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THE CORNER BAR

Japanese-Flavored Jaspar's Is Many Things to Many People

October 22, 1992|T.D. SMITH

The best time to find some excitement at Jaspar's is in the evening, when owner Susie Johnson tends bar while pool players bustle around two tables and a compact disc jukebox spins contemporary hits. During the day, it's busy, but more sedate: a place where regulars stop by for lunch or a little after-work relaxation.

The combination bar and restaurant, in business since 1976, is hidden in the Metro Town Square on Bristol Street in Santa Ana. Johnson has a lot of experience in the trade, having formerly owned two bars in Japan and a Japanese restaurant in Costa Mesa, and it shows. She keeps a tight rein on things.

Beers on tap (Coors Light and Bud) are a bargain at $1.25 for a 12-ounce glass. Also available is a vast array of bottled brews, including Japanese selections such as Kirin and Sapporo, wine, sake and a full range of tropical and mixed drinks.

Jaspar's can be many things to its wide-ranging customers: an everyday bar during the week, a restaurant of Japanese and traditional American fare when you're hungry, a sports bar featuring six televisions and a nightclub with live rock music and dancing on Friday and Saturday nights. (The Friday night band, Main Street, plays a strong selection of '60s and '70s classics. Bands start at 9 p.m.)

A pool tournament is held on Wednesday nights at 7 p.m.

This is a fairly large place, with the main bar situated just inside the stained-glass entrance. The pool area is to the right of the bar. On the left is a bandstand, a decent-sized oak dance floor and plenty of booths and tables to relax at.

Jaspar's Bar & Grill, 3672 S. Bristol St., Santa Ana. Open daily, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. (714) 751-4604.

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