the selection isnt fantastic, but ok. lots of other cool things to do in santa cruz, and this seems like more of a local/townie bar with a big selection. doesn’t really give you the vibe of santa cruz.
Mercutio (20) Capitola, California | May 15, 2017| Updated May 17, 2017
Grubby. Geriatric in the afternoons. Fratboy hijinks at night. Tourists. With a goofy name like this you’d be right to imagine they pull a fairly unsophisticated beer crowd. The craft taps are generally middle tier but seem pulled together in earnest. That they always have a few Santa Cruz breweries on tap mitigates this somewhat but there never seems to be any white whales. Clean lines are not a given. Interior seems last refurbished in the 90s. If you’re a daytime drinker like me you’ll see details you wish you hadn’t. Besides almost 30 taps they have an extensive cellar of dubious up-to-dateness. Food is of the type requiring a grease dumpster out back. 99 bottles sounds promising but it’s a solid avoid for me.
Pay parking ($0.50/hour) nearby, which helps. This place is a little old fashioned both inside and out. The beer list mixes both bottles and draft, but at least the draft choices are marked. Not a lot to get excited about here; yes they have 100 selections plus or minus but most would be purchasable at a nearby bottle shop. The taplist is decent, with a focus on local breweries. I had a beer by Uncommon that I had not seen elsewhere. Bathrooms are clean, service is solid. Did not try the food, in part thanks to the scores here :). THere is some outdoor seating, as well as a decent sized bar and a more restaurant style area in back on the way to the bathrooms.
Went here as it was just a short walk from Surfrider. Nice looking restaurant with some patio seating and a fairly spacious interior. Decent sized bar area. Nothing that will really blow your mind on tap, but you can certainly get a good beer. Prices were around $6 for a pint. Food looked good, but didn’t eat anything. Service was kind of lax/slow.
Didnt spend much time here, just walked over from Surf Rider Cafe before heading out of town. There were two employees that were visible in the whole place. A bartender and a hostes. There were some people eating so I can only assume that there were servers around as well somewhere. Quiet place at 2pm on a weekday, go figure.
Beer selection was pretty good. Firestone, Green Flash, Port, and a handful of others on tap and 99 bottles listed. They do one of those deals where you get your name on the wall if you finish all 99 bottles on your punch card. My brother and his friends used to do this when they were at UCSC but I didnt bother because that was my first and possibly last time at this bar.
Service was friendly, prices were reasonable, and I didnt eat.
The bartender was a little aloof, but gave me great advice on a new beer to try based on my usual favourites, and his selection was a total hit. The rest of the crowd was a quirky mix, and we had plenty of time to hang out at the bar without feeling rushed.
I’ve been here a million times so I might as well review it.
This is a rather typical gastropub with a largish but unimpressive beer selection. Lots of widely available micros make this a quantity-not-quality place that someone new to craft beer can cut his/her teeth on. Unfortunately, for the experienced beer connoisseur, it gets old fast. The beer list has extremely low turnover, the food is fairly standard pub grub, the service is good but not great, prices are typical. They do have fun events like trivia night on Wednesdays and I think karaoke on another night. Unless you really like trivia or want a plaque on the wall (for sampling all 99 beers), there’s no real reason to pick 99 Bottles over 515 Kitchen and Cocktails or The Red Restaurant and Lounge, which are both less than 3 blocks away and boast wonderfully eclectic beer lists.