Callahan’s (Santa Cruz, CA)

Callahan’s is included here as a sad reminder of the need for continuous vigilance (make sure to remind bar owners that their comfy padding is a major reason that you’re a customer!). It used to have snappy red padding on the rail of its bar, shown below in an archival photo from Halloween 2009, but this was stripped to bare wood in a recent, misguided revamp. Only some of the red knee padding remains as a reminder of what once was.

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The (New) Jury Room (Santa Cruz, CA)

Another winner for Santa Cruz. The Jury Room has comfy elbow padding, knee padding, and affordable drinks, too ($6.50 for an IPA and a well Scotch). As the photo shows, they are so old-school that smoking is still allowed, too (as of 12/2013).

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Red Room (Santa Cruz, CA)

Though some of the padding in the Red Room is a little worse for wear, this bar has it all: an interestingly shaped bar; comfy padding for the knees as well as the elbows; classic barstools with backs; and padded booths too.

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