Blast to the past – you may not want to come back! This timeless watering hole will make you think you’ve stepped back in time.
Have you noticed that bars pop up and pop out, left and right in Silicon Valley? You’d be hard-pressed to find one where the bartender remembers your drink of choice and has it mixed and ready almost as soon as you seat yourself comfortably in a bar stool.
This bar in Alviso does just that – it’s Vahl’s Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge where Frank has been the bartender since 1989. By the way, Frank is not your average bartender, he comes equipped with jokes and tricks (magic) to entertain thirsty visitors, making for an interesting time while you recharge with your drink of choice.
Frank’s aunt Amelia Vahl opened Vahl’s in 1941 and since that time not a lot has changed according to these regulars…
After coming to Vahl’s for 20 years, Jim Bastida comments that nothing has changed – well actually the only “change” he can speak of is that credit cards started being accepted.
“A shot of whiskey” was Jason Stafford’s first drink here. Sixteen years has past since his mother took him to Vahl’s for his 21st birthday and first drink, and he still comes back for different occasions and often to experience the nostalgic ambiance.
A hand-full of articles found on the internet mention a “mysterious redhead” who would be spotted at the bar during the piano-bar hours.
Hmmmm, Hallie Russo (a lively lady and redhead too) says she has been a regular for 25 years. She decided to make Alviso her home, raising a family, after she saw how peaceful it was when she took a job there. Today, the children are grown and Hallie is retired and still frequents Vahl’s bar and lounge enjoying her time with friends at the piano bar.
Frank makes a “mean” Old Fashioned. This drink is made with whiskey bitters, sugar, a maraschino cherry smashed at the bottom and slice of lemon on top. A variation includes Bourbon bitters and sweet vermouth.
Imagine stepping back about 50 years, meeting people who are friendly and courteous in a charming setting. Order up a Martini, Manhattan or Vodka Cran, along with some food while you take in the varied sounds of live energetic singing during Karaoke or Piano Bar hour. This is what you’ll step into today.
Ladies, if you’ve ever felt like just getting out and finding a friendly place to get a drink, Vahl’s charming and nostalgic haven is a welcome draw.
Some employees like Elva Ruiz have been at Vahl’s for many many years and are ready to greet you with a smile and good “old fashioned” service.
Serving up nostalgia and something “Old Fashioned” is what’s “mixing up” at the timeless Alviso watering hole. Vahl’s Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge will take you back in time.
Vahl’s Restaurant Bar and Cocktail Lounge
1513 El Dorado Street
Alviso, CA 95002