Nerdy Nights: Best Events For Geeks In The South Bay

February 28, 2013 5:00 AM
It’s no surprise that the South Bay has a ton of geeks living and working in the area. After all, it’s the heart of the Silicon Valley, which draws techies from all over the world to work at some of the biggest names in the tech industry. Although industry-leading tech companies like Apple, Google and Facebook offer in-house perks such as gourmet food, free haircuts and on-site medical staff to keep employees at work, there comes a time when it’s necessary to blow off a little steam. Fortunately for South Bay geeks, there are plenty of things to do, including hackathons, seeing geeky movies and joining techie interest groups. The following are some of the best South Bay evening events that cater to the geek crowd.

Hackers and Founders Mixers
Mountain View, CA

With more than 8,500 members, the Hacker and Founders group describes itself as the largest community of early tech founders in Silicon Valley. The group holds frequent networking events, hackathons and luncheons. Although meetings are held throughout Silicon Valley and San Francisco, some evening meetups are held at the Fahrenheit Restaurant and Lounge in downtown San Jose. New members are encouraged to drop in, meet other members and “geek out” by discussing geek-related stories, whether it’s the latest innovation, the hottest new start-up or even “Star Wars”-related trivia.

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Newbie Happy Hour
Palo Alto, CA

The “Just Graduated College and Moved to Silicon Valley” group offers a monthly Newbie Happy Hour at Scotty’s Bar in downtown Palo Alto. This presents a great way for newly arrived geeks to network and have a great time with new friends from the South Bay. If happy hour isn’t enough, the group also sponsors after-work mixers and bar crawls to make for a full night of entertainment. An upcoming Newbie Happy Hour is scheduled for Friday, April 5.

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St. Patrick’s Day at St. Stephens Green
223 Castro St.
Mountain View, CA 94041
(650) 964-9151

With tech companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook nearby, Castro Street in downtown Mountain View will surely draw a crowd of techies for St. Patty’s Day. Party-goers can first grab a bite to eat and hoist a drink or two at St. Stephens Green, then make it over to another popular Irish pub, Molly Magees, just a few doors down. To make it a traditional bar crawl, there are a couple of other popular joints frequently visited by geeks, with the Zen Lounge and Monte Carlo Restaurant and Nightclub among the best. All of these locations are within a five-minute walk of each other.

Tech Museum of Innovation After Hours
201 S. Market St.
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 294-8324

During the day, the Tech Museum of Innovation in downtown San Jose is filled with schoolchildren scurrying about on field trips. But once a month, the museum hosts an after-hours event reserved only for those 21 or older. Held on the first Thursday of every month, guests can enjoy museum exhibits, games, have a few drinks and dance to popular music. Tickets for any event are just $10. Party guests often dress up according to the theme of the month. Earth Night and Star Tech are the respective themes for April and May.

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Yahoo! Strategy Games
Campbell, CA

The South Bay Boardgames Meetup Group holds weekly board games at Yahoo! Inc. headquarters in Sunnyvale. Held on Monday evenings, the games are generally “German-style strategy games” that can be loosely compared to traditional American games like Risk or Battlefield. Members meet at Yahoo! cafeteria, with free fountain drinks available. New members are encouraged to contact the group in advance for information regarding security passes and parking.

Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. His work can be found on