Volume 3, Number 7
by Your Scroomers
The Go-Go Bar industry is alive and well in Santa Clara County. That is a statement I couldn't have made just a few short years ago. With limited venues and a shallow pool of talent; the "Gentlemen's Clubs" in this area were in serious trouble. My associates here at the 'Tank had been noticing improvements of late. Several new locations opening, a general improvement among the second tier talent. We were unsure if this was indeed a renaissance or just a fluke. We decided we would have to look in on every go-go bar in the county, five to be exact... we further decided we needed to do it all in one night. The reason for this endurance test by our dedicated staff was really quite simple. The only way to be give accurate rankings of all the clubs was to see them at their best on the same night. That's just the way we are here at the 'Tank... committed.
We should probably set some background for our readers who are less than well-versed in the ways of depravity. First we are not talking about Strip clubs, we are talking about go-go bars. Strip clubs involve full nudity and in our unhappy suburban land they don't allow alcohol. If you are going to be spending long periods of time staring at women you can't possibly sleep with, alcohol is invaluable. Go-go bars involve women dancing in bikinis or lingerie and happily have full bars (with the two exceptions of The Brass Rail which shows videos of it's dancers topless and the HipHugger which only serves beer). The clubs in question are (in no particular order) The Brass Rail, Club T's, The HipHugger, The King of Clubs and the Candid Club. Santa Clara also boasts two strip clubs (The Pink Poodle and The Kit Kat) and what could best be described as an exotic dancing establishment (AJ's). At AJ's. the women are in bikinis, but it is far too seemly to be considered a true go-go bar. The major criteria we will be dealing with are level of talent, affordability, ambience and quality of the DJ. Now then, let's get down to the business at hand.
The first bar on our list was also the newest. The King Of Clubs, located in Mountain View, has just recently converted from neighborhood bar to go-go club. The change has been so recent that some of the locals don't seem to realize it has happened. This creates something of a double identity for the club. Your average local bar in the front, half-naked dancing girls in the back. The ratings are surprisingly high for such a new club. Talent is quite good for such a small pool. The ambience is comfortable with a special nod to the urinal filled with ice. It is very affordable, three bucks for a Pete's Wicked Ale and no forced tipping. There is no DJ with the dancers picking their own music from a jukebox. All in all, a very relaxing place with a good future.
Our next stop was The Brass Rail. The Granddaddy of them all, the Rail has always been the standard by which other clubs are measured. We didn't stop for long, just long enough to see if any changes had been made to fend off the challenge from T's. Unfortunately none had, as I've said we didn't stay for long, but then we could review the Rail in our sleep (which I once did, with unfortunate results since I was lying next to my significant other at the time). The talent level is improving after a raid by T's earlier in the year. The ambience is still the best by far, three stages, pool tables and utterly comfortable. They have improved their beer selection (though you can still get a cheap pitcher for about eight bucks) and there is no forced tipping. The DJ is good if nondescript. Overall the Rail is still the best in the county, though T's is coming on fast.
We were prepared for the worst at the next club. The HipHugger has never been one of the better go-go bars in the county. We were however quite pleasantly surprised. The Hugger is small with two stages and little else. The talent level was astounding with the only complaint being that one of the girls couldn't dance very well. That's akin to saying that you just won the SuperBowl but you didn't run the ball effectively. The ambience is spartan yet agreeable for what it is. Beers are inexpensive, but you can't escape from tipping the dancers. Don't get me wrong, I am a firm believer in tipping and tipping heavily. This just isn't the place to go when you have twenty bucks in your pocket. They do not have a DJ, the dancers choose their own music from a jukebox. Overall the Hugger has jumped several places on talent alone, but bring cash.
Next we made our way to the Candid Club. The CC has always vied with the Hugger for the bottom of the list. We fully expected that with the Hugger's improvement that the CC would now take sole possession. The Candid Club is also small with just a few dancers and one stage. Again the level of talent was surprising, not quite the level of the Hugger but impressive nonetheless. The ambience suffers from small size and a lack of decent seating. The beer selection is quite good and reasonable at four dollars a pop. There is no forced tipping unless you have to sit at the stage. There is no DJ and the songs seem to be on some sort of timer which can be disconcerting. Overall the Candid Club is a good little go-go bar but not really worth going out of your way for on a regular basis.
Our final destination was Club T's or Club Tease depending on where you look. T's is also a recent addition to the go-go bar scene. They have made all the right moves to usurp the Rail's dominance. The club is large with plenty of seating and a single, large, T-shaped stage capable of holding three dancers at a time. The talent level is unreal. The waitresses are more attractive than the dancers in many places. The dancers themselves are incredible. T's has made it a habit to pick the best talent away from the Rail and it shows. The ambience could be improved with more comfortable seating. The beer selection is good and prices are average. There is no forced tipping but in this club that really is beside the point. You will tip here, you will tip early, you will tip often, you will tip in large amounts. The DJ is the legendary Dave who was hired away from the Rail in one of the smartest moves T's has made. Dave can work wonders with average talent, with these dancers he is untouchable. With his ribald wit, fine sense of musical selection (he once did a Nothing-but-Elvis night on the anniversary of the King's death) and his trademark "Somebody Scream!!!" Dave is an icon. Club T's is very close to unseating the Rail as the best club in the area. The Rail gets the nod on comfortable ambience, but in every other category T's is the new standard.
Hopefully this will help if you are ever up for a night at the bars. In the coming months we will be doing more in depth reviews of the above clubs. That's why we're here. To provide you with the sort of useful information that just can't get anywhere else. What can we say...we're committed.