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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 ]


Dancing in the Dark: Cheek to cheek at Barcelona.

767 N. Mathilda Ave, Sunnyvale
Opening and reopening under a new name is an age-old tactic used to revitalize a lagging club locale. But after all the dust has settled, theres always that uncertainty—what if new isn't as good? Barcelona retains the former club's (Club Monaco) easy Latin dance party vibe. Catering to the young 18-25 VIVA 105.7 crowd, Barça plays the latest reggaeton, rock en espanol, salsa, merengue, hip-hop and house on Friday and Saturday nights when it's not hosting concerts by the next hot Latin thing.

Blue Bonnet Bar
203 S. Fairoaks Ave, Sunnyvale
The Blue Bonnet relies heavily on its regulars, and its morning and lunch crowd usually consists of retired people. Friday and Saturday nights can get wild, though. Management isn't stingy; every Sunday there's a free barbecue (tips are welcome, though) and there's free popcorn and peanuts all the time. Beer is the drink of choice.

Blue Max
828 W. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
Lots of regulars of all legal ages hang out at this sports bar, which has a pool table, two dart boards, video games and a golf machine. Airplane models serve as decoration. The bar's specialty is the Blue Max Margarita, mixed with blue Curaçao. There is karaoke Thursday through Saturday, and live music once in a while.

Faultline Brewery
1235 Oakmead Parkway, Sunnyvale
With nine varieties of beer on tap (and 22 types brewed throughout the year), an open patio overlooking a duck pond, four TV screens at the bar, and more than enough seating for your whole department to guzzle and dine, there's no excuse NOT to go. Its central location off Lawrence Expressway in Sunnyvale makes it a great after-work hangout spot especially since it's NOT open on the weekends except for private parties.

Fibbar Magee's
156 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale
The brother bar of Molly Magee's in Los Altos, Fibbar's offers much of the same: traditional Irish fare, darts, big-screen televisions and live music on Fridays and Saturday nights. Dark and woody, Fibbar's truly encompasses the essence of Irish pub culture.

Lion and Compass Restaurant
1023 N. Fair Oaks Ave, Sunnyvale
Mix palm trees and old-time lampposts, and the result is the prim but elegant Lion and Compass. Digerati in business attire come in to sample the contemporary American cuisine or to linger over a daiquiri at the formal-looking bar. So business-oriented is the Lion and Compass that mounted above the bar is a bona fide stock ticker.

Murphy's Law
135 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale
Murphy's Law says fame is great. This lengthy bar's walls pay tribute to the greatest athletes and entertainers of all time, and classic movie and concert posters plaster the ceiling. Five televisions and an 8-foot projection screen sporting events during the week, and movies on Sundays. Enjoy the Monday-night blues jam or partake in the Thursday karaoke. On Friday and Saturday nights, Murphy's Law brings in local bands to entertain with live music.

Off the Hookah
196 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale
Does hookah smoking increase the munchies? It must, as Off the Hookah's night bites look mighty appetizing (Shawarma Wrap, Falafel Wrap, Kufta Kebab and Veggie delicacies) after a few hits. It's stylish décor, DJ music and full bar add to the pleasure.

Paul and Harvey's
130 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale
The clientele is undeniably blue collar and Budweiser, though the bar has a wide selection of bottles and four beers on tap. It also has three pool tables, two dartboards and an array of video games. Try the bar's secret recipe, which it calls the Tropical Hooter. Invented by a bartender named Maria, the only aspect Lane will divulge about the drink is that it's somewhat like a Purple Hooter, but with pineapple. On Thursdays, musicians gather here to jam, and live bands perform some Saturdays.

Pebble Roppongi Karaoke Lounge
160 S. Frances St, Sunnyvale
Though its hours (8pm-2am) would suggest that Pebble Roppongi is an after-dinner club, it actually offers a menu of small Japanese dishes and some French desserts. It's no stretch to choose sake as your drink for the night, but with the bar's many selections, it may take a while to decide which sake. The karaoke lounge's mostly Asian clientele make use of the sound system while belting out their favorite tunes.

Quarter Note Bar and Grill
1214 Apollo Way, Sunnyvale
The Quarter Note Bar and Grill is in a hard-to-find nook but offers great live music every night of the week and karaoke on Monday. In addition, the bar area features televisions, pool tables shuffleboard and pinball. With eight on-tap beers and a menu featuring an unlikely combination of Moroccan and American food, the Quarter Note is a cozy, in-the-know type of place. They have a soft spot for Guide Dogs for the Blind, holding regular benefit shows for the cause.

Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Club
157 W. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
For those who'd rather split their side laughing than bust a move, watching standup comedy at Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Club makes for a perfect night out. Comedy greats like Jerry Seinfeld, Robin Williams and Ellen DeGeneres have performed here, and once in a while the club offers classes and workshops that teach wannabes how to be successful as standup comics. Tickets into the club are $12 and a two-item minimum is enforced. Martinis and nonalcoholic drinks are the bar's specialty.

Scruffy Murphy's Irish Pub
187 S. Murphy St, Sunnyvale
With 13 beers on tap, including Guinness and Carlsberg, plus some fruit ciders, this pub is always prepared for a busload of homesick Irish or locals hankering for a good time. Tuesdays are trivia nights, Wednesdays are Irish nights, Thursdays are for karaoke and Sunday showcase have jazz. Fridays and Saturday nights host the real parties, when DJs preside over a crowded dance floor.

Shooters Bar and Grill
769 N. Mathilda Ave, Sunnyvale
The sports bar provides amenities like pool tables, dart machines, a jukebox, pinball and even a mini-golf machine. Shooters has 11 domestic and imported beers on tap, a big-screen television and karaoke (Thursdays).

Tarragon Restaurant & Bar
140 S. Murphy Ave, Sunnyvale
408.737.8003; www.dinetarragon.com
At Tarragon, the drinks and food are as striking as the architecture. A warm wood-and-brick interior and divine outdoor patio set the scene for a memorable dining or drinking experience (unless you order one too many off the 50-strong martini list, that is). Though the bar has a seemingly endless selection of wines and cocktails, the food must be sampled too; Tarragon's executive chef used to work at L.A.'s Spago and has created a delectable Pacific Rim-influenced Mediterranean menu.

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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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