Published May 20, 2008
Volume 16, Number 5

Let Us Entertain You!

Photos above show (left to right, top row first)  Blue Agave Club, Hap’s Original, Faz Restaurant, Pleasanton Hotel, Redcoats British Pub & Restaurant, and AURA.  

The Tri-Valley might once have been a sleepy area where city sidewalks rolled up at dusk, but not anymore. Restaurants with live music animate pedestrian-friendly downtowns, while new regional theaters bring the performing arts into the community. Night club, comedy club, sports club—pick your choice from the list of entertainment options below.

In Hacienda

4825 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton
(925) 416-0777
A sophisticated dance club with a rotating schedule of pattering DJs and the occasional live band, Aura is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. The Hacienda nightspot serves the latest cocktails in a choice of environments: the Red Room, with its hip-hop and mash-up music, and the Blue Room with a fireplace and VIP seating. The club is also available for corporate events and holiday parties. Check the web site for the monthly calendar.

5121 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton
(925) 460-0444
In addition to its tempting Mediterranean-Near Eastern cuisine, this well-appointed restaurant in the Sheraton Four Points Hotel offers live jazz and blues from 5 to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday.

In Town

474 St. John St., Pleasanton
(925) 426-0987
This self-described “most romantic continental cuisine restaurant" presents live music on Friday and Saturday evenings as an accompaniment to its savory pasta, seafood, and meat entrées. The delightful outdoor patio provides views of a flourishing kitchen garden. Lunch is served Monday through Friday; dinner is available nightly
Blue Agave Club
625 Main St., Pleasanton
(925) 417-1224
It’s almost impossible to overlook this colorful Pleasanton institution, whose inviting courtyard proffers a ring-side seat for downtown people-watching. Open for lunch and dinner every day, the restaurant features “alta cocina,” high-end Mexican cuisine. The next Tequila-pairing dinner (the bar stocks some 200 varieties of tequila) is on June 19. Fridays and Saturdays feature live music from 7 to 9 p.m.

Hap's Original
122 W. Neal, Pleasanton
(925) 600-9200
Hap’s Original has been serving Certified Angus Midwestern corn-fed beef, aged 21-28 days, since 1999. Seafood and chops are also on the menu. Piano music accompanies diners on Friday and Saturday nights. The bar opens daily at 4 p.m.

Main Street Brewery
830 Main St., Pleasanton
(925) 462-8218
Open for lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Sundays, this  full-service restaurant spotlights native ales like Attaboy IPA, brewed with locally grown hops, along with a dozen rotating taps.  Live music Friday and Saturday nights begins at 9 p.m. Check the web site for the schedule—the selection ranges from high-energy rock to reggae. Wednesdays often feature Jazz & Wine Tastings; the next one is May 28 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Pleasanton Hotel
855 Main, Pleasanton
(925) 846-8106
There’s always something happening at this downtown landmark. On Tuesdays, you can enjoy traditional jazz and swing bands, followed by the John DeKoven and Friends Comedy Showcase every Wednesday. Thursdays from late May through September are given over to Blues on the Patio, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m, while the twice-monthly Mystery Dinner Show livens up Friday nights. On Monday evenings, attention turns to the kitchen as Executive Chef Chris Smith offers Participation Cooking Classes. Visit the web site to browse the most current monthly entertainment calendar.

Redcoats British Pub & Restaurant
336 Saint Mary St., Pleasanton
(925) 462-6600
This “rather posh pub located in a lovingly restored old building” serves traditional British and American fare. Dine outdoors on the shaded courtyard or the rear patio, or retreat to the mezzanine lounge for a quieter ambiance. On Friday and Saturday nights DJ Jason Shires spins hip-hop, rock-and-roll, and today's Top 40 from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Sunshine Saloon
1807 Santa Rita Rd., Pleasanton
(925) 846-6108
A dozen satellite dishes deliver the latest in televised sports to the multiple video screens scattered around this informal eatery. Along with DJ dancing on Friday and Saturday nights, patrons can enjoy a round of pool, ping pong, air hockey, shuffleboard, darts, or foosball. Food tends to be of the “comfort” variety, with burgers, steaks, seafood served from a charcoal grill.

The Oasis Grille and Wine Bar
780 Main Street, Pleasanton
(925) 417-8438
Offering an eclectic fusion of Afghan and Mediterranean cuisine, the Oasis Grille recently added a wine bar with light music and inviting plush chairs for before or after-dinner socializing. Call or visit the web site for hours and special events.

Tommy T’s Comedy and Steakhouse
5104 Hopyard Road, Pleasanton
(925) 227 1800
“A great place to sink your teeth into a steak, and catch a big name comedian tear into an unforgettable set,” proclaims the web site for this lively venue. Craig Shoemaker, named Comedian of the Year by the American Comedy Awards and a winner of two NATAS Emmy Awards, is on stage from Thursday, May 22 through Sunday, May 25; Christopher Titus takes the stage the following weekend. The web site has ticket information, show times, and menus.

Regional Draws

Amador Theater
1155 Santa Rita Rd., Pleasanton
(925) 931-5361
Owned and operated by the City of Pleasanton, the Amador Theater has served as the City's principal performing arts facility for over 60 years. The next event is the Broadway Chorus Memorial Weekend Concert, May 23, 24, and 25. Check the web site for times and tickets and other scheduled performances.

Bankhead Theater
2400 First Street, Livermore
(925) 373-6800
This $22.3 million, 500-seat theater, opened last October, is now the home base for many local performing arts organizations: Del Valle Fine Arts, Livermore Valley Opera, California Independent Film Festival, Livermore-Amador Symphony, Valley Dance Theater, Cantabella Children's Chorus, Pleasanton Playhouse, and the Valley Concert Chorale. In addition, the theater hosts Bay Area visiting ensembles, including the Pacific Chamber Symphony, Lamplighters Musical Theatre, and the Children's Theatre Center, as well as artists and ensembles across the U.S. and beyond. This month, the Valley Dance Theatre Company presents Reverence at the Bankhead Theater, a program that includes a full-length ballet  and excerpts from Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty.  Performances are Saturday, May 31, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 1, at 2 p.m.

Campo di Bocce of Livermore
175 E. Vineyard Ave., Livermore
(925) 249-9800
Whether dining indoors or out, players and spectators alike warm to the novelty of a meal alongside the eight world-class Bocce courts in this unique setting. The restaurant—Italian-themed, of course—is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. during the week, and until midnight on weekends.

Cinema West
2490 First Street, Livermore
(925) 443-SHOW
This new addition to Livermore’s downtown features the new high-definition digital projection and sound in all auditoriums, where movie-goers can relax in luxury rocking seats. Buy advance tickets at automated ticket kiosks 24 hours a day. Saturdays and Sundays bring Kidtoons movies at noon.

Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center
10550 Albion Rd., San Ramon
(925) 973.ARTS
Located on the Dougherty Valley High School campus, this  600-seat proscenium theater opened in November 2007, the fruit of a partnership among the city of San Ramon, the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, and the developers of the Dougherty Valley. There are still a few performances to enjoy before the spring 2008 season comes to a close. Admission is free to the Youth Symphony Spring Concert on Monday, June 9, at 7 p.m. On Saturday, June 21, stand-up comedian and actress Caroline Rhea performs at 8:00 p.m. The affiliated Front Row Theater, located nearby at 17011 Bollinger Canyon Rd, inside the Dougherty Station Community Center, presents Night At The Improv on Saturday, May 31, at 8 p.m. 

Garré Winery
7986 Tesla Road, Livermore
(925) 371-8200
From June 4 through September 24, Wednesday is Bocce Ball & Italian Dinner Night at this Livermore winery. Make reservations for seatings at 5:30 or 6:00 pm, and enjoy a four-course meal, complete with vineyard wines, on the patio before falling in behind Bocce Captain and Cellar Master Wayne Re as he coordinates instruction and group play on the outdoor courts. Upcoming special events include the Father's Day "Rockin’ in the Vines" BBQ buffet on Sunday, June 15th, from 12 noon to 3 pm; and Harvest Wine Celebration over Labor Day weekend, Sunday and Monday, August 31- September 1. Call or visit the web site for reservations and other events.

Hacienda Crossings 21 & IMAX
5000 Dublin Blvd., Dublin
(925) 560-9600
Regal Cinemas bring the supersized IMAX experience to the Tri-Valley. Other screens show first-run films, and all theaters offer digital sound and stadium seating.

Henry Beam’s Blue Bar
2293 First Street, Livermore
Good music and well-made cocktails are the hallmarks at this “big city style bar and nightclub.” On Thursdays the Pendletons entertain from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., while DJs spin tunes at the Blue Bar Night Club on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights. Closed Sunday. 

Livermore Valley Wine Growers Association
(925) 447-WINE (9463)
The member wineries of the Livermore Valley Wine Growers Association offer a tremendous selection of festive events, including themed tastings, and special music, food, and wine happenings. Check the association’s web site for the current calendar of events.

Stacey’s at Waterford
4500 Tassajara Rd., Ste. C, Dublin
(925) 551-8325
A younger sister to Stacey’s Cafe in Pleasanton, Stacey’s at Waterford offers California cuisine and an extensive wine list in glamorous, elegant surroundings. Its upscale cocktail area is popular with the after-work business crowd, who enjoy the live jazz Wednesday through Saturday from 5:30 - 9:00 p.m.

The Wild Vine
2187 First St., Livermore
(925) 243-0700 
Downtown Livermore’s first wine and beer lounge offers live music by local performers Friday and Saturday nights starting at 8:30 p.m. Thursday nights are reserved for Open Mike.  The food menu features a variety of light “nibbles,” from the cheese-and-salami plate to Chocolate Lava Cake. Closed Monday.

Vine Cinema
1722 First St., Livermore
(925) 447-2546
Along with its starring role in the California Independent Film Festival, the Vine offers first-run movies on its multiple screens. During the week, bargain matinee prices are in effect for all showings before 6 p.m.; on weekends and holidays the cut-off is 4 p.m.

Wente Vineyards and Restaurant
5050 Arroyo Rd., Livermore
(925) 456-2400
The schedule has been posted and tickets are on sale for The Concerts at Wente Vineyards, set in the property’s enchanting “ terraced outdoor amphitheater surrounded by gardens, vineyards, hillsides, and the tile-roofed winery.” Now in its 21st season, the series starts off with performances by Crosby Stills & Nash on June 9 and Earth, Wind and Fire on June 24; a dozen other headliners follow through mid-September. A new event this year is the Summer Dinner and Movie at Wente Vineyards. "Jurassic Park" plays at twilight on Monday, June 30, after dinner in the Café at 6:30 p.m. Call (925) 456-2424 or visit the web site for the concert schedule.

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