Drunk people all around the world are drinking right now. You should drink, too. And according to the grapevine, Worthington’s Tavern is the best bar in the Empire to catch your fade. With DJs mixing old-school classics and a chill staff, the mountains are always blue at this favorite. (John Waterman)
Worthington’s Tavern, 3587 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 779-9169; www.facebook.com/worthingtonstavern.
The Master Brewers at Hangar 24 Craft Brewery are a compilation of some of the more innovative suds chemists in the land. These high-flying brew hounds have been servin‘ up suds since 2008, and are marketing everything from their classic Orange Wheat to tasty seasonal specialty brews all over Southern California. (JW)
Hangar 24 Craft Brewery, 1710 Sessums Dr., Redlands, (909) 389-1400; www.hangar24brewery.com.
BEST CLUB DJ
By day, Redlands multi-tasker Marquis Howell is slapping the bass for Hobo Jazz. By night, he’s DJ Hobo—spinning tracks from the ’20s through the ’50s like mad to keep the crowds at The Vault (his hometown haunt) and other joints happy and tuned in. That’s no jive. (GD)
BEST COCKTAIL BAR
Conveniently located next to The Glass House, Acerogami is prime for getting your pre-show drinks straight up—and you’d be doing it in a place with architecture that seems inspired by modern art and drunken angles. Is it an architecture-meets-origami experiment? Is it a bar? Have a mixed drink, then decide. (JW)
Acerogami, 228 W. 2nd St., Pomona, (909) 865-0979; www.myspace.com/acerogami.
BEST DANCE CLUB
Silk The Club
If groovin’s your gig, Silk is proud to be the largest (30,000 square feet, with a 1,400 capacity) nightclub in SoCal—and a Vegas-style one at that! With celebrity DJs on the ones and twos, VIP bottle service and the largest fiber-optic chandelier in the world your night at Silk’ll be as smooth as the drinks. But dress to impress and make sure to leave your ball caps and sneakers at home or you might have to find your way to The Roxbury. (JW)
Silk The Club at Pechanga Resort & Casino, 45000 Pechanga Pkwy., Temecula, (877) 711-2946; www.silkatpechanga.com.
BEST DIVE BAR
The Hideaway, which is rumored to have been a Hell’s Angels hangout in a past life, now plays host to a diverse crowd, but it still has that classic biker bar feel. The place has everything from pool tables to karaoke, but the centerpiece for the bar has to be the oh, so elegant stripper pole. So if you stick around the place long enough, a boozed up hellion is likely to make your head spin. (JW)
The Hideaway, 32392 Mission Trail, Lake Elsinore, (951) 245-4919; www.myspace.com/meatthebar.
BEST GAY BAR
Appropriately coined The Menagerie, this cabaret features cheap beer, strong drinks and a stellar staff who’ll be sure to get you a drink when your liver is depending on it. Plus there’s history here: It’s the longest running bar in Downtown Riverside and they say they’re one of the first establishments to do ’80s theme nights. Alright, maybe you might not be “Fabulaus,” but if you’re down for the dancing and drinks then you’re good to go. (JW)
The Menagerie, 3581 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 788-8000; www.clubmenagerie.com.
If you’re tired of sitting at the pad polishing off 30 blocks of Natural Light every night because you want to save some cash, find your way to RA Sushi between three and seven on any night of the week. Stop in and help yourself to some real beer like a self-respecting barfly. Oh, and the sake here—killer. (JW)
RA Sushi, 2785 Cabot Dr. Suite 101, Corona, (951) 277-7491; www.rasushi.com.
BEST HIPSTER BAR
The Press is as good a place as any for anyone that’s 151 Proof to break out the English Laundry. With a healthy drink menu and live tunes, they’ve got all the necessities on lock. Just remember, if you can’t remember anything from the night before, it’s obviously ’cuz you had a great time! Just leave the ironic T-shirts at home. (JW)
The Press Restaurant, 129 Harvard Ave., Claremont, (909) 625-4808; www.thepressrestaurant.com.
BEST HOOKAH BAR
For those who didn’t stop smoking hookah at the age of 18 and want to taste the exotic, the Velvet Room has an awesome ambience to kick your feet up and get down like everyone’s favorite peculiar caterpillar. With some of the most exotic hookah flavors in the IE and happy hour specials, it’s enough to make even the Marlboro man hit the water pipe. (JW)
Velvet Room, 4323 E. Mills Circle Suite 108, Ontario, (909) 989-6161; www.myspace.com/velvetroom909.
BEST JAZZ CLUB
The Hip Kitty
Jazz music lovers expect a certain elevation of class when it comes to various associations with their genre, and the Hip Kitty Jazz & Fondue’s offerings are well in line with such ideas. For starters, the place is gorgeously decorated, with a pleasant stage that delivers stellar sightlines, yet won’t greatly distance the listener from the performer. Then, top that with drinks, fondue and a room that’s audibly pleasant for be-bop combos, Latin ensembles or solo performances. (GD)
Hip Kitty Jazz & Fondue Lounge, 502 W. 1st St., Claremont, (909) 447-6700; www.hipkittyjazz.com.
With the tunes rocking ’till the clock strikes two and a healthy dose of classics on the box to go along with the more obscure mixes, The Sire is a well-rounded place to eat, drink, listen to some music and drink some more. Start flattening those dollar bills. (JW)
The Sire, 6440 Magnolia Ave., Riverside, (951) 683-7473.
BEST KARAOKE BAR
Sporty’s is the spot where you’re actually encouraged to butcher any Journey tune of your liking. So if you’re one of those drunkards who is down for a drunken sing-along, all you gotta do is pick up the mic. Just a tip: The drunker the crowd is, the better you sound. (JW)
Sporty’s, 21779 Temescal Canyon, Corona, (951) 277-9786; www.myspace.com/sportysbarinc.
BEST PICKUP BAR
This SoCal honky-tonk has one of the best college nights in the region, and it’s sure to attract more than a few long-legged ponies. The BI is the place to say, “waddup” to the lushies as long as you can get past the country tunes thrown in the mix. But for 50-cent beers, you gotta make allowances. (JW)
Brandin‘ Iron Restaurant/Saloon & Dance Hall, 320 S. E St., San Bernardino, (909) 888-7388; www.brandinironsaloon.com.
Liam’s Irish Pub
Liam’s is always a kickback place to drink me grog, and catch some live Irish drinking tunes. With special events and drink specials every day that ends in Y, they definitely know the value of a drink. But if you find yourself unable to commit, grab a Black and Tan and call it a day. (JW)
Liam’s Irish Pub, 1089 S. Mount Vernon Ave., Colton, (909) 422-9900; www.myspace.com/liamsirishpubcolton.
BEST SMOKING BAR
Mission Tobacco Lounge
If you’re unsure what to order at this lounge, just make your way to the bar and order a shot of your favorite poison and a big-ass brew (they’ll know what you’re talking about). And if you’re one who favors the classy leaf and tingle of nicotine, they have a smoking lounge in back where you can sip on some bourbon and burn one like Capone. (JW)
Mission Tobacco Lounge, 3630 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 682-4427; www.missiontobaccolounge.com.
BEST SPORTS BAR
The Fox Sports Bar and Grill
When your old lady keeps hassling you to handle some chores you’ve been putting off every time you sit down to catch the game, maybe it’s time to find a decent taproom to call home. With $3-$4 draft beers on deck all day and wing and taco specials, The Fox is a nice alternative—who wouldn’t want their female servers dressed in oh-so-sexy striped referee-inspired uniforms? And don’t worry, the only thing a chick’ll nag you about here is to answer her when she asks if you want another beer. (JW)
Fox Sports Bar and Grill, 333 S. Garey Ave., Pomona, (909) 784-3671.
BEST STRIP CLUB
If a bit of T and A is your preferred poison, Spearmint Rhino is the place to get your fix. The joint is an 18+ club, which means no booze (cue dramatic music), but they make up for it with a staff of dancers who’ve got skills with a pole. You won’t hear a whole lot of electric porno jazz guitar in this club, but it’s positively the place for those who like to party naked. (JW)
Spearmint Rhino, 312 S. Riverside Ave., Rialto, (909) 873-2257; www.spearmintrhino.com/1srrialto.html.