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CLUBS in and around Orange County

Added Spice

With hip-hop and house, Peppers is a night's alternative to Disney, Angels.


You're rolling through the Garden Grove-Anaheim area looking for fun.

Does the wholesomeness of Disneyland leave you cold?

Or maybe you're not a baseball fan and the Angels' run at the playoffs this season doesn't really grab you.

If hip-hop and house music make you want to dance the night away, then on Friday and Saturday nights Peppers in Garden Grove is the place to be.

On Wednesdays it's Hip Hop 2000, a mix of hip-hop and reggae, and Thursdays it's West Side Video night, a promotion in which a Garden Grove cable access channel shoots video at Peppers and replays the tapes for dancers to watch at the club.

Sound good? Then make like Will Smith and get jiggy with it on the dance floor while weekend deejay Todd Payson spins and mixes old school, disco and techno.

A rainbow of strobe lights bounces just above Payson. Miller Genuine Draft flags hang throughout the club. Ceiling fans keep the customers cool. A neon-pink and sky-blue Peppers sign dangles just above one of two full bars.

A few platforms stand at the rear of the dance floor so experts can get their groove on--it's the perfect spot to show off your best moves.

If you passed on Disneyland, be warned: Peppers attracts not only the locals but out-of-state tourists, too.

"The clubs that we go to don't play this [rap, hip-hop and R&B] very often," said Shay Dean, 27, from Portland, Ore., who earlier visited the "Happiest Place on Earth."

If you passed on the Angels, you might be pleasantly surprised. Four television screens above the dance floor, arranged to resemble an NBA scoreboard, were turned off. No big games were being played anyway.

OK, maybe you are a hard-core sports junkie. Get your fill of game highlights at the bar where several television sets just above the counter are tuned to ESPN and Fox Sports News.

On the other hand, maybe you want to play in a league of your own. A couple of pool tables, in the rear of the building, were popular with customers throughout the night.


Those who want to wind down can hit an outdoor patio near the entrance. It's the perfect spot if you're in the mood to chat with your friends, enjoy a cigarette or just get away for a couple of minutes and hear yourself think.

Thirsty after all that dancing? There are many tap beers to choose from. Bud and other domestic brews go for $3.25; Corona and imports cost $3.75. Well drinks range from $3.25 to $6.50.

And if you prefer the straight stuff, several waitresses cruise around the club, toting bottles and serving tequila, kamikaze and watermelon shots. Each swig will run you $1.50 a pop.

A few last words of advice. If you don't like lines, get to Peppers early. Sometimes dancers have to wait to get in.

And don't dress like a tourist. Fashionable attire is required here, and the dress code is definitely enforced. No jeans, no T-shirts, no tennis shoes. No kidding. So, in case you're coming directly from Disneyland, lose the mouse ears.


Peppers, 12361 Chapman Ave., Garden Grove. (714) 740-1333. Doors open at 9 p.m. and close at 2 a.m. $8 cover charge, 21 and over. Hip Hop 2000 on Wednesdays, West Side Video night on Thursdays, 18 and over on Sundays.

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