Published November 19, 2002
Volume 10, Number 11

Tri-Valley Offers a Variety of Entertainment Options for Residents and Visitors

By George Walsh
Special to Network

All work and no play can make anyone feel a little dull. While most of us find it necessary to work for a living, we sometimes forget that in addition to working, we also need to find a little time to recreate and reward ourselves for a job well done. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of entertaining distractions in the Tri-Valley area-whether the pleasure you seek is a live band accompanied by an ice cold libation, light jazz paired with a steaming cup of coffee, or popcorn and a movie.

Entertainment in Hacienda
Borders Music, Books, Cafe 
4575 Rosewood Drive 
Borders has events for everyone in the family with author visits, story times for children, events for teachers, and Senior Appreciation Days, where customers age 60 and over save 20% on the purchase of regularly priced items. Specialized discussion groups also take place at Borders, including groups devoted to the Civil War, classic literature, and great books. You can almost always find live music on Friday evenings, and the Borders Cafe serves up beverages and snacks to sip and nibble while you enjoy your visit. 

Faz America 
5121 Hopyard Road 
Besides the delicious Mediterranean cuisine that's offered every night in the restaurant, the lounge at Faz America also serves up piano bar music Monday through Friday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., as well as on Sunday afternoons from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. during brunch.

4825 Hopyard Road, in the Gateway Center 
ShBoomShBoom has been providing entertainment in Hacienda for over ten years. The club is open Wednesday through Saturday starting at 6:00 p.m. ShBoom has a cover charge of $6 on Wednesdays and $12 on Fridays and Saturdays that includes a complementary gourmet dinner buffet. Every night gives revelers a chance to dance to their favorite hit songs of the 1950s through the 1980s. ShBoom also features theme nights and contests. A dress code is enforced, so be sure to call for details.

Outside the Park 
Wente Vineyards and Restaurant 
5050 Arroyo Rd. 
The renowned Summer Concerts in the Vineyards series for 2002 included performances by Chris Isaak, The Beach Boys, Huey Lewis and the News, Lyle Lovett, Bruce Hornsby, and Smokey Robinson. Concerts take place during the months of June, July, August, and September. Tickets go on sale to the public beginning on the last Sunday of April. While this season's outdoor entertainment has concluded, information on next year's series will be available in the coming months at 925-456-2424.

Live Bands
Players Lounge
7050 Johnson Dr. 
Located in the Hilton Pleasanton at The Club, Players Lounge offers a DJ playing contemporary dance music from 6:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. on Thursday evenings. 

Union Jack Pub 
725 Main 
The Union Jack Pub opened its doors in historic downtown Pleasanton in 1986 and has since become a local favorite. The Pub offers 21 drafts, specializing in European imports and microbrews, along with a full bar and California wines by the glass. For entertainment you’ll find video games, a pool table, and a jukebox. Thursday is Karaoke night, Friday the Pub features local DJs, and every Saturday the Pub features a live local rock and blues bands like Fourtrack, Mayberry, Footlong, Joe Rose, and The Beat Monkey. The Union Jack Pub also has a big-screen TV for viewing selected sporting events. 

Food with Music
474 St. John St. 
Barone's is known for their great Italian food. On Friday nights from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m., the restaurant features various musical combos and on Saturdays, from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m., Simon Russell plays a variety of contemporary favorites at the piano bar. The restaurant is open daily for dinner and for lunch on weekdays. 

Blue Agave Club
625 Main St. 
Blue Agave Club features high-end Mexican cuisine along with full bar stocked with some 200 varieties of tequila. This restaurant, open daily, features romantic Mexican ballads sung by a trio of strolling musicians from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. 

Casa Madrid 
436 Main Street, Pleasanton, CA. 94566 
925-484 3877 
Along with delicious Spanish cuisine, Casa Madrid presents a summer music program that this year offered a mix of classical, modern, romantic, and flamenco guitar. Next summer, diners can expect more of the same with a variety of guitarist/singers providing the entertainment. Indoor and outdoor seating is available. Casa Madrid is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and for dinner from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Coffee Beans & Bistro 
401 Main St. 
Sip a latte and relax to solo artists and small musical combos beginning at 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings. Recent performances include the guitar and vocal sounds of T Lane and the piano and percussion combo of Luis Valverde and Bill Diaz.

Coffee Roast Express 
780 Main St. 
Another source for your quota of caffeine, the music menu here is varied with combos, singers, and guitar players typically performing on Saturday evenings. Live music is also offered occasionally on other nights, so be sure to contact Coffee Roast Express to find out about upcoming performances.

Hap's Original 
122 W. Neal 
Known for their steak, seafood, and chops, Hap's is open daily for dinner starting at 4:00 p.m. seven days a week. A pianist tinkles the ivories for your entertainment-along with taking requests-on Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Main Street Brewery 
830 Main St.
The Main Street Brewery, located in the old Cheese Factory Building in historic downtown Pleasanton, has been making microbrews and food since 1995. They brew all of their beer on the premises, and serve food that is cooked to order including appetizers, huge sandwiches, and fish and chips. The Main Street Brewery features live music every Friday and Saturday that varies from Blues and Rock to Reggae and Zydeco, including local acts Rotation, House Rockers, Cantera, Hat Trick Blues Band, and Mad Dog Toor.

Pleasanton Hotel
Diners and dancers enjoy a performance at the Pleasanton Hotel.

Pleasanton Hotel 
855 Main 
The Pleasanton Hotel, formerly the Farmer's Hotel, was built sometime between 1851 and 1865 but has been managed and owned by Bill Laube for the past 17 years. Executive Chef Neil Marquis serves up contemporary cuisine, and every Friday and Saturday night local combo Major Link performs standards, Top 40, and more. During the summer months, the hotel offers live blues music on its outdoor patio every Thursday evening from 5:00 p.m. to  10:00 p.m. The "Patio Blues" season runs from mid-May through mid October, and includes bands like include Red Archibald, Tattoo Blue, Delta Wires, RED Beans and Rice, and Johnny Nitro.

Movies & More 
Regal Cinemas Hacienda Crossings 20 & Regal IMAX 
5000 Dublin Blvd. 
The biggest thing in movies is IMAX and the new Regal Cinemas bring the IMAX experience to the Tri-Valley. Films shown on the giant IMAX screen have included Fantasia 2000, Cyberworld 3D, and Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. The theater's 20 other screens show first run films and all the facilities offer digital sound and stadium seating. 

Regal Cinema
Regal Cinemas Hacienda Crossings 20 & Regal IMAX

Some Other Options 
Alberto's Cantina 
435 Main St. 
Besides their authentic Mexican cuisine, Alberto's has a big-screen television for a variety of sporting events. They're open from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. 

Sunshine Saloon Sports Bar & Charcoal Grill 
1807 Santa Rita Rd. 
Open daily, this informal club offers pool tables, ping pong tables, shuffleboard and a television for every game on the satellite dish. 

Toast of the Town Wine Merchant 
349 Main 
Offers wine tasting and classes that explore "the fun of wine -- not the snobbery of wine." Classes taught in homes, businesses, or the store. 

Towne Center Books 
555 Main 
Author's events, book signings and book discussion clubs are offered right in the heart of downtown. Call for a schedule of events. Open daily. Wine Steward 
641 Main 
The Wine Steward is not only a place to shop for wine, but also offers wine appreciation classes and tasting events. The Wine Steward believes that that the most important way to learn about wine is to taste, taste, and then taste some more. In support of this belief, all of its classes include tastings of the wines that are being studied. Its wine tasting bar- where you can  taste up to a dozen new wines each week-is open Thursday and Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


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