I’m an all-season bar devotee, but there’s certainly something special about hitting the bars during the sweltering summer months in the IE. During the day, a dimly-lit old-man bar might do the trick, while the nighttime calls out for a terrace and pitchers of suds or sangria. Whatever your choice for libations, we’ve got you covered with a sampling of a few of our favorite drinking establishments that will cool you down.
VAULT MARTINI BAR
The Vault is still a choice spot in Redlands for live music, dancing and damn fine martinis—which makes sense. Small, funky and an original, the Vault is built for chillin‘ on their amazing patio during the summer.
Vault Martini Bar, 14 E. Vine St Redlands, (909) 798-2399; www.myspace.com/thevaultmartinibar.
HIP KITTY JAZZ & FONDUE
Jazz and fondue—they just go together. Or at least they do at the Hip Kitty, where they’re serving up local music, as well as melted cheese and bread to the tragically hip. Come for the tasty fondues and stay for some great music and people-watching.
Hip Kitty Jazz and Fondue Lounge, 502 W. 1st St Claremont, (909) 447-6700; www.hipkittyjazz.com.
THE SIRE BAR AND RESTAURANT
What would our list be without an old-man bar? The Sire is a hybrid; it’s a place to get an old-school cheap steak and a vodka and tonic, as well as a more traditional old man-style bar, with a cool smokers’ patio. Go, eat cheap grub and experience the unique joy of lowering the median age simply by bursting through the doors with your buddies.
The Sire Bar and Restaurant, 6440 Magnolia Ave Riverside, (951) 683-7473. So old school, these guys don’t even have a website!