Mr. Lucky's Bar & Grill, 1527 Locust St., Walnut Creek, 925-935-7778
Nothing creates a loyal bar patron as much as a bartender who not only remembers your name, but knows your drink. Thomas Vida of Walnut Creek is just that bartender, and his easygoing attitude can brighten even the foulest of moods. When the optimistic surfer from Michigan left nearby Crogan's after many years, a big part of the crowd went with him. "You feel very welcomed around him, he serves great drinks and is not shy with the alcohol," says one longtime fan. It doesn't take much for "let's stop for one drink and see Thomas" to turn into the end of the night. These days Thomas, who wears shorts and Hawaiian shirts even in the dead of winter, can be found at Mr. Lucky's on Locust Street, just a few steps away from his former haunt.