Entertainment in the Tri-Valley: From Poetry to Karaoke, There's Something for Everyone

Entertainment means different things to different people. While some prefer to listen to live rock & roll or dance the night away, others prefer to escape into the world of movies or sip a warm cup of coffee and listen to original prose. Whether you're a resident or visitor to the Tri-Valley, the options for leaving your day-to-day tasks behind and having a little fun are numerous and varied. The Valley's offerings are so diverse, in fact, that it's likely you'll find something undiscovered and new in this guide to add to your entertainment plans.

Entertainment in Hacienda Bamboo Island Restaurant & Bar 4889 Hopyard Rd. 925-469-6266 Most Saturday nights starting at around 7:30 p.m., visitors to Bamboo Island are treated to a variety of live music ranging from jazz to Hawaiian to cover bands. The restaurant offers Pacific Rim cuisine in a comfortable island atmosphere. Every day, the bar opens at 4:00 p.m. with dinner starting at 5:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday the restaurant and bar are open until 9:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday they are open until 10:00 p.m. Call Bamboo Island for more details on entertainment schedules.

Borders Music, Books, Cafe 4575 Rosewood Drive 925-227-1412 www.borders.com 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 percent on the purchase of regularly priced items. You can frequently find live music on Friday evenings and the Borders Cafe serves up beverages and snacks to snip and nibble while you enjoy your visit. Borders is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

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 piano bar music Monday through Friday from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., as well as on Sunday afternoons from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. during brunch. 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.

ShBoom 4825 Hopyard Road, in the Gateway Center 925-734-0666 www.shboomnightclub.com ShBoom has been providing entertainment in Hacienda for over a decade. The club is open Wednesday, Friday, and 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 dinner buffet. Every night gives revelers a chance to dance to their favorite hit songs of the 1950s through today. 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. Livermore 925-456-2400 www.wentevineyards.com Wente Vineyards' renowned Summer Concerts in the Vineyards series features performances by top-name headliners with the ambiance of a spectacular vineyard setting. The performances take place during the months of June, July, August, and September. Upcoming concerts include the Go-Go's, The Beach Boys, Brad Paisley, the B-52's, Natalie Merchant, and The Doobie Brothers. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster and information on concert schedules is available at the Wente Vineyards website or by calling 925-456-2424.

Live Bands

Players Lounge 7050 Johnson Dr. 925-463-8000 www.pleasantonhilton.com 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.

Union Jack Pub 725 Main 925-462-5596 www.unionjackpub.com Visitors to the Union Jack Pub will find video games, a pool table, and a jukebox. The Pub also has several TVs for the sports-minded. Every Tuesday is Band Jam night, every Wednesday and Friday guests dance to music played by a professional DJ, every Thursday visitors can enjoy or participate in Karaoke, and every Saturday a live band performs. During the warm spring and hot summer Sunday afternoons between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., visitors are entertained by the sounds of a blues band. The Union Jack Pub is open every day from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. and offers 22 drafts, specializing in European imports and microbrews, along with a full bar and California wines by the glass.

Food with Music

Barone's 474 St. John St. 925-426-0987 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 The Blue Agave Club features romantic Latin music from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The restaurant features high-end Mexican cuisine along with a full bar stocked with some 200 varieties of tequila and is open Sunday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Casa Madrid 436 Main Street 925-484 3877 www.casamadrid.com Along with delicious Spanish cuisine, Casa Madrid presents Latin music or jazz on most Thursday nights. Call Casa Madrid for details on upcoming acts. 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. 925-846-2233 www.coffeebeansandbistro.com Sip a latte and relax to solo artists and small musical combos from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday evenings, with occasional performances on Thursday evenings. Upcoming talent includes Latin jazz from Octave, easy listening from Highway One, Latin jazz/salsa from Ojada, and blues from T. Lane and the Nitehawks. The Bistro also has poetry readings, book club meetings, and more. Coffee Beans & Bistro is open Monday through Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and Sunday from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. For more information, see the complete calendar of events on the Bistro's website.

Hap's Original 122 W. Neal 925-600-9200 At Hap's Original, a pianist tinkles the ivories 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. seven days a week.

Main Street Brewery 830 Main St. 925-462-8218 www.mainstbrewery.com The Main Street Brewery features live music every Friday and Saturday night beginning at 9:00 p.m. that varies from blues and rock to reggae and zydeco. Upcoming performances include Generation Blue, Finding Stella, Rockslide, and the Beat Monkeys. The Brewery, located in the old Cheese Factory Building in historic downtown Pleasanton, has been making microbrews and food since 1995. The full-service restaurant and bar offers five home brews along with twelve rotating guest taps. The Brewery is open Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to midnight, and is closed on Monday.

Pleasanton Hotel 855 Main 925-846-8106 www.pleasantonhotel.com Every Friday and Saturday night from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., local combos like Major Link, Mixed Nuts, and Island Wave perform at the Pleasanton Hotel. During the summer months, the hotel offers live blues music on its outdoor patio every Thursday evening from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The "patio blues" season runs from late May through early October, and includes bands like Tattoo Blue, Delta Wires, and Johnny Nitro. 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 20 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

Regal Cinemas Hacienda Crossings 20 & Regal IMAX 5000 Dublin Blvd. 925-560-9600 Dublin The biggest thing in movies is IMAX and the Regal Cinemas bring the IMAX experience to the Tri-Valley. Films shown on the giant IMAX screen have included Fantasia 2000, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The IMAX Experience. 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 First opened in 1956, the Vine Theater has recently undergone a major remodeling and shows first-run movies on two screens.

Some Other Options

Alberto's Cantina 435 Main St. 925-462-2316 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 1807 Santa Rita Rd. 925-846-6108 Open daily, this informal club offers great food, drinks, pool tables, ping pong tables, air hockey, shuffleboard, and foosball. Two big screen TVs and over 15 other TVs are enough to please just about any sports fan. The Saloon is open 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 discussion 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, 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Winecentives 6040 Dougherty Road, Dublin 925-829-3222 www.winecentives.com Winecentives sells 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 a new 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.

Wine Steward 641 Main 925-600-9463 www.thewinesteward.com The Wine Steward is not only a place to shop for wine, but also offers wine appreciation classes and tasting events. All of its classes include tastings of the wines that are being studied. 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 closed on Monday and open Tuesday and 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 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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