Anyone taking a walk down Main Street in Huntington Beach just north of the pier might wonder what those rowdy people on the balcony above the pizza joint are up to.
It's just part of the nightly scene at Hurricane Bar and Grill, a tropical island-themed nightclub that overlooks the newly renovated downtown boardwalk.
Airbrushed murals depicting underwater scenes greet you as you enter the dimly lit venue. Framed posters of Vargas girls and James Bond vie for attention along with surfing photos, beer ads and neon signs.
Small groups of friends might sit at bar stools around high cocktail tables, while the more boisterous prefer to crowd the patio balcony or the long bar.
At the tail end of the hall, a large fiberglass marlin greets dancers to the perpetually grooving dance floor. Around the stage, tropical scenes of painted palm trees and sunsets loom under multicolored spotlights. A cushioned booth cradles part of the dance floor to give those who just like to sit and watch a chance to still be part of the action.
The music is as comfortable as the clientele. There are no high-fashion parades here. Both the staff and patrons dress casually, reflecting an equally laid-back attitude.
Live bands and solo acts perform rock from the '60s into the '90s Mondays through Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. On Sundays from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., alternative rock bands offer a change of pace.
A California-style menu of Caribbean cuisine features Barbados Island loaf (Dungeness crab sauteed with artichokes, peppers, onions, cheese and cream and served on a sourdough roll for $7.95) as well as island fire chicken (white meat sauteed with pepper, onion, jalapenos, \o7 ancho \f7 chile, garlic and white wine and served on linguini for $6.95). But perhaps the hottest draw are the popular and spicy jerk fries. Food is served at the bar, at indoor tables or on the heated deck.
The grill fires up daily at 11 a.m., except Sundays, when it opens an hour earlier for brunch. The kitchen closes at 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and at 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
But dining and dancing aren't the only diversions here.
Satellite sports are televised on 11 screens. "Monday Night Football" provides a free buffet of munchies such as hot wings, tacos, fruit bowls or submarine sandwiches. Dishes vary weekly. A halftime raffle benefiting local surf events offers Sunday champagne cruises and ski-lift passes.
Weekday happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. features half-price appetizers and a 50- to 75-cent drop in drink prices. Daily beer prices range from $1.75 domestic drafts to $4.50 bottled imports. Well drinks range from $3 to $4.50, soft drinks are $1.25, and bottled water goes for $1.75. On Sundays, $2 gets you a Bloody Mary or a screwdriver.
* HURRICANE BAR & GRILL
* 200 Main St., Huntington Beach
* (714) 374-0500
* Opens Monday through Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and closes at 1:30 a.m. On Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. A $3 cover is charged Friday and Saturday after 9 p.m.