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O.C. Clubs | Wanna Dance?

It's Not Just Any Port in a Storm : An eclectic clientele is among the attractive features of Hurricane's.

July 29, 1999|GENA PASILLAS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Cowabunga, dude! Surf City, as Huntington Beach is known, is famous for amazing waves, beachy hard bodies and wild Independence Day celebrations. But it's also famous for its raging night life. Located in the heart of the city on downtown's Main Street, just steps from the pier, Hurricane's Bar and Grill attracts a horde of sunburnt locals and plenty of happening inlanders.

By day, Hurricane's mimics the serenity of a tropical island. Come nightfall, the crowd becomes vigorous. The black lights come on, and the bar's ambience shifts.

Each evening, live bands play original tunes as well as popular classic and alternative rock. One may find a dance floor full of people rocking out to renditions of Tom Petty's "American Girl" or the Offspring's "Pretty Fly for a White Guy."

Start your workweek off on the right foot with the mellow sounds of acoustic artists on Monday nights. The jukebox is chock-full of hits as well. Live entertainment begins at around 9 p.m. On Friday and Saturday nights, expect to wait in line and pay a $3 cover.

Hurricane's doesn't let the gorgeous California weather go to waste. A huge open-air patio allows patrons to enjoy their cocktails in the balmy coastal breeze. Amaze your buddies with stories of that killer tube ride or enjoy a conversation with someone new while you bask in the moonlight. Just remember to pour your booze into a plastic cup before you step outside.

A totally awesome happy hour also gives Hurricane's appeal. What better way to sunbathe than with discounted froufrou umbrella drinks among friends? Test your bladder with a 32-ounce draft beer for only $3.50 or sample a well drink for a mere $3.25. Special happy hour prices are available from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Hurricane's most inviting feature is the mix of clientele--a potpourri of young and old, simple and sophisticated. Few will gawk if you come to happy hour in your business suit, and even fewer will be troubled if you sport only Daisy Duke short-shorts and a bikini top. However, like any other respectable establishment, shoes and shirts are required inside the bar. But men may flaunt their rippling pecs on the patio, if they please.

"I come here because it's fun no matter what mood I'm in," said Denise Shields, 27, of Huntington Beach. "A few years ago, my fish, Floyd, died. My friends and I gave him a burial at sea off the pier, then came to Hurricane's and had a drink in his honor."

Says Coley Matthews, 21 of Lake Forest, "I come to Hurricane's when I want to celebrate. Tonight I'm toasting the recent resignation of a lazy co-worker."

Resistance may be futile once you get a whiff of Hurricane's French fries. Delicious salads, burgers, seafood and more are served from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekly. Teriyaki chicken rice bowls run for $6.50, while a crawfish dinner costs about $10.

Whether it's the sun or the moon in the sky, you can have a bodacious time at Hurricane's. You can catch some rays, grab some grub, then boogie until 2 a.m. It could even help heal your bruised ego after a gnarly wipeout.

BE THERE

Hurricane's, 200 Main St., Huntington Beach. The bar is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily for those 21 and over. (714) 374-0500.

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