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2237 First Avenue, Banker's Hill

There's been a recent spate of neighborhood barrooms opening up their modest floors to live bands, but early in 2002 it was Sondra and Josh, proprietors of Cherrybomb in Banker's Hill, who led the way. After a remodel in cherry red, brushed steel, and hardtack flooring, the young couple rolled the pool table into the corner, tucked the pleather sofa set into their office, and invited friends, clients, and friends of clients to rock their favorite watering hole. "A lot of new local bands are breaking their cherries here," says Sondra. With respect to neighboring businesses and homes, the bar has pared live music back to Wednesdays, when bands of the lo-fi ilk play, and Saturdays, when they turn it up. This less-is-more approach keeps Cherrybomb's regulars, who don't necessarily want to hear barroom rock, still happily ensconced on their stools five nights a week. Favorite house band: Bartender's Bible.

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