Pacific Avenue hasn't been the same since this landmark closed in March. Photo by Georgia Perry.
The Avenue (closed 2012) The most recent casualty to Santa Cruz's dive scene, the Avenue Bar and Cigars was the best place to watch overaged, underpaid prostitutes flash returning customers and new victims. Those who didn't want to see anything illegal happen simply had to close their eyes and listen to the sweet, sweet sounds of “I'll get you the money tomorrow!” No joke, Pacific hasn't been the same since March.
Hurry Back Inn (closed 2004) Like a piece from a Western movie set, this dank little standalone neighborhood bar on 41st Ave. near Pleasure Point had a certain aura about it—whether of defeat or authenticity, you had to decide for yourself.
The Knight Owl (closed c. 2000) According to one summation in Metro Santa Cruz, “If you've been 86'd from every other bar in Santa Cruz for being drunk and disorderly, then this is the place for you.” Also called the Fight Owl, this Seabright watering hole (now the Mad House) was famous for its sticky floors, which were overlaid with a smelly patina of peanut shells and cigarette butts.
The Silver Bullet (closed 1998) Revered for its “drink and drown” Wednesdays . An “I miss the Silver Bullet” Facebook page keeps the torch burning for this rowdy bar at Soquel and Front streets, which was leveled to make room for the parking garage. A recent conversation focused on whether Callahan's could be the new Bullet.