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Huntington Beach Dining Offers an Eclectic Mix with Lots of Outdoor (Al Fresco) Opportunities

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Huntington Beach is not lacking for dining. There are several ocean view restaurants, and lots of outdoor restaurant tables where you can enjoy the beautiful fresh air while you eat. From the early days of the Golden Bear and other bars and clubs, Huntington Beach has been home to and hosted some fantastic musicians in lounges, restaurants, bars and clubs where great bands have enjoyed a usually receptive audience. It took a while for the bar scene to re-group when the Golden Bear left in 1986. To this day, there isn't one place to fill the gap for hosting known musical acts regularly. The closest to the Golden Bear is Martini Blues. A lot of entertainers from Hollywood drive down to Huntington Beach to play at this venue, featuring music daily, often in two of its three rooms. For straight on music, Martini Blues offers jazz, blues, rock, scant country and comedy regularly. For indie music, try Blue Cafe, formerly known as Kozmos, then The Brigg, the club changed hands and with its re-design, the old staff left. One spin-off from that management team is Marlin Bar. They've taken on the Cubensis tradition of offering weekly Grateful Dead entertainment. Marlin Bar also books a variety of rock bands. Note: Cubensis now has moved to Octane Alley, which used to be Martini Blues (can't keep up!)

For new rock and alternative check out Fitzgeralds. For traditional rock and new bands, Hurricane's, Tumbleweeds, Marlin Bar, Perqs and even Gallaghers offer good liquor drinks and rock solid rockin'. For post-punk, funk and rock, check out Surf City Saloon. For upscale adult live music--usually acoustic or jazz, check out Arbors Steak House, The Hyatt's Red Chair Lounge and Pete Mallory's Sunset Grille restaurant. A variety of acoustic tunes is offered throughout the coastal belt north. Robbie Armstrong is a house favorite in Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach and Seal Beach. He plays solo at the smaller restaurants and clubs many nights and brings a band on larger gigs on weekends primarily.

A couple of the places specialize in DJ and hip hop. Local regulations control whether live bands can play, if a restaurant can offer happy hour and if they can offer a DJ. In summary, the night time entertainment is available. It's 21+, ID a must. The age range stretches from 21 to old timers. Dancing can be found, though not salsa, ballroom or traditional dance, except in very small areas such as Arbors Steakhouse.

One annual event that runs for a month and a half is the Oktoberfest. It's a huge beer hall with a party crowd on Friday and Saturday nights. The dancing from German bands is the hokey-pokey Chicken Dance mixed with rock. The band goes back and forth between the sounds to satisfy a large blend of all ages. The result is something to a Mardi Gras, German style.

This calendar does not guarantee accuracy of information as events are subject to change.

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