A guide to downtown Halloween hot spots.
The Red Room
Tiki masks, voodoo dolls and authentic shrunken heads — The Red Room is feeling the holiday spirit in a big way. The bar’s theme this year is “Voodoo,” and the atmosphere sets the stage for a superstitious Halloween. Signs inside the door read “Zombies made fresh daily,” and photos on the wall are dappled with fake blood. A full-sized coffin sits atop a doorway in the back, and the ever-present color red dominates the room, creating a spooky air. The Red Room is located next to Planet Fresh Burritos on the corner of Cedar and Locust.
Come during the day, and you’ll find a family-friendly bar (shocking, I know) with treats for kids including candy and a free kid’s meal. Come at night and the real holiday festivities will be underway. Live DJ Nick at Night will be providing the upbeat soundtrack for the numerous costume contests that will be happening throughout Halloween weekend. Beer gear such as hats, shirts and pint glasses from various breweries will be given away as well. You can wander in, win a hat, have a drink and meander right back out (to return again later, of course).
Team Zissou is in Santa Cruz! The 515 sits on the corner of Cedar and Cathcart, and they’re bringing the nautical to Halloween. Colorful fish adorn the walls and windows, and a sign hangs out front on the balcony, wishing passersby a happy Halloween. The underwater theme is found throughout both bar and dining area, so the aquatic experience is complete. With a slew of nets, fish, portholes and a crew right out of “The Life Aquatic,” all that’s missing is the leopard shark.
Upstairs from The Red Room is The Red. With the same theme as its downstairs buddy, The Red offers a larger space, complete with plush patterned couches, coffee tables and private booths. They even have a fireplace that burns in the evening and a projector screen that will have movies playing all night, not to mention all the alcohol you can afford. With a bar that long, no ghost nor ghoul will find themselves lacking in Halloween spirits.