Hayward Is Chic But Not Too Chic
The next big low-key thing is Hayward, thanks to a burgeoning downtown with healthy nightlife and other crowd magnets.
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On a recent weeknight at the Turf Club, straight men sat at the bar watching baseball, young lesbians crooned Spanish karaoke in the back, older gay men danced and sang along, and young couples of all stripes sat on the patio enjoying the warm evening and cold beer. On weekends the Turf Club hosts live bands, everything from Latin to R&B to old school rock ’n’ roll.
Hayward might be changing, but it has still retained its unique Hayward-ness. Tommy’s Doughnuts is still there, complete with its bizarre retro chef’s-hat sign. Val’s still serves the best burgers around. You can still get your biker boots fixed at the Cobbler’s. And the very first Arthur Miller Dance Studio remains on Foothill Boulevard, and you can still go there to become a competitive ballroom dancer.
“We’ve always had regulars, but not a lot of people from outside Hayward,” said a bartender at the Stein Lounge. “People thought Hayward wasn’t so hot. But now all these new people are stopping by, and every night is different. Sometimes it’s hip-hop, or country, or oldies. From where I sit, it’s just wonderful.”
Guide to Hayward Nightlife
Turf Club, 22519 Main St., 510-881-9877
The Stein Lounge, 939 B St., 510-537-6770
Funky Monkey, 22554 Main St., 510-733-2334
The Bistro, 1001 B St., 510-886-8525
Buffalo Bill’s, 1082 B St., 510-886-9823
Bijou, 1036 B St., 510-888-1092