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Review of Singlebarrel

Ranked #6 of 49 Nightlife in San Jose
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed March 9, 2013 via mobile

We had been looking forward to trying this place, and finally waited in line. We got in it just before 7 and it didn't take more than a half hour. I definitely expected it to be quieter. It's not TOO loud, but it's certainly not quiet. The ambiance is lacking. Decor could be more Art Deco, play some great jazz, or better yet- have a jazz band playing on a Saturday night. The drinks are great, service was extremely friendly. I think this place would be well served by a dress code (ie- keep it classy by making patrons be classy) and better enforcement of the vibe they try to portray. For a well-made cocktail, Singlebarrel is great. I would love to see them step up the atmosphere. If you're a speakeasy, make me feel like it. I've had one cocktail here and the experience isn't enough to keep me for another.

1  Thank wheressarawaldo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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15 - 18 of 18 reviews

Reviewed February 15, 2013

When I finally get a night out with my husband and friends, the last thing I want to do is to go to a place with a million rules. No groups of more than 6 (yes, they make you sit at different tables,) no loud talking (yes, they come around and shush you!) No picking your own drink the first time you go there (the bartender picked mine and it was terrible.) I did not like the clostrophobic feel of the under ground cave with no windows and I really hated having to wait in line for an hour just to get into the place. I get the whole concept and it would be a welcome addition to the San Jose nightlife if there was not so many damn rules!! I guess its either a love it or hate it kindof place. I am on the hate end.

2  Thank Jessica R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2012 via mobile

You wait in line upon arrival where you are greeted at street level by a professional ID checking, rule declaring, but courteous gentleman. Once a "bartender" is able to accommodate you the door greeter guides you to the basement where an extremely personable and knowledgeable mixologist greets you with a few questions of your preferences in taste. From those responses he creates an amazing concoction sure to please the most discerning customers taste.. The setting is a 20's - 30's speakeasy and the mixologists dress the part. A rather dark venue with sophistication in the air. Worth a stop if in the area. The parking lot across the street is convenient as well but many other lots are available a short walk away. Enjoy.

4  Thank meebse972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2012

I'm from NYC where speakeasy-style cocktail bars are a dime a dozen; hidden dens and underground lounges exist on practically every street downtown. I love exploring these locations for their atmosphere and craft concoctions, whether it's a classic sidecar or bartender's choice. When my cousin took me to Singlebarrel in San Jose, I felt right at home. The space is an industrial basement filled with couches and hightop tables. But the real experience is at the bar, where super knowledgeable bartenders break down your alcohol and mixer preferences. They then search their mental cocktail encyclopedia to come up with a drink for you on the spot. I loved how the bartenders took more time to ask for preferences than most busy NYC bars. Also, they explained why they picked the drinks they picked. I actually felt it was more interactive than NYC bars which was certainly a nice change of pace for this hectic city girl. Ended up with a Penicillin during bartender's choice round (right on the money, love a good Penicillin) and when I ordered a sazerac, got an excellent one. "Do you have a choice on rye whiskey?" "Whistlepig." Done and done.

2  Thank StephCain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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