Santa Cruz COVID Nightlife Guide
Latest updates on which venues in Santa Cruz are open and how to party safely
What clubs, nightclubs, bars, and lounges are open or closed in Santa Cruz? We keep track of venue reopenings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's a list of the popular venue reopenings in Santa Cruz.
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COVID Nightlife FAQs for Santa Cruz
What should I know before going out in Santa Cruz during the pandemic?
Attending nightlife and daylife venues during the pandemic can be an uncertain and even daunting task, especially if you don't know the rules ahead of time. No one likes a bad surprise when entering the club, so that's why we're here to help you navigate the nightlife scene during the pandemic. After reading this, you should have a good grasp on the current nightlife landscape and what you should expect when attending the club.
First, almost all nightlife venues are allowed to remain open during the pandemic only because they serve food and have an outdoor area of some sort. At Discotech, we take out all the guesswork for you. You can see a list of all venues in your city that are either Open, Opening Soon, or Closed due to COVID.
Second, almost all venues are bottle service only and have a F&B (Food & Beverage) minimum spend required to attend. This means no general admission (GA), guest list, or ticket entry (more details in the sections below).
Lastly, you should be prepared to abide by all COVID guidelines set by the venue, including social distancing, mask enforcement, and capacity restrictions, among others.
Check out our Safe Partying Guide for an in-depth guide to partying during COVID-19.
Is it safe to go to these Santa Cruz venues? Are there any other safety measures taken by venue?
Venues that are open right now have implemented very strict and comprehensive COVID-19 protocols to ensure safety and well-being of their patrons. While it varies per venue, most places have temperature checks at the door, and some even have quick COVID test kits available prior to entry.
Do I need to wear a mask?
Masks are mandatory upon arrival - if you don't have one, the venue staff will provide you with one before you are allowed to enter. Once inside the venue, masks are not required at your table or when entering the pool. However, they are still highly encouraged when you leave your table area to use the bathroom.
What should I expect when attending these venues?
When attending nightlife venues during the pandemic, you should expect some level of capacity restrictions. It varies by venue, but most places are not allowing general admission and have reduced their capacity to anywhere between 25-75%.
Tables are spaced out to maintain social distancing guidelines. Bottle service groups are expected to stay at their table only. Mingling with other groups is frowned upon, and often closely monitored.
With the current state of affairs, most venues do not have a live DJ. Pre-recorded DJ sets are common, but sometimes a live DJ will be booked, if they are a native resident of the area and don't have to travel.
Music levels are kept at a lower decibel level due to state restrictions. Expect more of a relaxed lounge setting, instead of the raucous, full-fledged partying scene.
What is the maximum group sizes per table?
The max group size for bottle service reservations will vary based on a combination of state restrictions and venue discretion. As a general rule of thumb, the number of guests per table type is set in stone (eg. if you have 8 people and are trying to book a 6-person table, this will not be allowed).
The solution around this is to split your group up and book multiple tables. We will do our best to request for the tables to be sat next to each other. The same thing applies to larger groups.
How has pricing changed?
Due to COVID, bottle service minimum spends are significantly discounted compared to pre-pandemic pricing. In addition, tables are generally expected to prepay in advance now, in order for the venues to easily monitor capacity and inventory. A 20% deposit is common, and some venues even require a full prepay in advance. We will help guide you through the booking process.
Is there GA or free guest list?
No, typically VIP bottle service only. There is no GA, guest list, or ticket entry right now, due to capacity restrictions and social distancing enforcement. Venues are primarily bottle service only, unless you are a guest at the accompanying hotel, if applicable.
Is there still music?
Yes. Nightlife would be nothing without the music that keeps the party going. All venues are currently still playing music, albeit at lower decibel levels. Live DJs are less common, due to the travel bans and restrictions that still plague the industry.
Is there a dance floor?
Since most venues are bottle service only and have no general admission, there is no dance floor where people can congregate. Patrons are expected to stay within their table limits unless going to the bathroom or entering the pool. If you are itching to bust a move, you can always create a mini dance floor in your section with your friends, and even challenge neighboring tables to a dance-off. Show off those dance skills you've been practicing during quarantine!
Are there new restrictions on hours of operation?
A lot of venues now have restrictions on hours of operation. Some venues open earlier around dinner time (7pm) and close earlier (12am) due to state or country requirements. Others are still open from 10-11pm until 2-4am depending on the city. Please make sure to check our app or website for updated hours!
Check out our COVID nightlife guide to discover venue openings in other cities.