If you're into new bikes and a bit of the Old West, you may want to drop into Cowboys (25 N. Tejon St., 596-1212, worldfamouscowboys.com). Hat-acts ranging from the reverent Aaron Watson to original outlaw David Allan Coe exemplify the occasional touring fare, though the mechanical bull and upstairs bowling alleys are alluring even on nights without live music.
Now, if you insist on live music, we can tell you that the venerable Triple Nickel Tavern (26 S. Wahsatch Ave., 477-9555, 555nickel.com) is putting on a great punk show Monday night, with The Cute Lepers and Something Fierce opening for Dave Mansfield and the L.A.M.F's. Other options are listed in our Playing Around section.
There's not always live music at off-peak times on the Tejon Street strip, but either way, you could drop into the Ritz Grill (described in the restaurants section) to see why it's long been packed with locals. Or you could enjoy the relaxed, neighborhood vibe at Oscar's Tejon Street (also in the restaurants section) or the Thirsty Parrot (32 S. Tejon St., 884-1094, thirstyparrot.net). And speaking of neighborhood vibes, you've got two Best Of award-winners within 10 blocks of each other: SouthSide Johnny's (restaurants section) was our 2010 readers' pick for Neighborhood Bar: South, and Tony's Downtown Bar (311 N. Tejon St., 228-6566, tonysdowntownbar.com) took their cheese-curd-fueled nod for Neighborhood Bar: Central.
For more of a club vibe, there's SODO Night Club (527 S. Tejon St., 314-0420, sodonightlife.com), home to tons of deejays and the occasional live show; the Underground (110 N. Nevada Ave., 578-7771, undergroundbars.com), a favorite LGBTQ destination with an incredible sound system; and the Mansion (20 N. Tejon St., 357-9767, mansioncs.com), a huge venue with its own disco room and karaoke room. Or you could try Gasoline Alley (28 N. Tejon St., 636-2244, gasolinealleycs.com), proud home of the occasional "Porn Star Dancing Contest."
A couple Irish bars are mentioned in the food section (Jack Quinn Irish Alehouse & Pub and McCabe's Tavern), as are a few good spots for a martini (The Rabbit Hole Dinner & Drinks, MacKenzie's Chop House, The Famous). You can find more of the latter at the Paradox Lounge (528 S. Tejon St., 444-8487, in the SouthSide Johnny's building), the Red Martini (25 N. Tejon St., 634-3522) and the V-Bar (19 E. Kiowa St., 471-8622). And if you're into specialty cocktails, don't miss the Lavender Blossom Martinis (and late-night snacks) at Shuga's (restaurants section).
Lastly, when you're downtown, you're in Beer Central. At the epicenter of race activities, you could try Phantom Canyon Brewing Co., where the beer's brewed on-site, or Judge Baldwin's Brewing Company, which is likely to be less crowded. (Both are written up in the restaurants section.) But if you're a connoisseur, consider heading south a bit to multi-GABF-award-winning Bristol Brewing Company (1647 S. Tejon St., 633-2555, bristolbrewing.com), which is home also to Black Fox Brewing Company (blackfoxbrewing.com). The tasting room offers free pretzels — there is no restaurant component — and all the excellent flagship beers on tap, as well as superb seasonal specialties and a killer shuffleboard table.