Nightlife in Santa Cruz


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  • Rosie McCann's Irish Pub and Restaurant
    Rosie McCann's specializes in twists on traditional Irish fare, tweaking classic Celtic dishes and drinks in a traditional pub setting. The menu showcases plates of irish nachos, sliced spuds slathered in jack and cheddar cheeses, olives, fresh salsa, guacamole, sour cream, and jalape?os. The Americanized version of shepherd's pie simmers grass-fed Humboldt beef and vegetables in a rich irish stock before adding a helmet of mashed potatoes au gratin. Heftier appetites can get satisfaction with bangers & mash, a Celtic take on the English classic, that douses irish sausages and garlic mashed potatoes in Guinness gravy. 10 premium imports or 4 microbrews stand ready on tap, and malt mixologists also pour specialty beer drinks such as the Black Velvet, a whistle-whetting blend of Blackthorn hard apple cider and Guinness. The dining room echoes the colors of the Irish flag, with burnt-red walls and bright-green stained-glass windows. Guests can cozy up in plush booth seats bedecked in plaid and gaze at glass chandeliers that hang from the ceilings as they sip on mimosas or savor lunch and brunch fare.
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    1220 Pacific Ave
    Santa Cruz, CA US
  • The Palomar Ballroom
    Every week, The Palomar Ballroom's 80-year-old space reverberates with a DJ's Latin beats and synchronized salsa shimmies. Beneath a baroque chandelier, couples twirl passionately enough for the New York Times to deem this salsa party the "spiciest spot downtown." Owner and award-winning ballroom dancer Jeremy Pilling prizes the supportive atmosphere that allows his students to commingle at these parties, whose themes can also cover Argentine tango and swing. To lead up to its festivities, The Palomar Ballroom hosts drop-in classes, weekly series, rehearsals for routines, and private lessons for dancers that range from beginner to expert. During these sessions, seasoned instructors stress the social aspects of dance while teaching the techniques, rotating partners often so that they can learn different ways to twirl, dip, and ceremoniously lacerate a rug. Visiting dance champions also lead workshops on their specialties, showcasing advanced steps in cha cha, samba, swing, rumba, and other styles.
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    1344 Pacific Avenue
    Santa Cruz, CA US
  • Motiv
    Winner of the Santa Cruz Weekly 2013 Gold Award for Best Dance Club and Best Fancy Cocktails, Motiv expertly slings tapas-style eats and a wide selection of drinks in a lively lounge space. Tucked along Pacific Avenue and Pearl Alley in a stucco building with a corrugated-tin roof and flowering window boxes, Motiv’s serene Old World–exterior belies its energetic dance floor, sleek wooden bar downstairs, and intimate restaurant-lounge upstairs. Half pound grass-fed burgers, skirt steak dinners and Jorge's famous tacos populate the shareable menu, and top-shelf liquors are mixed into specialty cocktails. Nightly live music delivered by a stable of DJs encourages diners to extend evenings by shaking a leg or showing off neon puffy-paint monograms under the colorful disco lights.
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    1209 Pacific Avenue
    Santa Cruz, CA US
  • Vino Prima
    At Vino Prima, the wine pours freely. Surrounded by 360-degree views of the Santa Cruz wharf and sparkling lights of the boardwalk, patrons soak in the views as they sip their choice of wine by the flight or glass, with a rotating selection of 30 wines pouring daily. Enclosed in their protective casings, more than 150 boutique wines are also available by the bottle, which can later be filled with a miniature version of your favorite 14th-century shipwreck. On some weekends, belly dancing and live-music sessions create a lively atmosphere to complement the always-flowing libations.
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    55 Municipal Wharf
    Santa Cruz, CA US
  • Nickelodeon Theatre
    "The Nick" showcases alternative, foreign, and art-house films in a theater steeped in the stylings of Hollywood. Beyond the elegant marquee lights, in a smoothly styled lobby, the walls are accented with stained-glass detailing comedy and tragedy masks. The retro chic movie house boasts two intimate and two large screens, which will soon play host to a bevy of upcoming shows. Current features include Academy Award nominees Black Swan, Another Year, The Illusionist, and Biutiful, the story of a crime boss who is diagnosed with a serious illness which forces him to reconcile his good intentions with his lawless lifestyle.
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    210 Lincoln St
    Santa Cruz, CA US
  • 515 Kitchen and Cocktails
    Santa Cruz's 515 Kitchen and Cocktails' classic Greek dishes will take you back to the old world. Taste comes first on the menu here, so low-fat chow is a world away. 515 Kitchen and Cocktails is not only a restaurant, it's also a bar. Surround yourself with the wonderful weather at your next night out at 515 Kitchen and Cocktails. 515 Kitchen and Cocktails is well-known for being able to seat large parties. Weekends can get packed, so take advantage of the bar's reservations. No need to put on airs for a trip to 515 Kitchen and Cocktails — the dress code and ambience at this bar are totally laid-back. Those driving to 515 Kitchen and Cocktails can choose to find street parking or leave their vehicle in the nearby lot. Store your bike at one of the many racks outside of 515 Kitchen and Cocktails. Meals at 515 Kitchen and Cocktails are affordable, with the average tab amounting to about $30 per person. Save the cash for another day and pay by major credit card at 515 Kitchen and Cocktails. Morning, noon, or night, you can head on over to 515 Kitchen and Cocktails since they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
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    515 Cedar St
    Santa Cruz, CA US

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