If you’re looking for a taste of nightlife beyond downtown Santa Barbara, you should head for upper State Street. Here and there, amid great local shops and area restaurants, you’ll find cozy little bars populated by Santa Barbara natives. In this part of town, the Uptown Lounge is the new kid on the block, already making a splash with San Roque residents and adventurous visitors.
The Uptown Lounge lighting up a Friday night — Photo courtesy of Geneva Ives
The owners of the Uptown Lounge have remodeled a property that was once a somewhat dingy dive bar, transforming it into a clean, hip, comfortable hangout – a welcoming lounge for adults interested in a casual drink (or two) with friends. Besides the obvious charms of a full bar, the Uptown Lounge also offers fun in the form of pool and ping-pong tables and a photo booth for capturing memories of your night out. There’s even a baby grand piano for local musicians to play. Fresh flowers and flatscreen TVs round out the decoration, creating a welcoming environment for almost any party.
Co-owner George Merino revealed that one of his motivations in opening the Uptown Lounge was to create a place where he and his wife could go to relax, away from the crowds of downtown. He may have been too successful; a recent visit on a Friday night found the Uptown Lounge packed to the gills. Patrons were laughing and enjoying themselves, exactly as intended.