This historic bar is full of stories, character, and charm. Once a place Jack London himself would frequent to drink and write, the story is that the famous author borrowed his college entrance fee from the bar's proprietor. The small bar still features a slanted wooden floor and charred walls leftover from the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906, which took its toll elsewhere in the Bay Area, too. Its name derives from the old days when it was the only bar at the port of Oakland. Each day as laborers would take the ferry to San Francisco and back again, this was the first and last chance for the working man to grab a drink. The bar serves only beverages and distributes literature on its history.
This unique drinking establishment boasts itself to be a "beer tasting room". Beer Revolution always features somewhere around 20 different artisan brews on tap, as well as an impressive collection of bottled beer, which visitors are welcome to drink in the store or buy to bring home. Beer Rev, as it's known among locals, is also a very popular place on nice days due to its large outdoor patio. Pull up a stool to the beer-barrel tables, pop open a cold one, and enjoy the Revolution.
Cafe Van Kleef is located right in the heart of Oakland's Uptown neighborhood. The theme of Van Kleef is unconventional and all about the quirky artwork everywhere. The specialty at Van Kleef's is their Greyhound - a drink of vodka with grapefruit juice, which you can watch them squeezing fresh at almost any given point during the night. On most nights in the week, the bar plays live jazz music. Certain nights come with a cover charge so be sure to check details before you head here.
If music is your passion, make sure that you check out The New Parish. This concert hall and events space has achieved fame with the performances of the great music groups like Sarah Guthrie and Johnny Irion and The Stone Foxes. The place boasts of fantastic sound and stage technology that has made this venue a favorite of the event organizers and performers alike.
Yoshi's is not just a place where you can catch mind-blowing jazz, but also a sushi bar with an excellent food. Eager music lovers pack the restaurant and the Jazz House on performance nights. It showcases the best talent and boasts of high tech acoustics in the Bay area. A full cocktail menu is available with items like sushi, appetizers, salads and desserts. The attire is causal and the atmosphere jazzed up. It has a top-notch restaurant that serves Japanese food, and is open for lunch and dinner.
A world renowned name in the culinary industry, Chez Panisse is known for their innovations in tastes and flavors.Started by Alice Walkers in 1971, it was named after the movie character Honore Panisse. Prepared with fresh, local produce, the restaurant is a spectacular specimen of fine dining. The menu changes daily and is curated keeping the seasonality of ingredients. Through the week, delicacies like Striped bass carpaccio with cardoons and Titone olio nuovo and Huckleberry and Meyer lemon ice creams meringata are served, to name a few. The wine list is extensive, featuring dozens of wines from across the world. With contributions like California style pizza to the ever changing culinary world, the Chez Panisse is no less than a legend.
The Layover is a bar, lounge and gallery all in one. The decor is very bohemian and ethnic, with dark wood, beautiful pillows and cushions, and of course being an art gallery, interesting art covering the walls. The bar features an interesting collection of gourmet cocktails as well as a good selection of beer. Often The Layover boasts live bands or DJs to keep things moving on the dance floor.
Make Westing is located right in the thick of all Uptown Oakland's thriving nightlife scene. Named after a short story by Oakland's beloved Jack London, Make Westing is a great space for almost any kind of night out, with its sparse yet sophisticated (and on theme) decor. The most special part of this bar, however, are the indoor bocce ball courts, Oakland's first. The owners are both born and raised in Oakland, so you know that Make Westing will always be an authentic hometown spot.
In a cave-like historic space in the heart of Old Oakland, the Trappist packs 'em in. There are 15 imported or specialty beers on draft at any given time, and more than 100 more in the bottle -- and this place has proper glassware for most. All members of the staff have commanding knowledge of the world of beer. They'll elucidate the trappings of the Trappist tradition, and they'll turn you on to the most creative local up-and-comers -- all in this humble, crowded little speakeasy. If you get hungry, they always have a choice of excellent cheese plates (hard or soft) and other snacks on offer.
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.