metro Santa Cruz's 2006 Guide to Bars & Clubs

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.

99 Bottles of Beer
Pub with more than 40 beers on tap, California wines and hard ciders. Weekday happy hour 4-6pm; also after 10pm Wednesday and all day Thursday. Karaoke on Monday. "Pint Night" on Tuesday, with happy hour prices for selected beer all night. "Quiz Night" on Wednesday. All day happy hour on Thursday. 99Presents on Sunday nights, featuring local musicians and artists. 110 Walnut Ave. (831.459.9999;

418 Project
A nonprofit community center and performance venue that prides itself on fostering artistic growth, cross-cultural creative expression and training in the healing arts. Their studio serves as a rehearsal and performance space for arts ranging from Capoeira to Samba Dancing. At night the center features DJ dance parties, performance art, folk music and more. Check their website for details. 418 Front St. (; 831.466.9770)

Cocktail lounge. Monday-Friday happy hour 4-6:30pm. Monday-Thursday open until 10pm, Friday-Saturday till midnight, Sunday till 10pm. 1116 Pacific Ave. (831.426.7588)

A Japanese restaurant featuring sushi, sashimi and a daily lunch special. 103 Lincoln St. (831.423.8823)

Aqua Bleu
Upscale bar. 1108 Pacific Ave. (831.423.6999)

The Asti Cafe
Neighborhood bar. Pool tables, video lottery games, great jukebox. Monday-Friday happy hour 4-7pm. Thursday "Pint Night." Sunday Football specials, including free pool, discounted beer and free hot dogs during the day. Open until 2am. 715 Pacific Ave. (831.423.7337)

The Attic
Cafe and Teahouse. Beer, wine, sandwiches, salads and soups; live entertainment varies. Monday-Friday tea bar is open 9am-11am, lunch is 11-5pm, dinner 5-9pm or later during events. On weekends brunch is served 10am-2:30pm, lunch 2:30-5pm and dinner 5-9pm depending on the show. On weekdays happy hour is 4-6pm. 931 Pacific Ave. (831.460.1800)

The Avenue
Neighborhood bar. Pool tables and sports on nine TV screens. Outdoor back patio. Daily happy hour 5-7pm with cheap brews; Wednesday "Drink and Drown" after 8pm, with discount pitchers. Tuesday pool tournaments and Ladies Night on Monday. Open until 2am. 711 Pacific Ave. (831.426.3434)

Blue Lagoon Cocktail Lounge
Dance club. Two pool tables. Weekday happy hour 4-9pm. Open until 2am. Cover varies. Live music Wednesdays and Fridays. Drink specials nightly. 923 Pacific Ave. (831.423.7117;

Cafe La Vie
A vegan restaurant and bar featuring organic ingredients mainly bought from local farms. La Vie ensures maximum nutrional value by not cooking their food over 112 degrees, a process that would breakdown healthy enzymes. Enroll in the 30 day raw food challenge and receive a 10 percent discount on all raw food products. Open-mic poetry night every second and fourth Thursday 7:30-9pm. 429 Front St. (831.429.6746)

Café Limelight
Beer and wine, hot panini sandwiches, fresh soups and salads. Happy hour 5-7pm daily featuring all local wines and extensive cheese menu. Tuesday-Friday lunch 11:30am-2:30pm and dinner 5:30-9:30pm; Thursdays open until 11:30pm for "Flashback Flicks" at the Regal 9. Saturday open noon-3pm and again 6-10pm; Sunday noon-5pm. 1016 Cedar St. (837.425.SURF)

Cafe Mare
Italian restaurant with a full bar. Lunch 11:30am- 2:30pm and dinner 5-10pm. Open late on weekends. Jazz on Thursdays 6:30-9:30pm. Happy Hour with $2 well drinks and draft beer every Thursday night 10pm-midnight. 740 Front St. (831.458.1212)

The Catalyst
Nightclub. Three bars, pool tables. Friday happy hour 4:30-7pm. Open until 2am. Sundays through Tuesdays free pool for bar patrons 11am to closing. Cover varies. 1011 Pacific Ave. (831.423.1336;

Clouds Downtown
Cocktail lounge with award-winning martinis. Late-night dining weekdays until 10pm, weekends until 11pm. Limited bar menu and happy hour 9pm-midnight Monday-Thursday. Weekday happy hour 3-6pm. DJ nights Wednesday and Thursday at 9pm. 110 Church St. (831.429.2000;

Club Caution
Nightclub with a full restaurant, game room, lounge and bar. Live Music on Wednesdays with a $3 cover, karaoke on Tuesdays, College night on Thursdays, Improv Night on Fridays, and dance parties on Saturday sponsored by local radio station Z97.9. 516 Front St. (; 831.425.2582.)

Club Dakota
Dance club. Weekday happy hour 4-7pm. Cover varies. 1209 Pacific Ave. (831.454.9030;

Coastline Brewery
Bar and dance club. Reggae on Thursdays, live bands on Friday and Saturday nights, and jazz on Tuesday nights. 120 Union Ave. (831.459.9876)

E3 Playhouse
Bar and music club. Singer/Songwriter showcase and happy hour on Mondays 5-11pm, Happy Hour Americana on Tuesdays and Thursdays 5-7pm, Smooth Jazz Happy Hour 5-8pm on Wednesdays, and Salsa lessons on Fridays 5-7pm. Live music most nights. 435 Front St. Check website,, for details or call 831.466.9033.

El Palomar
Mexican cuisine from Michoacan, Mexico. They use freshly caught seafood and their own produce. Mondays and Thursdays happy hour 4-7pm, Tuesdays 5-7pm, Wednesdays 5:30-7:30pm. Live music every Thursday night 8-10pm and every Saturday night 9pm-midnight. Friday night mariachi music 7-9:30pm.1336 Pacific Ave. (831.425.7575)

The Garage Sports Bar
Sports bar. Pool table and TVs. Weekday happy hour 5-7pm. Karaoke on Thursday. Open until 2am. 603 Front St. (831.471.5555)

Jose's Cantina
Cantina and cocktail lounge adjacent to El Palomar restaurant. Happy hour Monday-Thursday 4-6pm in the cantina, 6-9pm in taco bar. $2 pints Tuesday 6-10pm. Tuesday "College Night" with $2 selected beers and $1.50 tacos. $5 Mojito Madness Wednesday 6-10pm. $2 pints of selected beer Thursday 7-9pm. 1336 Pacific Ave. (831.425.7575)

Kianti's Pizza & Pasta Bar
Pizza and Pasta with a full bar. 1100 Pacific Ave. (831.469.4400)

Kuumbwa Jazz Center
Nightclub. Nice wine list, bottled beers and beers on tap. Cover varies. 320-2 Cedar St. (831.427.2227;

Mobo Sushi & Japanese Restaurant
Cocktail lounge. Open until 10pm Monday-Wednesday, and until 11pm Thursday-Saturday. Sunday 4-10pm. 105 S. River St. (831.425.1700;

Pearl Alley Bistro & Wine Bar
Cocktail lounge with extraordinary wine list. 110 Pearl Alley. (831.429.8070;

The Poet & Patriot Irish Pub
Neighborhood bar with real room-temp Guinness. Darts. Weekday happy hour 5-7pm, 3-5pm Saturdays. Open-mic Saturdays 4-7pm. 320 Cedar St. (831.426.8620)

The Red
Cocktail lounge and upscale restaurant. Open until 2am. 200 Locust St. (831.425.1913)

Red Room
Cocktail lounge. Jukebox. Weekday happy hour 4:30- 6:30pm. Open until 2am. 1003 Cedar St. (831.426.2994)

Rosie McCann's Irish Pub & Restaurant
Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 4-6pm. Open until midnight on weekdays and until 1:30am on weekends. DJs Thursday-Saturday. 1220 Pacific Ave. (831.426.9930;

Rush Inn
Neighborhood bar. Pool table, pinball and jukebox. Monday night football specials. Monday and Wednesday, $6.50 pitchers of Bud after 8pm; Tuesday $2.50 Hefeweizen and Red Hook pints after 8pm. Open until 2am. Free pool on Wednesdays. Dinners at halftime during football games. 113 Knight St. (831.425.9673)

Extensive wine bar and gourmet dining. Live jazz Wednesday and Tuesday. Open weekdays until 11pm, Saturday 3-11pm, Sunday 3-9pm, bar open as long as customers are still drinking. Saturday afternoon wine tastings 3-5pm. 105 Walnut Ave. (831.423.2020)

Tampico Kitchen and Lounge
Mexican restaurant with a full bar. Thursday night 10pm-2am 1-litre of margaritas for $11 and select appetizers half-off. Sunday night 9pm-2am a pint of beer and four mini-tacos for $5 and $2.75 well drinks. 822 Pacific Ave. (831.458.2821)

Central Santa Cruz

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

Bocci's Cellar
Cocktail lounge. Free bocce every night, tournaments and $3 pints. Happy hour 2-5pm weekdays with $2 beer. 140 Encinal St. (831.427.1795)

Callahan's Pub
Pub and cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 5-7pm. Open until 2am. 507 Water St. (831.427.3119)

The Hindquarter Bar & Grill
Cocktail lounge and restaurant. Weekday happy hour 4:30-6pm. Monday night football specials. Karaoke on Fridays starting at 9:30pm. Open until 9:30pm on weekdays and until 10pm on weekends. 303 Soquel Ave. (831.426.7770;

The Jury Room
Cocktail lounge. Pool table, pinball, video games and fireplace. Free pool and free juxebox everyday. Live music Thursday through Sunday. Open until 2am. 712 Ocean St. (831.426.7120)

Linwood's at Chaminade
Cocktail lounge. TVs for sports viewing, billiards and a fireplace. Open everyday 11am-11pm. Live music on Friday and Saturday. 1 Chaminade Lane. (831.475.5600;

Moe's Alley
Nightclub. Weekday happy hour 4-8pm. Tuesday 2-for-1 passes available and happy hour all night. Open until 2am. Cover varies. 1535 Commercial Way. (831.479.1854;

Peachwood's at Pasatiempo Inn
Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 11:30am-5pm. Highway 17 and Pasatiempo Drive. (831.426.6333;

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 night-life spectrum.

Alexander Cellars/ Sarticious Gin
Gin distillery with a tasting room. Usually open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. As of now they only sell gin but look out for a new line of vodka in 2007. 427 Swift St. (831.471.9090)

La Mission
Monday-Thursday 3-6pm $4.50 house margaritas imported beers $3.50, domestic beer $2.75 and $10 for 46-ounce pitcher of house margaritas. 1719 Mission St. (831.426.3564).

Ristorante Avanti
Eclectic wine bar. Rotating wine-tasting flights, gourmet appetizers. Lunch specials Monday-Friday 11:30am-2pm. Open Sunday-Thursday until 9pm, Friday and Saturday until 9:30pm. 1711 Mission St. (831.427.0135)

Ye Olde Watering Hole
Sports bar. Classic-rock jukebox and pool table. Open until 2am. 2405 Mission St. (831.469.4653)

Seabright & 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.

Italian restaurant with a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. Buffalo Beach was named after Aldo's dog! Breakfast is served 8am-1pm on weekdays and 7am-1pm on weekends. Lunch served daily at 11:30am. Dinner served Monday through Saturday 5-8:30pm. Happy hour daily 3-6pm. 616 Atlantic Ave. (831.426.3736)

Cardiff Lounge
Neighborhood bar. Drink specials nightly, live DJs nightly. Reggae Tuesday nights. Hiphop and funk other nights. Open until 2am. 529 Seabright Ave.

Brady's Yacht Club
Neighborhood bar. Tuesday is neighborhood night. 413 Seabright Ave. (No phone: "Just go," they say.)

Cafe El Palomar
Monday-Thursday $3.50 house margaritas, $3 Pacificos, and select appetizers for free with purchase of a beverage 3-6pm. 2222 East Cliff Dr. (831.477.0371)

Surf bar. Pool tournaments. Weekday happy hour 3-6pm. Monday night football specials. Open until 2am. 3623 Portola Dr. (831.465.8200)

Cayuga Vault
Concert, performance and public event venue. 1100 Soquel Ave. (831.421.9471;

The Corner Pocket
Billiards and darts hall with full bar. Happy hour 4-6pm weekdays; 3-5pm on weekends. Open until 2am. 3102 Portola Dr. (831.475.9819)

The Crepe Place
Neighborhood bar with unique drinks. Weekday happy hour 5:30-7pm, all night on Tuesday. Open until 11pm on weekdays and until midnight on weekends. 1134 Soquel Ave. (831.429.6994;

Crow's Nest
Cocktail lounge. Indoor and outdoor decks overlooking Yacht Harbor. Happy hour weekdays 4-6pm, 4pm-closing on Wednesday. Comedy nights on Sunday. Live music Tuesday-Saturday nights. Monday-Thursday food and selected drinks on special. Cover varies. Yacht Harbor, 2218 East Cliff Dr. (831.476.4560;

Hank's at the Hook
Hof Brau with an emphasis on locally grown produce and healthy foods. 800 41st Ave. (831.479.3662)

One Double Oh Seven Club and Smoking Parlor
Sports bar. Several pool tables, dart boards, foosball machines, video games, pinball, shuffleboard and Hot Spot on the TV, plus online trivia game, QB1 Football every night. Weekday happy hour 4-6pm. Open until 2am. Full humidor. 1007 Soquel Ave. (831.425.9589)

Over the Hill Gang Saloon
Neighborhood bar. Happy Hour 4-7pm. In-house dart Monday- Wednesday nights. Very good jukebox. Open until 2am. 3530 Portola Dr. (831.476.3679)

Portola House
Cocktail lounge. 3326 Portola Dr. (831.476.2733)

Seabright Brewery
Pub. Tuesday is Neighborhood Night 3-11pm. Weekday happy hour 3-6pm. Live music on Friday. Open until 11:30pm. 519 Seabright Ave. (831.426.2739;

Boardwalk & 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.

Carniglia's Seafood
Cocktail lounge. Happy hour 3-6pm. 49a Municipal Wharf. (831.458.3600)

Coasters at the Boardwalk Bowl
Bowling alley, restaurant and bar. Atomic bowling Thursday 9:30pm and Sunday 8pm. $2 off pitchers anf half-price bowling after 9pm Monday and Tuesday; live entertainment on Friday; karaoke Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 8pm and Saturday-Sunday at 6pm. 115 Cliff St. (831.426.3324;

Gilbert's Seafood Grill
Cocktail lounge. 460 Municipal Wharf. (831.423.5200)

Ideal Bar and Grill
Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 2:30-5pm. 106 Beach St. (831.423.5271;

The Mainsail Restaurant
Cocktail lounge with spectacular view. Nightly dinner special. West Coast Santa Cruz Hotel, 175 W. Cliff Dr. (831.426.4330)

The Miramar
Cocktail lounge. Happy hour 2:30-6pm with margaritas. Lobster for $9.95 on Thursday 11-7pm. Other $9.95 specials every night. 45 Municipal Wharf. (831.423.4441)

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. (831.426.7433;

Cocktail lounge with specialty drinks and extensive wine list. Weekday happy hour 3-6pm. Tuesday and Thursday taco and drink for $5. Open Tuesday-Friday noon-9:30pm, Monday 3:30-9:30pm. Saturday and Sunday open noon-10pm. Municipal Wharf. (831.458.9393;

Riva Fish House
Cocktail lounge. Spicy bloody marys made from scratch. 500 Municipal Wharf. (831.429.1223)

Cocktail lounge. 59 Municipal Wharf. (831.423.2180;

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; 9-10pm Saturday. Open until 9:30pm on weekdays and until 10pm on weekends. 13040 Highway 9, Boulder Creek. (831.338.7882;

Brookdale Lodge
Cocktail lounge. Live music showcase Saturday, cover varies. Karaoke Wednesday, "Tiki" Tuesday island drinks 5-9pm with $3 all-you-can-eat buffet. Wednesday half off all bottles of wine. Prime rib Thursdays. Sunday night live jazz in Brook Room starting at 5pm. Open until midnight Sunday-Thursday and until 1:30am Friday-Saturday. 11570 Highway 9, Brookdale. (831.338.6433;

Don Quixote's
Cocktail lounge. Happy hour 3:30-6:30pm on draft/bottle beers and well drinks/margaritas seven days a week. Cover varies. 6275 Highway 9, Felton. (831.335.2800;

Henfling's Firehouse Tavern
Classic roadhouse. Weekday happy hour 4-7pm on draft beers and well drinks. Tuesday College Night/ Ladies Night show your ID happy hour prices all night. Cover varies. 9450 Highway 9, Ben Lomond. (831.336.9318)

In Vino Veritas
Mediterranean cuisine and wine bar. Nightly specials. Monday-Friday10am-10pm with breakfast 10am-1pm. Saturday and Sunday 8am-10pm with breakfast served until 1pm. 530 Mt. Hermon Rd., Scotts Valley. (831.461.0851)

Joe's Bar
Neighborhood bar. Happy all the time! Cheap jukebox with rock classics, dart room, sports TV and quarter pool tables. Thursday night pool tournaments 7:30pm. Open 10am-2am daily. 13118 Central Ave., Boulder Creek. (831.338.9417)

Malone's Grande Grille
Neighborhood bar. Karaoke Saturday night at 8:30pm. Live music Wednesday nights. Monday-Thursday happy hour 3-6pm. Oct. 28 Halloween party with DJ Paul at 9pm, including a costume contest with prizes. 4402 Scotts Valley Dr., Scotts Valley. (831.438.2244)

Max's Lounge at the Hilton
Cocktail lounge. Open until 10pm Monday-Thursday, 11pm Friday-Saturday, 9pm Sunday. 6001 La Madrona Dr., Scotts Valley. (831.440.1000)

Maya Mexican Restaurant
Happy hour 4-6pm Monday through Friday: $3 margaritas and well drinks, appetizers for $3. Daily lunch special. 3115 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley. (831.438.7004)

Monty's Log Cabin
Neighborhood bar. Pool table, horseshoes and outside patio with fireplace. 5755 Hwy. 9, Felton (831.335.9969)

Trout Farm Inn
Cocktail lounge. Happy hour weekdays and appetizer special 3-6pm. Monday Night Football (prizes).Open until 11pm. 7701 E. Zayante Rd., Felton. (831.335.4317)

Full bar. Open Wednesday-Sunday 11:30am-9:30pm. 13300 Big Basin Highway, Boulder Creek. (831.338.4444)


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.

Bargetto Winery
Taste hand-crafted wines from this winery with a long tradition in the Santa Cruz mountains. Register as a wine club member and receive 20 percent discounts on all purchases. Tasting occurs daily noon to 5pm.3535 N. Main St., Soquel (831.475.2258)

Bay Bar
Every night jukebox and pool for $1. 209 Esplanade, Capitola. (831.477.0749)

Cafe Cruz
Cocktail lounge overlooking spacious patio. Good list of wines by the glass. Weekday happy hour 4-6pm. 2621 41st Ave., Capitola. (831.476.3801;

Cava Wine bar
Wine bar focusing on vineyards from the Santa Cruz mountains. Meet your Maker event on Tuesday 7-9pm, followed by the Pub Quiz, all at a cost of $10. Every Thursday enjoy acoustic guitar from "Mark and Friends" 8:30pm-closing. $5 Mimosas every Sunday. 115 San Jose Ave., Capitola (831.476.2282)

Fast Eddy's Billiards
Billiards hall with beer and wine. Video games, pinball and sports on big screen TVs. Weekday happy hour 4:30- 6:30pm. Free pool for ladies Tuesday after 6:30pm. Wednesdays free pool with college ID and $10 pitchers of beer. Open until 2am. 4300 Capitola Road, Capitola. (831.462.1882;

The Fog Bank
Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 3-6pm. Open until midnight on weekdays and 1am on weekends. Karaoke Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 7-11pm. Live Music Friday, Saturday, Sunday 8pm-midnight. 211 Esplanade, Capitola. (831.462.1881).

JJ's Saloon
Sports bar. Pool tables, shuffleboard and jukebox. Good drinks for good prices. Open until 2am. 4714 Soquel Dr., Soquel. (831.462.1631)

Mexican restaurant with a full bar and grill. Dinner offered 5-10pm daily; Lunch starts at noon. 331-C Capitola Ave., Capitola. (831.476.2263)

Michael's on Main
Self-proclaimed culinary genre of "cutting edge comfort cuisine"--their cuisine is one part down-home cooking, one part classy, borgeois recipes. Happy Hour Tuesday-Friday 4-6pm, $2 draft beer, $4 Chardonnay and Merlot, mixed drinks $5, well drinks $4. Live music Friday and Saturday nights. Wednesday night karoake 8-11pm. 2591 Main St, Soquel. (831.479.9777)

Paradise Beach Grill
Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 3:30-5pm. Tuesday Pasta Night. Wednesday Surf and Turf Night. 215 Esplanade, Capitola. (831.476.4900;

Italian restaurant with a full bar, named after Santa Cruz's sister city in Italy. Three dining rooms, patio seating and a wood-fired oven give you a taste of the restaurant's Old World flavor. Wine down Wednesday 5pm-closing featuring a local winery and discounted appetizers and pizzas. Happy hour 5-7pm nightly, $2 off any drink and discounted food menu. 655 Capitola Rd., Capitola. (831. 479.0200)

The Shadowbrook
Cocktail lounge. "Winemaker Wednesdays" featuring wines from Santa Cruz Wine Makers Association $10-$15 per flight of wine, free appetizers 5-8pm through April. 1750 Wharf Road, Capitola. (831.475.1511;

Sir Froggy's Pub
Neighborhood bar. Pool table, darts, jukebox, TVs for sports. Monday Night Football Dinners $8. Karaoke Thursday 8pm-1am. Open 6am-2am. 4771 Soquel Dr., Soquel. (831.476.9802)

Stockton Bridge Grille
231 Esplanade, Capitola. (831.464.1933)

Takara Japanese Restaurant
Sake bar/lounge. Happy hour 3:30-5:30p. Open until 9:30pm. 3775 Capitola Road, Capitola. (831.464.1818)

Tortilla Flats
Mexican Restaurant. Open 11:30am daily for lunch and dinner. 4616 Soquel Dr, Soquel. (831.476.1754)

Wharf House
Restaurant with full bar on the Capitola wharf. Open weekdays until 9pm, weekends until 10pm. 1400 Wharf Road, Capitola. (831.476.3534;

Cocktail lounge. Back deck overlooks Capitola beach. Dance floor, TVs, live music. Weekday happy hour 2:30- 5pm. Open until 1am on weekdays and until 2am on weekends. 203 Esplanade, Capitola. (831.475.4900; Zelda'


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. Daily happy hour 4-6pm. Open until 2am. 7941 Soquel Dr., Aptos. (831.688.9888)

Bittersweet Bistro
Cocktail lounge with single-malt scotches, fine cognac and extensive wine list. Daily "Bistro Hour" 3-6pm, with two-for-one pizzettas and $1 off specially priced wines by the glass, $2 beer and spirits $3.50. Monday half-price on selected martinis. Wednesday half-off selection of wines. 787 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Aptos. (831.662.9799;

The Britannia Arms
Pub. Pool table and league darts in game room, Wednesday trivia nights. Weekday happy hour 2:30-6pm. Open until 2am. Sunday and Monday night football specials. Ten TVs and a big screen for sports. Karaoke Friday, Live music Saturday. All you can eat fish and chips on Monday nights. 8017 Soquel Dr., Aptos. (831.688.1233;

Cafe Rio
Cocktail lounge, indoor and outdoor at Rio Del Mar beach. Open weekdays until midnight, weekends until 1am. Weekday happy hour 3-5:30pm. Every night's a special night. 131 Esplanade, Rio Del Mar. (831.688.8917;

Cafe Sparrow
French-style bistro. Nightly dinner specials. Half-priced wine on Mondays and with food purchases any day. 8042 Soquel Dr., Aptos (831. 688.6238)

Manuel's Mexican Restaurant
Open 11:30am - midnight daily, except Sundays, when they close at 11pm. 261 Center Ave., Aptos. (831.688.4848)

The Mediterranean
Neighborhood bar. Weekday happy hour 4:30-6:30pm. Darts, juke box, golf game, gong. Open until 2am. 265 Center St., Aptos. (831.688.7004)

Palapas Restaurant & Cantina
Cocktail lounge and cantina with margarita specials, extensive tequila selection. 21 Seascape Village, Aptos. (831.662.9000;

Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 4:30-6:30pm. Friday and Saturday happy hour 5-7pm. Open Sunday-Thursday until 9pm, Friday-Saturday until 10pm. Sunset dinner Sunday-Thursday 5-7pm for $11.95, Sunday and Monday $12.95 prime rib. 7500 Old Dominion Court, Aptos. (831.688.8987;

The WindJammer
Cocktail lounge. Open 10am Monday-Friday; 9am on weekends. Darts, billiards, and video games. Live Music on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. 1 Ranco Del Mar, Aptos. (831.685.1587)

South County

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

Cocktail lounge. Happy hour Monday-Thursday 4-7pm. Sunday and Monday night football specials, $7 domestic pitcher, $2 domestic draft. Rotating specials every night. Open until 11:30am weeknights, 1am on weekends. 1934 Main St., Watsonville. (831.761.2161)

Club Octane
Nightclub with four rooms, four DJs and four bars. Video projectors, go-go cages, multilevel dance floors and over 30 TVs will keep you entertained late into the night. Dress code (no tennis shoes) on weekends, but no cover charge. Opens at 9pm five nights a week. 321 Alvarado St., Monterey. (831.646.9244)

El Alteño
Cocktail lounge. Happy Hour 4-6pm, two TVs for sports. Open daily until 9:30pm. 323 Main St., Watsonville. (831.768.9876)

El Tarasco Cafe
Cocktail lounge. 328 Walker, Watsonville. (831.728.5197)

Green Valley Grill
Cocktail lounge. Weekday happy hour 4-6:00pm. Open Monday-Thursday until 9pm, Friday-Saturday until 9:30pm or until last customer leaves. Live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Rotating drinks specials nightly. 40 Penny Lane, Watsonville. (831.728.0644)

Cocktail lounge includes over 20 tequilas. Open until 9:30pm on weekdays and until drink till you drop on weekends. 618 Main St., Watsonville. (831.728.9080)

The Villager
Cocktail lounge. Open daily 6am-2am. 1032 E. Lake Ave., Watsonville. (831.722.5200)

Wooden Nickel Bar & Grill
Neighborhood bar. Open until 10pm weekdays, midnight weekends. 1819 Freedom Blvd., Freedom. (831.724.2600)

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