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A painfully retro neighborhood lounge steeped Vegas-style kitsch, the Cardinal Lounge looks like someplace your ornery grandmother would sit sipping sidecars and bitching about the Regan administration. Cheap cocktails and karaoke draw in a slew of quirky regulars that range from the barely legal to the barely living, and the über-convenient location inside the all-nite Cardinal Diner is perhaps the coolest thing we've ever seen. Just imagine: after downing a few shots and crooning a few rounds on the aging karaoke machine, you can wander into the dining room and sit down to a big plate of deliciously greasy diner food. Awesome.
Live local rock and dance bands play on the weekends, while DJs and karaoke draw crowds on most other nights. The convenient location inside the all-night Cardinal Diner is a definite plus. -- Metro Bars & Clubs, June 16, 2010
The dimly lit small club, which is decorated with mirrored walls and plenty of neon beer signs, is famous for its spicy Bloody Mary. Happy hour lasts from noon to 7pm and features a different drink special daily. Once everyone is happy, the club rolls out the cheap test-tube-style shooters filled with such sweet sensations as Cosmos or Purple Hooters at night. On Monday through Wednesday, karaoke draws a good amount of San Jose State kids who embarrass one another with hits from the '80s and '90s. Expect to hear at least one frat boy warbling Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places" on a regular basis.
2007 BEST OF SILICON VALLEY Staff Pick and Reader Survey Winner
First Place Best Late-Night Eats
Don't hang around and let your problems surround you, there are greasy foods (the Cardinal). Maybe you know some little diner to go to where they're rarely closed (the Cardinal). Just listen to the music of a crappy cover act, you'll be dancing with 'em too because you're really smashed ... The Cardinal ...
— Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper, September 26, 2007