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When you walk into Ruby Room you will immediately get it. Dimly lit with red lights (hence the name) with a smoke-filled back room (one of the few), Ruby Room is a hipster hangout. Large drinks for reasonable prices and pool tables make this downtown watering hole a popular spot with the twenty-something crowd. Ruby may not be for everyone, but those who like it keep coming back.
Merchant's boasts that it has been "poisoning Oakland since 1916." This is definitely your ultimate dive bar. Located just blocks from Oakland's historic Jack London Square, Merchant's got its start as a sailor bar in the early 20th Century. Now its where hipsters, punks and all lovers of cheap beer, fun times and stripper poles hang out. Merchant's also hosts various "alternative" shows that are not necessarily for the faint of heart. If you're looking for the opposite of a fancy night out, Merchant's is the place for you.
A venue that has been a part of the city's night scene since the 1970s, Eli's Mile High Club is an institution in Oakland. A combination of a restaurant, dive bar, music venue, and art gallery, Eli's is a one-stop spot for all your dining, drinking and entertainment needs. Artists and musicians from all over the country, and beyond, come here to perform in an intimate environment, in front of eager crowds. The menu offers well-known and much loved delights, but the tacos are especially popular.
Kingfish Pub and Cafe, is a beloved sports and dive bar that is a great place to hangout when in a group. The old pub was previously located just one block over on Claremont Avenue, and when they moved they took the building with them! Shuffleboard is the game that will liven the crowds, that are either playing or simply sitting and enjoying a drink and the game. Though you have to stick with the house rules of the game, it's still fun. The new incarnation of Kingfish includes a nice back patio with several TV screens. Just as with the old Kingfish, there's still always free popcorn.