Try to remember, if you can, what an average night out on the town looked like in Santa Clarita ten years ago. For the youth of this valley, late-night options were notoriously few and far between. If one was lucky, there might be live music around town, but at ritzy establishments where you’d likely be forced to buy an overpriced margarita. More often than not, my pals and I – many of us two-decade residents here – defaulted to a movie and board games at Starbucks instead.
Times have changed, of course: no matter the day you read this, your evening’s options are nearly limitless (though Santa Clarita still struggles with early close times and miserable suburban sprawl). Amidst this unstoppable expansion, several bars have emerged as the new heroes of contemporary local nightlife.
The Proclaimer now humbly offers a guide to five of the most impressive of these bars, which you can choose to visit based on a schedule that suits and your board game-exhausted friends. Don’t see your favorite local business on this list? Want to challenge our Community writers to Trivia? Feel free to leave a note in the comments section – but behave yourselves.
Tuesday: Live Music at Bergie’s Bar and Grill
There is a certain folksy charm to this truck-stop grill, which for decades has offered Santa Clarita’s most succulent burgers and steaks from its humble corner pocket on Sand Canyon. But on Tuesday nights, Bergie’s lights up with wall-shaking, roof-raising live music (blues, rock, bonafide honky-tonk) known to nearby residents for ringing out across the wash. Noise pollution aside, these weekly hoedowns are the spunkiest in town – especially if you’re one of the rare individuals who only works Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Wednesday: Trivia with Budds at Pocock Brewing Company
Pocock’s industrial park digs in Valencia are unassuming, but behind its tinted front door lies a warm, wooded interior. This young venue has become the preferred place for Jeopardy obsessives to get their buzzes on while snacking on food truck pizza every Wednesday. Pocock not only offers its own local brews – try the tangy, face-flushing “Nuptials” – but also up to 5 complimentary drink tokens to the winners of Wednesday night’s trivia, hosted by Trivia with Budds. Pop in for a pint and say hi to trivia host Cam, whose wry intelligence makes the night one of Santa Clarita’s most joyful.
If Bergie’s is the grizzled veteran on this list, The Backyard is the commanding upstart: its expansive “brews” list and quite delicious “grub” lend it an edge over the many similar bar-and-grill-style restaurants in the city. But most impressive is its unrelenting commitment to live shows from some of our most accomplished local bands (recent performers include The Saloonatics, The Modulates, and The G3 Band). That said, if anonymous calm is your vibe, The Backyard is not exactly your place. Arrive ready to jam out.
At one time, this tiny bar wedged into a strip mall on Soledad was an intimidating hang-out known primarily for its itinerant biker crowd. But Drifter’s has spent the last half-decade tapping its cool factor in two keys ways: with an increasing focus on high-end cocktails over canned beers, and with an expansive event calendar, including this popular weekend mainstay. Come for the delightfully boozy Manhattans (trust us: take a Lyft); stay to watch your friends embarrass themselves to the tune of “Someone Like You”.
Every 2nd and 4th Sunday: Warrior 2s + Cold Brews at Brewery Draconum
The Proclaimer wishes this wonderful 1-year-old addition to Santa Clarita nightlife a Happy Birthday. Now entering its second year in business, Draconum has partnered with Villa Vibes Yoga studio to host this all-ages, all-levels class in the name of inner healing every other Sunday at 11a. You might think, “That’s not really a bar night, in that case,” but remember the old adage: it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. Keep that in mind when starting to day-drink at this gorgeous draught house, where the patio is almost always full even on increasingly chilly autumn nights.