The Old Wagon Saloon and Grill
73 N. San Pedro St.
San Jose, CA 95110
If you are looking for a chance to eat some slow-cooked pulled pork washed down with a bit of whiskey near a fire pit while considering the idea of playing a round of beer pong or shuffleboard after slipping in a few coins to play some jukebox jangles, then The Old Wagon Saloon is your perfect bar. Put on a hat, grab your pair of jeans (dirty or clean, doesn’t matter) and make your way to this casual spot in the San Pedro Square area.
The Rodeo Club
610 Coleman Ave.
San Jose, CA 95110
Giddy up to The Rodeo Club. This venue, with seven bars, two stages and a heated patio, attracts great country music acts – not just local twangers, but renowned crooners from around the nation. The bands usually play at The Rodeo Club on Thursday nights. Artists who have played in the past include Chris Young, Lady Antebellum, Edens Edge, Thompson Square and the Zac Brown Band. Tickets for these intimate shows are only $10-$15. Not only are the tickets cheap, but so are the drinks! If you happen to get to the bar earlier than when the concert starts, you might just get to learn a line dance or two. And what tops off any western restaurant, of course, is a mechanical bull rider. And yes, The Rodeo Club has it.
The Cats Restaurant and Tavern
17533 Santa Cruz Highway
Los Gatos, CA 95033
Loaded to the gills with history, this tavern has been hopping since the days of prohibition. Having been a speakeasy and brothel back in the early 1900s, the tavern now proffers guests with a mouth-watering menu, including some of the best smoked baby back ribs around. This tavern has been remodeled using wood from old water tanks and a Wells Fargo stage coach, all from the 1800s. The bar’s stage is built of solid mahogany from one of the oldest courthouses in San Jose, built in 1878. The tavern is decorated with murals and old western decorations salvaged from antique shops. The upstairs bar is constructed with wood once a part of King Louis the 13’s master bedroom.
The Saddle Rack
42011 Boscell Road
Fremont, CA 94538
If you do not want to pay a $20 cover charge, get to The Saddle Rack before 9 p.m. With line dancing, live country music bands, a mechanical bull and great drinks (sometimes poured down your throat with the easy ‘tip-back’ chairs), what more could you ask for? This is the place to go with friends of all ages. You’ll fit right in if you decide to put on your chaps, boots and cowboy hat. If you’re hungry, don’t fuss, because there is an In n’ Out burger right down the street.
2367 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95050
If you’re a southern native and now living in San Francisco, it’s probably safe to say that a good deal of time has been spent looking for the perfect BBQ joint that makes you feel right at home. Down-home southern cooking awaits. Add sweet, spicy and tangy sauces to your meats which have been slow cooked over a seasoned, Oakwood fire. Beef, ribs and brisket are yours for the savoring. For a look at this restaurant’s menu, click here.
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Kelly Gullo is a freelance writer in San Francisco, CA. Kellys topics are about music and nightlife. Kelly has also written a variety of articles on health and dieting and topics related to the environment. Kelly has a degree in journalism and public relations from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.