Last night I joined a friend at a piano bar – Vahl’s in Alviso.
I haven’t been to a piano bar since I lived in Los Angeles, and I have missed it soooooo much.
Vahl’s is not an LA piano bar by a long stretch. You don’t want to throw your best Sondheim or your favorite esoteric song from In Gay Company or Minnie’s Boys at the pianist. At 60 I was one of the youngest singers there. They do the standards there – the old standards, which is just fine with me.
As a kid, I was never much for current music (barring the Monkees, which of course, I adored). I had my car radio tuned to a station that played the standards of the 40s and 50s. This is my kind of music, and these are my people, my people. Every song that was sung I knew, and as each started I had to comment, “Oh, that’s a nice song.”
They also have a drummer and bass! Pretty cool.
Some of the singers are amazing (especially given their age – one gentleman is 94), and others not so much, but everyone is supportive and friendly – and so welcoming. And it’s the kind of place where you can get up and sing and not have to worry about leaving your purse on the table.
There is a railroad track right next to the place, so every now and then you have a big ass train barreling through, but that just adds to the charm as far as I’m concerned.
They run the piano bar Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (Sunday is a different pianist, so I don’t know what she’s like to work with – Anita, who plays on Fridays and Saturdays is a great accompanist – especially for the folks who need a little extra help). And the schedule is perfect for old folks like me Fridays and Saturdays it’s 6-10, and Sundays, I’m not sure but I heard it is 1:30 to probably 4:30 or 5.
The food there is supposed to be pretty good, and THEY HAVE LIVER AND ONIONS! YAY! I know most of you are thinking yuck or so what – but since the Creekside became a Mexican restaurant, I couldn’t find anyplace in San Jose that has it on their menu.
So now you know where to find me, at least one day each weekend!