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It's Your Party at J.S. Mulligan's

August 11, 1995|REBECCA HOWARD

Sam Herr and his wife, Karen, have owned and operated J.S. Mulligan's restaurant and bar in Valencia since 1981, using the motto: "Good times, great food." This humble creed has created a merry gathering place for a range of patrons who repeatedly say "friendly" in describing its appeal. In fact, J.S. Mulligan's more resembles a friend's party than a night at a bar. "We've got people who come in here every day," Sam Herr said. "We're like the 'Cheers' of Santa Clarita."

THE SCENE: In a dim but warmly lit atmosphere, the restaurant and bar sit amiably next to each other, the decor giving the feel of an old-time European inn. Sports team pennants adorn dark wooden beams. Gold-colored glass lanterns hang from iron chandeliers, and ample booths are upholstered in a floral tapestry.

THE CROWD: Amid a circle of regulars, an elderly man in a ten-gallon hat drums the bar with his hands, good-naturedly demanding a drink. Throughout, young couples cuddle, and young and old assemble to laugh and gossip. A woman shrieks with delight as she scores a bull's-eye on the electronic dart board. And when Art Montgomery, a country dancing enthusiast from Granada Hills, rises to dance solo, he draws cheers from the whole crowd. But some come to find solace. Colleen Winder of Saugus likes to sit by herself, have coffee and listen to music to unwind. "The place is very nice, very friendly," she says.

THE MUSIC: Tonight it's Brushfire--one of four bands that perform regularly--playing a wide mix that includes songs by the Eagles, Eric Clapton and Neil Young. Herr said all his musicians must have a diverse play list to keep a range of musical tastes satisfied.

THE GOOD: Mulligan's has all the elements to keep you comfortable and happy. Sit back and enjoy the music, watch the latest games on televisions in the bar, play darts, order food from the restaurant or even walk over there to get a break from the action. On Friday nights, a psychic provides mini-readings for $10 to add a cosmic edge.

THE BAD: The electronic dart board may be too close to the door leading to the patio, causing traffic jams as patrons dodge darts from overzealous players.

THE WORD: "We'll play whatever requests you have--it's your party," Brushfire's lead singer tells the crowd.

J.S. Mulligan's , 25846 Tournament Road, Valencia. Open 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. daily, with entertainment beginning at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The restaurant serves lunch from 11:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. No cover or minimum. (805) 255-3356.

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