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The Second Time Around

[whitespace] Kevin Bacon Kevin knows everybody in the bar--from the bouncer to the barkeep to the guys in the band--and chances are he'll be more than happy to steal you in when the place is packed, score you free drinks and set you up with the future love of your life (or at least of the night).

There may be trouble ahead
But while there's music and moonlight
And love and romance
Let's face the music and dance
"Let's Face the Music and Dance" (Berlin)

By Karen Reardanz

KEVIN BACON MAY NOT be synonymous with cool, equated with style or widely regarded for his unprecedented sense of fashion. He was barely out of diapers when the Rat Packers--martinis and Lucky Strikes in hand--were charming the Capri pants off the ladies and setting undeniable standards of '60s chic. To the Baby Boomers, Kevin Bacon may be nothing more than the dancing fool from Footloose or JFK's flashy call boy, but to an entire post-boomer generation, he's a cultural icon.

But Bacon didn't build his acclaim on his expansive roster of roles, his intensity as a character actor or some commanding mastery of the school of acting. No, he is where he is by taking the saying "it's who you know" to the next level--his prestige is all about the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

The game--also known as The Oracle of Kevin Bacon--separates him from every other celluloid face by, at most, six degrees. Doesn't matter who the actor or what the era, in some way everyone who has graced the Silver Screen is connected to Kevin. He's a catchall. His career has been like an intricate game of connect-the-dots. Why, he's even separated from the likes of Sammy, Angie, Joey and the Chairman of the Board himself by a mere two degrees.

But while he oozes more average-Joe sweat than debonair cool, and he's more the boisterous guy in the corner than the suave, politically connected King of Hollywood, it doesn't mean Kevin's not the kind of guy you'd like to spend a few hours with sharing adjoining barstools. He's a small-town boy with big-city dreams, more comfortable with the din of rock & roll clubs or settled back in a cushy microbrewery booth than in the throes of martini culture.

Not willing to sully himself with the down-and-out dive, Kevin exudes modern-day yuppiedom mixed with an essence of cowboy grit. He's the kind of guy most at ease with a frothy stout in hand, listening to live music, dressed down in jeans and a tee (of course that'd be an Armani tee--never forget he is a movie star).

Kevin the movie star is a chameleon, but there are still the tried-and-true spots where he'd most commonly be spotted. His film persona may elude categorization--his roles in over 35 films have run the cinematic gamut from nice guy finishing first to prison guard pedophile--but all the while you still can envision him in the same type of neighborhood brewpub or packed-to-the-walls clubs in which you'd find the guy next door.

Flash back to Kevin as the recently coupled dad-to-be in 1988's She's Having a Baby, waxing not-so-poetic about his fears of responsibility, and you'll probably see him at a suburban bar, drowning his neurosis in a few brewskis with some old college buddies.

Or recall 1990's Flatliners, in which he played David Labraccio, a guilty-conscienced med-school student flirting with death. Finalizing plans with his death-defying compadres, he's noshing on pizza and knocking back pints at a local joint, probably sinking a few balls into the pool table's corner pocket in between.

Or picture him as the solid stalwart Marine attorney Capt. Jack Ross in A Few Good Men, letting off a day's worth of legal steam at the restaurant/bar down from the office. Armed with a tall cold one, he'll find himself making eyes at the pretty young waitress, but his code of honor will keep him from taking her home.

Even off-screen, Kevin screams suburban boy, an antithesis of the glamour and glitz of the Rat Pack lifestyle. When he's not at home with longtime wife Kyra Sedgwick (whom he sickeningly adores), the kids and the white picket fence, he's onstage with brother Michael, as one-half of the Bacon Brothers, living out the everyman fantasy as, what else, a rock star. Together, the fabulous Bacon Brothers crank up country-tinged, '70s-reminiscent rock that would have the dear Eagles and Allman Brothers throwing a stadium-sized tantrum in their backstage dressing rooms.

But Kevin, unlike the bad boys of the Rat Pack, is not the consummate player--the type who wouldn't dream of stealing a nubile young thing away for an illicit rendezvous (unless it's in the movies, of course). No, he's been schooled properly in the ways of today, where monogamy is the reigning king of sexual mores and all the enchantment of '60s Hollywood has been stamped with a big fat "no smoking" sign.

This is not to say that Kevin is a downer to hang out with. He knows there are times you've got to cut loose, footloose, but it's after the bills have been paid, the day's work is done and he's picked up his best girl. It will, however, usually be in a spot with a killer sound system, with a mighty selection of cold suds on tap, and enough fresh faces that he won't get bored.

Kevin knows everybody in the bar--from the bouncer to the barkeep to the guys in the band--and chances are he'll be more than happy to steal you in when the place is packed, score you free drinks and set you up with the future love of your life (or at least of the night).

But Kevin is particularly geared toward the crowd that doesn't care about what Frank smoked, what Dino drank or who Marilyn slept with. Kevin is steeped in everyday America, and he's sure to be found in a spot where what you've got on doesn't mean half as much as who you know.

A Kevin Bacon Kind of Place

Sports Bars, Microbreweries, Billiard Halls, Dance Clubs and Cigar Bars

Aqui Cal-Mex Grill
1145 Lincoln Ave., Willow Glen (408/995-0381)

Bank Shot Billiards
350 Altair Way, Sunnyvale (408/733-3855)

The B-Hive Bar & Lounge
372 S. First St., San Jose (408/298-2529)

Blue Chalk Café
630 Ramona St., Palo Alto (650/326-1020)

1875 S. Bascom Ave., Campbell (408/371-4404)

Box Seat
15650 Vineyard Blvd., Morgan Hill (408/778-7102)

Cactus Club
417 S. First St., San Jose (408/491-9300)

Campbell Cigar
831 Union Ave., Campbell (408/371-3099)

Chili's Grill and Bar
700 El Camino Real, Menlo Park (650/321-0330)

Club Havana
860 El Paseo de Saratoga, San Jose (408/871-2199)

Diamond Billiards
4700 Almaden Expwy., San Jose (408/266-POOL)

Double D's Sports Grille
354 N. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos (408/395-6882)

Eddie's Billiards
235 S. Milpitas Blvd. #C-1, Milpitas (408/942-9500)

The Edge
260 California Ave., Palo Alto (650/324-EDGE)

Family Billiards
72 Demsey Road, Milpitas (408-945-6440)

Faultline Brewing Company
1235 Oakmead Parkway, Sunnyvale (408/736-2739)

4th Street Bowl
1441 N. Fourth St., San Jose (408/453-5555)

The Garret
1777 S. Bascom Ave., Campbell (408/559-7930)

Gary's Sports Bar & Grill
2369 S. Winchester Blvd., Campbell (408/374-3257)

Gordon Biersch
33 E. San Fernando St., San Jose (408/294-6785); and 640 Emerson St., Palo Alto (650/323-7723)

Little Havana
530 Barber Lane, Milpitas (408/435-0698)

The Old Pro's
2865 El Camino Real, Palo Alto (650/325-2070)

Peppertree Pizza Co.
1275 Piedmont Road, San Jose (408/251-6310)

PJ Mulligan's
19979 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino (408/255-0588)

251 Castro St., Mountain View (650/961-7744)

Rock Bottom Brewery
1875 S. Bascom Ave., Campbell (408/377-0707)

Santa Clara Billiards
4525 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara (408/296-3333)

The Shark and Rose
69 N. San Pedro St., San Jose (408/287-6969)

Shark's Tooth
737 Stockton Ave., San Jose (408/298-8767)

769 Mathilda Ave., Sunnyvale (408/738-2787)

South First Billiards
420 S. First St., San Jose (408/294-7800)

Sports Connection
1300 First St., Gilroy (408/848-5050)

Tied House Cafe and Brewery
954 Villa St., Mountain View (650/965-BREW); and 65 N. San Pedro St., San Jose (408/295-BREW)

Union Jack Pub
18553 Mission Blvd., Fremont (510/278-575)

The Usual
400 S. First St., San Jose (408/535-0330)

Willow Glen Billiards & Brew
1180 Lincoln Ave., Willow Glen (408/288-9422)

Willow Glen Cigars
1068 Lincoln Ave., Willow Glen (408/283-9323)

Willow Street Pizza
20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Los Gatos (408/354-5566)

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From the June 11-17, 1998 issue of Metro.

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