One of the best things about the Brass Rail in Sunnyvale is that it combines three
of the greatest nightlife institutions: the strip club, the sports bar and the pool hall.
As scantily clad women inspire hedonistic thoughts from the stage, a fun and lively
environment is enriched by eight HDTV screens which stay tuned to sports. The pool tables
arranged around the club add an extra element of entertainment.
Did you know that the Brass Rail has been around for over forty years? How about the fact that we were once a nightclub featuring some of the top entertainers in the Bay Area? As such, the 'Rail' is one of the 10 longest continuously operating nightclubs in the United States. The Brass Rail first opened its doors in April of 1960 at the same location in Sunnyvale, CA, just across the road from the Moffett Field Naval Air Station and the new and growing Lockheed Missile Systems Division. All this at a time when the Santa Clara Valley was still largely orchard land and nearby Highway 101 was a two lane road with several traffic lights.
When the Brass Rail opened, it was a fine dining establishment and one of the best dinner houses in the area. To augment the restaurant business and help fill seats, the Brass Rail evolved into a nightclub. Top name entertainers of the day routinely played at this new venue including the Inkspots, Shirelles, Dick and Dee Dee as well as the Coasters who were sure to play every time they came through the Bay Area. One regular band was Sonny J and the Tombstones. The group would drive up in a hearse, pull a coffin out of the back to the beat of their drummer playing a slow death march. The pall bearers placed the coffin on the bar, a Dixieland sax player would leap out and lead a 'snake dance' through the club to get their act jump started to an enthusiastic gathering.
The Brass Rail also did a stint as a country western nightclub, with acts such as Tex Ritter and Tammy Wynette drawing appreciative crowds.
In 1964, the Brass Rail began to extend its line up with topless dancers. We were only the third club in
the US to feature topless entertainment. Topless features continued through the early 1970s until the
city of Sunnyvale passed ordinances which required the dancers to be clothed while performing. Always
innovating, the owners had topless videos play while the girls danced live - giving the club the ability to
advertise as having topless dancers.
The dancing continues to this day. The kitchen is now open for lunch instead of dinner. There are now four stages instead of just one. Over time, the Brass Rail has employed nearly 6,000 dancers and continues to be the oldest and most prestigious gentleman's club in the South Bay.