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THE CORNER BAR

Upbeat: Country Comfy

November 01, 1990|RANDY LEWIS

This is the kind of country club where Donald Trump would never be accepted as a member. It's more the down-home sort of place where Clint Eastwood could comfortably set up filming should he ever decide to make another sequel to "Every Which Way But Loose."

There are no upper-strata aspirations here to follow in the footsteps of the Crazy Horse Steak House, Orange County's award-winning watering hole and pit stop for most of country music's superstars. The Upbeat, in contrast, is happy simply to boast a fully stocked bar, a pool table and pinball machines and nightly specials, such as a top sirloin dinner for $3.99 or prime rib for $6.95.

The club's chief appeal--besides the fact that it opens at 6 every morning--is the fine local country bands it books. Chris Gaffney & the Cold Hard Facts has done weeklong engagements here recently, while Patty Booker & the Hired Hands play from time to time.

While the regulars take advantage almost every night of the dance floor, it's the Upbeat's "Jam Night" Sundays that brings the most surprises.

Anyone with enough gumption in their gut and country lyrics in their head can sign up at the Lilliputian bandstand (conveniently located right next to the front door) and join the band for a few minutes of stardom. If it doesn't exactly promise fame and fortune, participants are at least rewarded with a free beer.

The Upbeat, 12745 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove. Open daily, 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. (714) 530-4101.

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