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Thursday, April 9, 2009

San Felipe Entertainment Venues

San Felipe’s Entertainment Venues
by Carlos and Julia Bono of Sahuaros Realty

Being entertained in San Felipe is practically impossible to avoid, unless you don’t ever go out! An impressive number of establishments and watering holes are ready to entertain tourists and locals alike with a variety of enticements, ranging from live music to table dances. Basically, San Felipe offers something for just about everyone.

For starters, a great selection of restaurants features entertainment of different kinds throughout the week. The Lighthouse Restaurant for example, currently hosts a lively Karaoke night on Tuesday with The Singout Sisters and Chuy, as well as featuring live music with the premier San Felipe blues/rock band Agave Blues on Fridays and the popular folk/country duo 2AM on Saturdays. In addition to entertainment, The Lighthouse Restaurant also features award-winning food and a full bar. Proprietor Tim Outzen, who operates the restaurant with his wife Maria and son Steve, aptly sums up his business philosophy, “We just do our best to make as many people happy as we can.”

Other popular San Felipe restaurants that regularly offer live music on weekends include Beach Bar and Grill at Playa de Oro, Juanito’s Cantina at El Dorado Ranch, The Happy Jackass at Los Arcos, the restaurant at Pete’s Camp, and Baja Java’s new location north of town. Live music can also be heard occasionally at The Hacienda de Langosta Roja, Rosita’s and The Latin Garden Restaurant.

Of course, if you just want to dance, be sure to visit the world-famous Rockodile nightclub on the Malecon. This large dance club is geared toward U.S. tourists, and it offers multiple dance floors with different sound environments, a full bar and its own souvenir shop! The Rockodile also hosts special sports events such as wrestling and boxing matches. Also fun for dancing is the Beachcomber Bar and Nightclub, which has an upstairs open air dance floor, a full bar and a stage area in the back that is perfect for private parties. The Miramar Bar, a fixture on the Malecon since the 50s, offers dancing to traditional Mexican cumbias that are performed live on Saturday nights at 10 p.m. The bar also has table tennis and pool tables for patrons.

Other bars sometimes offer entertainment. For example, Fandango’s Bar and Grill currently has live music on Wednesdays, and is expanding its food menu. The relatively new and stylish V-Lounge on Mar de Cortez has a big video screen to show movies on Wednesday nights, and The Barefoot Bar at the El Cortez Hotel, which has an attractive, rustic décor, also sometimes hosts live music.

Regarding adult entertainment venues, the most prominent is The Iguana. Located on the Malecon, this popular table dance venue opens from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. on weekends, with shows starting at 8 p.m. On a small backstreet located two streets off the Malecon, and across from the appropriately-named “Sexy” boutique, is Al’s Backstreet Bar. Al sometimes hosts live music and his bar is creatively-decorated with photos and a jukebox that would make a New York or Chicago native feel right at home. Al’s is a great place to watch a ball game, eat or just have a drink. To the north of Al’s is the Café Cantante El Imperio, a floor show/table dance venue that is another popular hotspot for adult entertainment. If betting on sports is your thing, then you might enjoy Caliente, a sports bar with pool tables and sports betting.

Last, but certainly not least, is Bandidos Bar and Grill, a relatively new and impressive multi-media entertainment venue located on Mar de Cortez. Bandidos offers a large, fresh nightclub environment with as many amenities as older venues; however, since the venue’s regular entertainment and special events cater more to the local Mexican population, it’s a great place to experience some local culture. A recent addition to the venue is the huge, high-resolution video screen, stage and dance floor. Sunshine Rodriguez, the proprietor of Bandidos, plans to show televised sports events and movies with English subtitles. He also intends to continue to host live music concerts and cockfights, and he has plans to allow families with children into the venue at special, alcohol-free events.

Whether you favor live music, dance clubs, or just a cold cervesa and and good conversation, San Felipe has the place for you.

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