United States > California > Santa Cruz
t0rin0 (990) Do Not Resuscitate, California | June 8, 2013
80 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 13/15 FOOD N/A VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 16/20
Visited June 8, 2013.
Took a while to find this place. I knew it was at the corner of Locust and Cedar but on that corner is a Red Restaurant (upstairs), a Red Bar (downtstairs, only has a handful of taps), and a Chinese restaurant with a bunch of red decorations hanging outside. Glad I found the right one.
Very cool lounge feel with couches everywhere and a fireplace. The hostess was nice and so was the bartender. Plenty of good taps, maybe not the most amazing tap list ever but still a good list. Would be fun to bring a group here.
Hoser (162) Cowtown, Alberta | September 25, 2010
70 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 9/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE 7/10 OVERALL 13/20
A cool ambiance to this place, a good tap selection and interesting food. Old couches, stain glass everywhere, a big old wooden bar.
nickd717 (80) San Francisco, California | January 11, 2010
70 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 7/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD 8/10 VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 13/20
Went here once for food and beers. The decor of this place is...um...interesting to say the least. It looks a little bit like a lounge from circa 1940. Itís very red. Still though, theyíve got a nice beer selection, assuming theyíre not out of your first, second, and third choice. Lots of good SoCal beers make it up here - AleSmith, Lost Abbey, etc, and you can get great Bay Area beers like Russian River, Bear Republic, Moonlight, Uncommon Brewers, etc. Sometimes theyíll have some surprising stuff available. Lots of taps, but again, the menu is rarely up-to-date, and youíll order a 5 beer flight only to be told theyíre out of 3 of them. Sort of sucks. Quality is also hit-or-miss, as it seems that some of the tap lines get sort of old at times. Food is solid though, very eclectic, and overall Iíd say this is a good place to go if youíre down in Santa Cruz.
Delirium (8) Copenhagen, Denmark | January 18, 2009
74 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD 7/10 VALUE 6/10 OVERALL 15/20
This bar varies greatly depending on when you go. During Thursday through Sunday evenings (say, after 7 or 8pm), and to a lesser extent on weekday nights, itís a crowded undergrad hangout, packed with UC Santa Cruz students, and not particularly pleasant unless youíre into the undergrad-college-student scene (and into not being able to ever get anything ordered).
During the rest of the time, especially daytime and early evening, itís an excellent beer bar, with the best tap selection in Santa Cruz (and an excellent bottle selection as well), decent food, and a nice atmosphere.
SamGamgee (182) down the whirlpool, California | June 21, 2008| Updated June 29, 2009
84 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 13/15 FOOD 8/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 17/20
The Red is definitely the top place to go for beer in Santa Cruz, but my latest visit confirms that there are some downsides to a large and constantly rotating selection. The tap list is large and varied, with a good mix of American, Belgian, And German beers, but today they were out of three of the beers that we wanted to try, and werenít sure what was coming up next in their spots. Also, the overall selection was not as good as previous visits, with no Alesmith, Lost Abbey or Moonlight. Still a good selection, and the best in town, but you never know what youíll get when you come in. Good service, and our waitress brought us a complementary Brother Thelonious when the second beer that we wanted had just kicked. The food is also pretty solid, and at decent prices. Iíll definitely be making repeat visits in the future, but scoring more obscure crafts on tap might take a little more persistence than I had previously thought.
Edit: they have had some Moonlight and Alesmith beers the last few times that I have been in, and even some Craftsman and Buery kegs. I really canít complain.
illidurit (20) Sonora, California | February 6, 2008
84 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 13/15 FOOD 9/10 VALUE N/A OVERALL 18/20
The Red is always packed with college students on Thursday through Sunday nights. Itís often very difficult to get a spot at the bar (or at anywhere else) when itís busy. They play hip music from an iPod over the speaker system and the whole place is lit by red lights and candles. Itís nice looking but noisy and busy.
The beer is a real treat here. They consistently have great stuff from AleSmith, Stone, Craftsman, Moonlight, Bear Republic, and Deschutes on tap. The bottle selection is also great but pricey. Normally theyíll have AleSmith, Stone, all 3 Rocheforts, Orval, Unibroue, and Lost Abbey.
Service is pretty good. Although itís difficult to get noticed over the droves of banana slugs, the bartenders are surprisingly competent. They use proper glassware, and if theyíre out of something, they generally know enough to recommend another beer or two of the same style.
The food is excellent. Instead of traditional pub grub, they make ritzy dishes with high quality ingredients. This makes it pricey but well worth it if youíre treating yourself.
Another great perk about The Red is that their liquor license allows beer-to-go. Thatís right, if you are willing to pay the high bottle price for beer that you canít find anywhere else around the central coast, you can walk right out the door with whatever you want from the bottle list.
tripelthreat (9) Soquel, California | December 17, 2006| Updated December 31, 2006
72 AMBIANCE 4/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 11/15 FOOD N/A VALUE N/A OVERALL 15/20
A cool space located above its older sibling bar, the Red Room, in the old Santa Cruz Hotel. Essentially one large room with a cozy double sided fireplace and red drapes that separate the lounge area and dining area. A very good selection of draught offerings and large bottles that changes enough to keep it interesting. Russian River, díAchouffe, Pizza Port/Lost Abbey, Fantome, Bear Republic, Rogue, HotD, Moonlight all on the menu at the time of this review. A very good selection of spirits as well. Decent wine list. The girlfriend says the food is hit or miss (never eaten here myself). Bar service is acceptable. Its a popular place with the University crowd so plenty of young college/hipster types to middle age demographic also. Gets very busy and loud on with live music or a DJ playing on Friday or Saturday nights. Decor is a little too red for me (makes it difficult to see tap handles) but a huge plus for me is that the Cali indoor smoking ban is actually enforced here unlike the Red Room downstairs and other bars in town. My preference is to enjoy a beer in the afternoon and enjoy the ample woodwork and cool skylights of the old building or on a weekday night when you donít have to shout. A place worth going to more often
jazz88 (6) San Francisco, California | January 5, 2006
78 AMBIANCE 5/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 12/15 FOOD N/A VALUE N/A OVERALL 16/20
I went here late in the afternoon on new years eve 2005/2006. We went to the upstairs bar area (enter from the street up the stairs on Cedar street). They had a surprisingly good and diverse beer selection on tap with some belgian beers, La Folie, Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter, etc. They also indicated that two AleSmith beers were coming soon (including Speedway). I would definitely go back here. I did not see what they had on tap downstairs. This place has a great feel with lots of couches, comfortable chairs, a fireplace, and a nice bar area..
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