Hopping on the bandwagon is the most effective way to manufacture camaraderie. It provides all of the benefits minus any effort or years of dedication. Not to say that Mr. Harada and I are perpetual wagoneers, but we heard a rumble through our many sources that Star Wars is kind of a big deal right now. The movie-themed bar 7 Stars Bar & Grill seemed ripe for a visit.

Mr. Harada and I are men of the world, which makes us generally difficult to deal with. As such, we don’t necessarily have available “dates” on stand-by. So, Mr. Harada invited Brenda, his landlord, and I invited Suzanne, my state-appointed attorney. We took the 23 bus from downtown to Bascom, and walked the short block to 7 Stars, where we met our dates.

The space is not unlike the cantina in Episode Four of the film franchise. There are plenty of tall tables where you can lob off a guy’s arm if he starts to act up. There’s a sectioned-off pool table area. It has semi-private booths where guests can shoot weird, green ant-eater guys looking to collect a bounty. Although the place lacked a swinging band, it did feature a digital jukebox, which I assume was set to stun as it blasted young country.

We settled into a comfortable corner that felt like the Millennium Falcon’s living room. I spotted a promotional sign for a popular beer that featured a Harley Davidson, which Mr. Harada quickly dubbed the Miller Light Falcon—an astute observation that made us laugh, and I patted Mr. Harada’s shoulder to show my appreciation while still exhibiting male dominance. Our dates politely ignored us.

7 Stars has several delicious signature cocktails, such as: The Lightsaber, a mix of vodka and Rock Star; Blue Milk, an homage to Luke’s Aunt Beru, which contains lots of chocolate, milk and high-octane booze; and the Root Beer float, an age-old mix of root beer, vodka and vanilla vodka that’s dropped into a glass of cola. Being a Thursday night, we kept it business—Bulleit Rye for Mr. Harada and Brenda, while I enjoyed a few pints of the last true batch of Lagunitas IPA. Suzanne settled for an ice water. I assumed this was because of the nature of how our relationship started.
Although brighter than I prefer, and with a few more televisions that I can usually stand, 7 Stars is a strong option to get away from the downtown crowds. There’s plenty of parking in the back, and enough activities to comfortably pass the time, such as karaoke, foosball, and Monday night trivia with test tube and jello shots. Its vast displays of memorabilia obviously suggest the spot was created by an enthusiastic group. Mr. Harada and I usually visit places that are established or designed as an endpoint to the night. These places are rigid, unchanging, like Stonehenge. 7 Stars feels like a living space.

The night was moving in a positive direction when Brenda and Suzanne excused themselves to “freshen up.” After an hour of waiting, and 30 minutes of searching, it became clear our dates were called away by urgent matters.

We settled into a plate of six chicken wings, which were the six best chicken wings I’ve ever had. The kitchen staff deserved seven stars. Other options include traditional fried pub fare and an array of burgers.

The lavatory, to my horror, was a vandalized scene. A once-beautiful wall-to-wall painting depicting the Imperial fleet had been defaced with scratches and markers. Every star destroyer—I think there were more than 20—had a big “X” through it. I assume it was the handiwork of some rebel punk scum.

As we exited to the back parking lot, we came across a beauty to rival our long lost dates—the most stellar artifact of human creation: the Delorean. It stood out like a unicorn parked amongst slugs, in all its stainless steel glory. For a moment, it all made sense.

7 Stars Bar & Grill
398 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose