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April 21, 2024 1:25pm
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Santa Clara Nightlife

Hookah lounges have become hot-spots for folks to congregate and relax

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Spotlight on Santa Clara's Popular Night Spots

Woodham's Sports Lounge is located on Stevens Creek Boulevard, just east of Woodhams Road. This is Santa Clara's typical sports bar with karaoke, a full bar and more flat screen televisions than you can count. Cocktails are large and reasonably priced. You can shoot pool for free as long as you're ordering food or drinks. Live music is often scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights. The Lounge is unassuming and affordable, a place that sets the tone for nightlife in a town that doesn't take itself too seriously.

In the past decade, hookah lounges have become hot spots for people to congregate and relax, regardless of whether  they smoke tobacco or not. Smoke This Hookah Lounge is a favorite of locals and a popular destination for tourists. In the evenings, DJs regularly pound beats through the cavernous hall. Although it can get very loud and you find yourself yelling at the person sitting next to you, the unhurried and calming practice of smoking a hookah helps relax you. If you smoke, you'll be served a spread of colorful and flavorful tobacco blends to be smoked through ornate and artistic hookahs. The staff is attentive and helpful if this is your first time at a hookah lounge and will walk you through the hookah smoking process. They'll also show you how to change the coals.

Located on Homestead Road just steps from the Lawrence Expressway, Homestead Cocktail Lounge is known as the city's best dive bar. It's in a small strip-mall with a giant parking lot. The bar offers strong and cheap drinks in a no-frills environment. Get there early on a Friday or Saturday night, because room at the bar is limited and folks from all over the Santa Clara area flock to this place. The bartenders are known for being friendly and very generous with their pours. Look around the interior and you'll see that not one single change has been made to the place since the 1980s. Darts, pool and pinball machines are available to all patrons.

VIP Oriental is an Asian restaurant tucked into the middle of a strip mall on the corner of El Camino Real and Bowers Avenue. It is difficult, if not impossible, to tell what VIP is like when viewing it from the outside. A generic sign and cookie-cutter building design do not convey the unique and kitschy nature of the place. Patrons are encouraged to create or add to the art on the walls using sharpies. Racy or offensive sketches are quickly be papered over. VIP Oriental's specialty is sojo, a chilled alcoholic drink that is very similar to vodka. Their yogurt sojo is delicious and highly potent.

KOR Karaoke DJ Bruce Rogers provides a mobile karaoke setup that has deep roots in the Bay Area. If you happen to see his name on a lineup at a local bar, it's worth a visit. He is regarded as one of the best karaoke DJs in the country and is has a song list that is allegedly thicker than a phone book.

Santa Clara is a city that is real and fun. Cool people and neat hangouts define this small town. It's relaxed and welcoming atmosphere is a little haven in an area known for its commerce and speed.


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