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The Metro Bars & Clubs 2005 Guide
[ Intro | 20 Years of Bars and Clubs | Bartender Profiles | San Jose | Campbell | Cupertino | Los Altos | Los Gatos | Menlo Park | Mountain View | Palo Alto | Redwood City/Peninsula | Santa Clara | Saratoga | Sunnyvale ]

Santa Clara

777 Lawrence Expwy, Santa Clara
Once dedicated to DJ music, the Avalon has worked with local promoters to present dance nights (many middle eastern-themed) as well as a roll call of '70s and '80s rockers—Eddie Money, Gregg Rolie, Nightranger, Eric Martin and others.

Baltimore Bullet
1992 Lafayette St, Santa Clara
The Bullet put the kibosh on karaoke, now the bar serves drinks to its regulars Monday-Saturday from 11am to 9pm.

4565 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara
Calling By-Th-Bucket a sports bar doesn't do it justice. It's more of a tasteful, old-school bar and restaurant where you can take in a game at the bar while you enjoyed great seafood and one of their powerful signature specialty drinks like the 18-ounce Margarita or the Three Mile Island.

The Claran
1251 Franklin Mall, Santa Clara
Unlike some of the other bars popular with Santa Clara University students, the more mature regulars who populate the Claran by day don't keep their distance when the freaks come out at night. That makes for a wonderful melange of old and young after dark, all united by their love of this murky, bunkerlike bar and, of course, alcohol. The Claran has upped its live music, hosting occasional local band showcases.

Club Savoy
3546 Flora Vista Ave, Santa Clara
Women rock at Club Savoy, which justifiably calls itself "the hottest women's night club in Silicon Valley." The Savoy functions as the South Bay's own lesbian clubhouse. Dance to goth and industrial on Tuesdays, sing to karaoke idols on Wednesday, party down on Friday and Saturdays and shoot pool on Sundays.

Hops Bar
2151 Laurelwood Road, Santa Clara
After spending the day standing in line at Great America, hop (get it?) on over to the Biltmore Hotel and into this microbrew-fueled oasis. The house staff is friendly, and the raised table area has a Vegas feel. Or maybe Reno.

The Hut
3200 The Alameda, Santa Clara
Fashions come and go at nearby Santa Clara University, but the Hut never seems to go out of style with students who love a casual bar that's within stumbling distance of their overpriced apartments and dorms. During the school year, the Hut heats up at night with delinquent scholars on the prowl. By day and during the summer, it's a quiet hangout for locals—locals who make sure to vacate the premises by 8pm if they are over 25.

Martin's Lounge
1828 Main St, Santa Clara
A bar that opens at 6 in the morning commands respect, especially in a town where there aren't even any third-shift factory employees getting out of work at such an obscene hour. The formula seems to work; Martin's has been serving loyal customers who like to drink before rush hour starts for about 60 years.

Smoke This
2271 The Alameda, Santa Clara
If Snoop Dogg partook in Hookah tobacco, he'd shout out Smoke This, a new hookah cafe near Santa Clara University. Over 100 hookahs handle 31 flavors (take that Baskin-Robbins) of tobacco. They're open to midnight during the week and until 2am Friday and Saturday. A DJ spins a mix of Arabic and English-language tunes.

Tinker's Dam
46 N. Saratoga Ave, Santa Clara
T.D.'s, as the regulars call it, offers up all you could ask for in a gay bar: lots of guys, strong drinks and take-off-your-shirt dancing. The crowd is youngish, of course, but there's a minimum of attitude. There's a popular free barbecue on Sundays, but everything else is cash only.

Woodham Lounge
4475 Stevens Creek Blvd, Santa Clara
There's karaoke, a Top 40 jukebox, pool, darts and foosball. Oh yeah, there's booze, too. But the main attraction seems to be the bartenders, who just happen to be babe magnets, especially every Monday, which is Ladies Night.

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From the June 22-28, 2005 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2005 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

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