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Published May 16, 2006
Volume 14, Number 5



Tri-Valley Entertainment Offers Choices from the Sophisticated to the Raucous
Whether You’re Looking for Music, Dancing, Author Appearances, or Wine Tasting, It’s All Here


Are you looking for live music? DJ dancing in a hot club? How about an opportunity to sample first-rate wines? Perhaps you’d like to hear an author speak about their latest work, see a first-run movie, or check out the big picture on an Imax screen. Thanks to the diverse entertainment options in the area, you can do any of those things and many more without having to leave the Tri-Valley.



Entertainment in Hacienda
Aura
4825 Hopyard Road
(925) 416-0777
www.nightclubaura.com
www.myspace.com/nightclubaura
It wasn’t long ago that Tri-Valley denizens seeking a sophisticated dance club were faced with a trek into San Francisco. That was before last year’s opening of Aura, the Hacienda nightspot that offers the food, beverages, and music to turn a simple night on the town into a memorable experience. Aura’s top-notch restaurant serves dinner from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. each evening, then changes speed to become a nightclub. Two separate areas, the Blue Room and Red Room, feature DJs from near and far as well as the occasional live band. The club is also available for corporate events.

Baci Seafood & Steak
4889 Hopyard Road
(925) 469-6266
www.bacicafe.com
Baci Seafood & Steak is a relative newcomer among Hacienda’s restaurants, but has already earned a great reputation for their fine food. There’s more to Baci than delicious food and tasty beverages, however. A piano player is featured every Thursday through Saturday evening from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m., playing a variety of music ranging from classical to pop as well as diner requests. Baci also features an extended music lineup from time to time, ranging from solo instrumentalists to bands.

Bay Books
5698 Stoneridge Drive
(925) 460-3213
www.baybooks.us
Whether you’re looking for new, used, or rare books, Bay Books is the name to remember. Between the store’s Hacienda, San Ramon, and Concord locations, Bay Books stocks over 600,000 tomes, covering almost every topic. Their Pleasanton location, in the Hacienda Plaza at Stoneridge and Gibraltar, also hosts authors for readings and book signings on a regular basis, as well as a number of book clubs. Recent events have featured Renee Ting, author of The Prince’s Diary, and Heidi Varian, author of The Way of Taiko. Give Bay Books a call or check their web site for upcoming events.

Faz
5121 Hopyard Road
(925) 460-0444
www.fazrestaurants.com
Besides the delicious cuisine that's offered during breakfast, Sunday brunch, lunch, and dinner in the restaurant, the lounge at Faz also serves up a variety of musical performers in their lounge Monday through Friday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Faz features celebrated Mediterranean food, including dishes prepared using a smoker and wood-burning oven as well as a full bar with a selection of California wines and micro-brew beer. Call the restaurant or visit Faz’s website for a complete schedule of its hours of operation.



Outside the Park
Headliners
Wente Vineyards and Restaurant
5050 Arroyo Rd.
Livermore
(925) 456-2400
www.wentevineyards.com
Wente Vineyards is well known for their award winning wines but their fabulous summer concert series, The Concerts at Wente Vineyards, has earned a name for itself as well. Tickets are now on sale for the star-studded 2006-2007 series, which includes Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band, Blues Traveler, the Gipsy Kings, Chris Isaak, Etta James & The Neville Brothers, and more. The full lineup is available on their web site, along with a link to purchase tickets via Ticketmaster. For additional information on the Concerts at Wente Vineyards, call (925) 456-2424.

Live Bands
Players Lounge at the Pleasanton Hilton
7050 Johnson Dr.
(925) 463-8000
Located in the Hilton Pleasanton at The Club, Players Lounge offers a variety of live bands on the patio from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday evenings. The bar is typically open from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. seven days a week.

Food with Music
Barone’s
474 St. John St.
(925) 426-0987
www.themenupage.com/baronesrestaurant.html
On Friday and Saturday nights from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m., Barone’s features various musical combos in its lounge. Barone's, known for their great Italian food, is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and for dinner Monday through Thursday 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Sunday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


Blue Agave Club
625 Main St.
(925) 417-1224
www.blueagaveclub.com
The Blue Agave Club features Latin music from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The restaurant features “alta cocina,” high-end Mexican cuisine, along with a full bar stocked with some 200 varieties of tequila and offers Tequila and wine pairing dinners regularly.


Hap's Original
122 W. Neal
(925) 600-9200
www.hapsoriginal.com
At Hap’s Original, a pianist plays for your entertainment—along with taking requests—on Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at 6:00 p.m. Known for their steak, seafood, and chops, Hap's is open daily, with the bar opening at 4:00 p.m. and dinner starting at 5:00 p.m.

Main Street Brewery
830 Main St.
(925) 462-8218
www.mainstbrewery.com
The Main Street Brewery features live music every Friday and Saturday night, offering up a musical menu that ranges from acoustic rock to dance tunes to blues, zydeco, and rock ‘n’ roll.  beginning at 9:00 p.m. that varies from blues and rock to reggae and zydeco. Upcoming performances include Tuff Mama playing rhythm and blues on May 26 and The Sun Kings playing Beatles covers on the 27th. Comedy fans will want to check out John DeKoven’s Comedy Showcase, which hits the stage at 8:00 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Located in the old Cheese Factory across from the Pleasanton Hotel in historic downtown Pleasanton, the Brewery features a full-service restaurant and four home brews along with twelve rotating guest taps.


Pleasanton Hotel
855 Main
(925) 846-8106
www.pleasantonhotel.com
The Pleasanton Hotel—which is billed as “the only hotel in town without any rooms”—provides a historic setting for meals, music, and refreshments. Originally built in approximately 1864 as The Farmer’s Hotel, the building now serves as a restaurant and lounge. The Pleasanton Hotel offers a wide variety of music and entertainment, with blues bands on the outdoor patio on Thursday nights and local combos on Saturday nights. Friday nights feature live music as well but also include events like “Murder on the High Seas Mystery Theater,” which is performed this month on the 19th. Owned and operated by Bill Laube for the past 23 years, with executive chef Neil Marquis serving up contemporary cuisine, the Hotel is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., brunch on Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and dinner Tuesday through Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Movies & More
Livermore Valley Wine Growers Association
Winery events
(925) 447-WINE (9463)
www.livermorewine.com
The member wineries of the Livermore Valley Wine Growers Association offer a great variety of events, including themed tastings, special music, food, and wine events, and more. Upcoming highlights include the 12th Annual Livermore Valley Wine Auction, to be held May 20th at the Mitchell Katz Winery, the continuing Travel Around the World Music & Dinner Series at Garre Vineyards & Winery, and Tesla Vintners “Playin’ on the Patio” music/food/wine series. Check the association’s web site for the current calendar of events. 


Regal Cinemas Hacienda Crossings 20 & Regal IMAX
5000 Dublin Blvd., Dublin
(925) 560-9600
www.regalcinemas.com
The biggest thing in movies is IMAX and the Regal Cinemas bring the IMAX experience to the Tri-Valley. The theater's 20 other screens show first run films and all the facilities offer digital sound and stadium seating.

The Vine Theater
1722 First St., Livermore
(925) 447-2546
The Vine Theater shows first-run movies on two screens and also plays host to several movies every year as part of the California Independent Film Festival.

Sunshine Saloon
1807 Santa Rita Rd.
(925) 846-6108
www.sunshinesaloon.com
This informal club offers daily food specials, drinks, pool tables, ping pong tables, air hockey, shuffleboard, and foosball. As for entertainment, the emphasis is on Sunshine’s 12 separate satellite dishes with 27 screens, including four large HD screens. DJ dancing is also offered on Friday and Saturday nights from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. The Saloon is open for breakfast beginning at 9:00 a.m. daily.


Towne Center Books
555 Main
(925) 846-8826
www.townecenterbooks.com
Author's events, book signings, and book clubs are offered right in the heart of downtown. Call for information about upcoming events or visit the store’s website for a complete calendar. Towne Center Books is open from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Winecentives
6040 Dougherty Road, Dublin
(925) 829-3222
www.winecentives.com
Oenophiles, whether fledglings or experienced, will find something to enjoy at Winecentives, a seller of wine, wine accessories, housewares, and gift combinations. Its full-service wine bar is open six days a week, Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m (Mondays by appointment only). In addition, Winecentives has an event room where it holds classes on wine tasting and wine making. Seating is limited for the classes, so be sure to contact Winecentives or visit their website for a complete schedule. The room seats 45 people and can also be rented for private events.

The Wine Steward
641 Main
(925) 600-9463
www.thewinesteward.com
[Wine Steward] In addition to its many other wonderful features, downtown Pleasanton is also the location of The Wine Steward, which offers the East Bay’s largest selection of specialty wines at all prices. The store also offers wine appreciation classes, tasting events, and winery dinners. Its wine tasting bar—where you can taste from six to eight new wines each week—is open Thursday and Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday from 1:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The store is open from Monday to Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m.

 

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