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Best Redux of Classic ’70s Daytime TV

The Go Go Gong Show
Local poet, writer and host extraordinaire “Mighty” Mike McGee has been organizing open mic nights for years. These days he’s really caught on to a winning formula by recognizing and recreating the schlocky genius of The Gong Show, an amateur talent show created by the late, great Chuck Barris, which ran in syndication for a decade into the ’80s. Deploying his charm and quick wit, McGee is the ideal host for the show, which gives contestants control of the stage as long as they can hold the crowd’s attention, or until one of the local “celebrity” judges decides enough is enough and clangs the massive gong, which serves as a sonic vaudeville hook.

Best Comedy Venue

San Jose Improv
62 S Second St, San Jose
Rooster T. Feathers
157 W El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
Comedy Sports
288 S Second St, San Jose

Best Concert Venue

Mountain Winery
14831 Pierce Rd, Saratoga
Shoreline Amphitheatre
1 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View
SAP Center (formerly HP Pavilion)
525 W Santa Clara St, San Jose

Best Small Music Venue

Cafe Stritch
374 S First St, San Jose
The Ritz
400 S 1st St, San Jose
Poor House Bistro
91 S Autumn St, San Jose

Best Dance Club

Los Gatos Bar & Grill
15-1/2 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos
The Saddle Rack
42011 Boscell Rd, Fremont
Loft Bar and Bistro
90 S 2nd St, San Jose

Best Jazz/ Blues Club

Cafe Stritch
374 S 1st St, San Jose
JJ’s Blues
3439 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose
Fairmont Lobby Lounge
170 S Market St, San Jose

Best Latin Music Club

Miami Beach Club/Beso
417 S 1st St, San Jose
Monte Carlo
228 Castro St, Mountain View
Lido Nightclub
30 S 1st St, San Jose

Best Wine Bar

368 Village Ln, Los Gatos
Enoteca la Storia
416 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos
Rootstock Wine Bar
217 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos

Best Local Winery

Testarossa Winery
300 College Ave, Los Gato
J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines
1000 Lenzen Ave, San Jose
Clos LaChance Winery
1 Hummingbird Ln, San Martin

Best New Bar/Club

The Vesper
394 E Campbell Ave, Campbell
LVL 44
44 S Almaden Ave, San Jose
Avery Lounge
399 S 1st St, San Jose

Best Sports Bar

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Best Monthly Fix For Fancy Island Drinks

55 South’s Tiki Night
The beaches of Santa Cruz aren’t too far away, but they are chilly. Fortunately, 55 South hosts a totally bodacious tiki night on the last Tuesday of every month. Grab seriously sugary, fruit-flavored rum drinks fashioned by the craft cocktail lounge’s talented mixologists. A few examples from March’s tropical festivities include the Zombie, Castaway, Big Bamboo and Lady of Singapore. All libations are served in novelty ceramic mugs-some are fashioned into the likeness of parrots, plenty have little umbrellas and all pack a Hawaiian punch.

Best British Pub

Britannia Arms
Multiple locations
Duke of Edinburgh
10801 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino
Rose & Crown
547 Emerson St, Palo Alto

Best Irish Pub

25 N San Pedro St, San Jose
Rosie McCann’s
355 Santana Row #1060, San Jose
Katie Blooms
369 E Campbell Ave, Campbell

Best Gay or Lesbian Bar

65 Post St, San Jose
501 W Taylor St, San Jose
39 Post St, San Jose

Best Hotel or Restaurant Bar

Fairmont Lobby Lounge
170 S Market St, San Jose
Hedley Club Lounge (Hotel De Anza)
233 W Santa Clara St, San Jose
Dio Deka (Hotel Los Gatos)
210 E Main St, Los Gatos

Best Craft Cocktails

Paper Plane
72 S First St, San Jose
Jack Rose Libation House
18840 Saratoga Los Gatos Rd, Los Gatos
Orchard City Kitchen
Pruneyard Shopping Center, 1875 S Bascom Ave #190, Campbell
43 W San Salvador St, San Jose

Best Martinis

Dry Creek Grill
1580 Hamilton Ave, San Jose
The Grill on the Alley
172 S Market St, San Jose
Original Joe’s
301 S 1st St, San Jose

Best Mojitos

Dry Creek Grill
1580 Hamilton Ave, San Jose
El Jardin Tequila Bar
368 Santana Row, San Jose
535 Ramona St, Palo Alto

Best Margarita

Multiple locations
El Burro
1875 S Bascom Ave, Campbell
Casa Lupe
2169 Winchester Blvd, Campbell

Best Bowling Alley

4th Street Bowl
1441 N Fourth St, San Jose
Bowlmor Lanes
10123 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino
Homestead Bowl & The X Bar
20990 Homestead Rd, Cupertino

Best Pre-Sharks Game Spot

Photo by Taylor Jones

Best All-Ages Music Venue Where You Can Still Buy A Drink

Art Boutiki
Outside of privately-and often covertly-organized shows at houses and in industrial spaces, there aren’t many places where the under-21, and especially the under-18, can catch live music in the South Bay. That’s what makes the SLG Art Boutiki such a gem. A comic book store and digital shirt-printing shop by day, by night it often hosts live music. Many of the region’s best young bands regularly rock the SLG stage and the venue also brings through many touring acts. But just because the venue is open to those not allowed in bars doesn’t mean it’s dry. During certain shows, beer and wine is available for the 21-plus crowd.


Best Happy Hour

The Old Pro
541 Ramona St, Palo Alto
Scotty’s Bar
548 Emerson, Palo Alto
St Stephen’s Green
223 Castro St, Mountain View

Best Karaoke

Pioneer Saloon
2925 Woodside Rd, Woodside
King of Clubs
893 Leong Dr, Mountain View
Firehouse Grill
1765 E Bayshore Rd, East Palo Alto

Best Dive Bar

Mervyn’s Lounge
236 Castro St, Mountain View
Rose and Crown
547 Emerson St, Palo Alto
Dutch Goose
3567 Alameda de las Pulgas, Menlo Park


Best Happy Hour

Jack Rose
18840 Saratoga Los Gatos Rd, Los Gatos
368 Village Ln, Los Gatos
Orchard City Kitchen
1875 S Bascom Ave #190, Campbell

Best Karaoke

Effie’s Restaurant
331 Hacienda Ave, Campbell
Boulevard Tavern
15043 Los Gatos Blvd, Los Gatos
300 Orchard City Dr, Campbell

Best Dive Bar

Black Watch
141 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos
300 Orchard City Dr, Campbell
The Bank
14421 Big Basin Way, Saratoga


Best Happy Hour

Firehouse Grill
111 S Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale
Elephant Bar & Restaurant
19780 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino
St. John’s
510 Lawrence Expy, Sunnyvale

Best Karaoke

Woodham’s Lounge
4475 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara
Blue Pheasant
22100 Stevens Creek Blvd, Cupertino
Bogart’s Lounge & Tech Pub
1209 Wildwood Ave, Sunnyvale

Best Dive Bar

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Best Caffeinated Comedy Fix

Kevin Wong
South Bay comedy veteran Kevin Wong began hosting monthly comedy shows at Red Rock Coffee in Mountain View because of the cafe’s history of supporting local arts. Proprietors were kind enough to give Wong and co-producer Wendy Bartholomew the coveted Saturday night slot. Wong’s affinity for the offbeat lends itself well to his lineups, which usually feature four to five comics who represent various cross-sections of humanity. “First question I ask is, “Do they add to the show?'” Wong says. “I like left turns out of people that are slightly different.” His knack for assembling a solid lineup has earned him a following. “It’s beginning to feel like family,” he says. Headlining the next show is Zack Chapaloni, a regular at the San Francisco Punchline, as well as star and co-writer of Metacafe’s PausePlay. Unlike many a comedy venue, Red Rock’s a booze-free affair, but there’s a bar next door.


Best Happy Hour

4th Street Pizza Co.
150 E Santa Clara St, San Jose Britannia Arms Almaden
5027 Almaden Expy, San Jose
87 E San Fernando St, San Jose

Best Karaoke

7 Bamboo
162 Jackson St, San Jose
Britannia Arms Almaden
5027 Almaden Expy, San Jose
Goosetown Lounge
1072 Lincoln Ave, San Jose

Best Dive Bar

69 E San Fernando St, San Jose
The Caravan Lounge
98 S Almaden Ave, San Jose
The Branham Lounge
1116 Branham Ln, San Jose


Best Happy Hour

Jack’s Brewing
39176 Argonaut Way, Fremont
The Mojo Lounge
3714 Peralta Blvd, Fremont
Tequila Shots Bar & Grill
38 N Main St, Milpitas

Best Dive Bar

The Florence
37349 Niles Blvd, Fremont
Mojo Lounge
3714 Peralta Blvd, Fremont
The Back Door Lounge
37422 Fremont Blvd B, Fremont


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