There’s nothing better than hangout that comes with some great people-watching. Throw in cheap drinks and a friendly atmosphere and you're there. That's what brings the regulars to Normandy House Lounge in Santa Clara.
The lounge, on the corner of Bascom and Newhall, has a retro look on the outside but great people on the inside. You’d never guess it’s a popular hang out for Santa Clara University students and seasoned pool sharks alike.
On week days it has a mostly dive bar feel. You’ll find older guys with great stories who can school you in darts, shuffleboard or pool. In fact, Thursdays you can play pool for free.
You can also stop in on Friday or Saturday nights after a late dinner or show. They have karaoke after 9 p.m. on the weekends. You’re likely to get a spot if you tell karaoke DJ Jeff (no jazzy in there as far as I know) you’re new to the place. Wireless mics keep you from being chained down to one spot, which I’ve heard is a deal breaker for some karaoke snobs.
Dance music breaks also give everyone a breather from the tone def guy belting out "Free Bird" or the girl who things she’s auditioning for American Idol.
DOIN’ IT WELL: The bartenders have to be some of the friendliest around. Get to know them and they will treat you right. Bartenders Paul and Marya are married, a pretty unique feat and a great example of the family feel. It’s hard not to become a regular. Also, check out their Facebook page to keep up-to-date on deals and events like a chili cook-offs.