I’ve been to my fair share of clubs and bars. San Jose has dozens of them spread across our downtown area. A common question from friends who live out of town often asks, “Which one is worth going to?”. Depending on the type of crowd and music there are many to choose from. The more popular clubs and bars are the hip-hop driven which caters more to the younger and inexperienced college bound students.
Vivid, formerly Studio 8, has a very large venue and is very popular with the Asian crowd. The spacious floor, high ceiling, and recently new décor give it a very upscale feel, but then it’s San Jose. There’s no such thing as an upscale club here. The music is mostly hip-hop and they regularly have events with celebrity appearances, but usually no one ever sees them. Out of all the clubs Vivid is bar-friendly. They have three bars where you can get drinks. Other clubs have one and usually can take up to 15 minutes just to get the bartender’s attention.
Vault is a small club. The building itself use to be a bank so its name is quite appropriate. Given its size it’s one of the smaller clubs downtown. The dance floor is comparable to an extra large walk-in closet. If you’re there to dance be prepared to rub elbows with the sweaty and sticky lad behind and to the sides of you. The crowd is a bit of a mixed of non-Asians. So if you’re the type that is tired of the Asian infested clubs, the Vault is a viable choice. Music-wise it’s hit or miss.
Taste Ultra Lounge is a club I personally dislike. There’s nothing ultra about it, other than being ultra lame. The club is very poorly managed. The people who manage it worries too much about making it look like a cool club than actually being a cool club. One thing I can attest to is not to forget to close your tab at the bar. Even if you want to close out your tab the following day they’ll refuse and ask you to come back at some ridiculous time. Taste is probably one of the main reason why some people call our city “Man Jose”. The guy to girl ratio is ridiculous. On average it’s usually 6 guys to every girl. The only thing going for this club is its venue. The venue conveniently has a large outside patio-like area and two dance floors. But for some reason the larger dance floor is rarely open or sometimes they wait till late in the night to open it up. With this being the more popular Asian infested clubs you can expect hip-hop music to be the norm here.
Angels is the red-headed step child of the clubs in San Jose. I’ve been there many times and never had there been one time where I had fun. Every weekend I hear some sort of party at Angels, yet friends of mine come back saying it “sucked’ or worse. They have a decent dance floor, but rarely anyone dances probably due to the music. They play a mix of hip-hop and different kinds of mash-ups something that does seem to go well together. People literally come to buy drinks and stand around and leave. The smoking section located outside near the door has more action than anywhere else in the club. If you’re the type that likes to pay a $10 cover to stand around, smoke and watch people stand in line only to see them leave minutes then Angels may be your favorite club.
These are just a few of the clubs in San Jose. Like all clubs some nights are better than others. Be sure to check out the scene beforehand through friends and other contacts. There’s nothing worse than going to a dead club full of sausage. Stay tuned for the second part of this post, “Bars and lounges”.