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New Times: A Guide To Clematis Street

“Your first stop should be Kapow!, located on the westernmost stretch referred to by locals as the 500 Block. It’s best known for its slammin’ Kapow-er Hour happy hour. From 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. the bar staff will sling the bar’s best deal: $5 draft beer, Sapporo, and half-priced wines by the glass. Pair them with small plates, dim sum, and gyoza tacos priced at $5 to $10 with options including truffle oil and parmesan cheese-infused grilled shishito peppers or a trio of ahi tuna poke tacos topped with sesame, avocado, and tosazu dashi vinegar.”

“For live music. If you’re looking for a good show, there’s no better place than Respectable Street. Located at the start of the 500 block, this live music spot is not only one of the city’s — but also one of the county’s — longest-running live music venues. It first opened in 1987 and remains among the city’s oldest watering holes. It’s kind of dark and dingy at this point — the place has hosted over 1,000 live acts — but that’s part of the allure. Doors open at 9 p.m. for most shows, but the fun doesn’t really get started until much later, and doors close at 3 a.m. Expect to find off-beat acts and discover new music. Owner and music lover, Rodney Mayo of Subculture Restaurant Group, still has a hand in deciding who takes the stage, so it’s a well-curated list of up-and-coming artists. Once-unknown acts such as the Misfits, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the Damned made early appearances here.”

“For a slinky jazz vibe. Head next door to Voltaire. Up a narrow flight of stairs, you’ll find one of the city’s coolest lounges. Like any good cocktail bar, this stylish venue has a strong speakeasy vibe. Named after and inspired by the 18th-century writer and philosopher of the same name, the spot is an ode to those who advocate for freedom of expression. Feel free to do just that with a drink or two in hand. The unique, multi-dimensional concept features a library of libations and spirits, including a varied selection of absinthe. Hungry after all of that creative loafing? In-house Yellow Jack Sushi provides some truly beautiful sushi offerings (and a ton of sake) for all your late-night noshing needs.”

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