Owned by an elderly couple who still tend bar, this is damn near the definition of a neighborhood dive: drinks are dirt-cheap, the clientele is composed of an eclectic groups of regulars, and the entertainment includes a pool table, TVs, and a legendarily cheap jukebox — or you could just pass the time people-watching.
There's nothing broken at the Broken Rack, which offers twenty tables, a host of high-octane cocktails, and a comfy lounge complete with that vanishing species, the smoking section. There’s also foosball, pinball, and free wi-fi. It may seem a little odd to find a pool hall right next to a food court and the high-rise condos of Emeryville, but the atmosphere is relaxed and adult. Just the game, no scene, no cruising. Tie one on and sink a few.
The mantra is simple food done very well. Nearly everything, from the dressings to the desserts and the soups to the sauces, is made in-house. Café Aquarius serves locally roasted shade grown coffee as well as beer and wine. Come for breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch, or just for a cup of joe. If you fancy a cup of tea, the selection is top-notch.
Vintage decor gives this brand-new bar and grill a classic feel, but the menu — ambitious, inventive cocktails and well-made snacks like sliders and sausages — is contemporary Emeryville all the way.
If we're playing upscale-bar bingo — which, of course, we are, always — this new Emeryville watering hole takes the prize: industrial accents and a basement-chich design aesthetic, an obscure/ironic/old-timey theme, an attractive and upwardly-mobile clientele, drinks scraping the $10 range: ding, ding, ding, ding.
Tucked away behind the Bank Club is a horseshoe counter with stool seating. Sit down and either Wally or one of his friendly employees will greet you with a bowl of hot, spicy lentil soup. No, you didn't order it, nor did you order the baklava that will arrive with your bill. Tuck in, you're in good hands with this crew. Wally bills the fare as "Mediterranean & More," and that's an understatement.