This small family-owned coffee shop is situated on the edge of the ritzy Broadway Plaza shopping center in downtown Walnut Creek. With its mosaic-tiled bar and in-house roaster (the cafe roasts its own beans daily), Pacific Bay Coffee Co. has a cool, laid-back vibe that entices patrons to enjoy organic coffee while cozying up to a good book or surfing the Web (it also offers free wireless Internet). There's also free parking and a small outside patio.
Pacific Coast Brewing is located in an elegantly restored historic building in Old Oakland that harks back to the Gold Rush era. The microbrewery hosts free blues and jazz acts about once a month, but its known for its large selection of beers -- 25 on tap -- as well as its tasty selection of common bar food, including burgers, pizzas, and other deep-fried snacks. On weekend nights, especially in the summer months, Pacific Coast Brewing can become a crowded, lively place, especially because of its large, heated, outdoor patio.
The world-class repository for screenings of rare, rich, and otherwise historically and culturally significant films regularly features eclectic cinema series with engaging guest lecturers.
The quirky museum houses some ninety-odd pinball machines, some dating back to 1871, which, after paying admission, attendees can play to their hearts' content. The museum also has an art gallery that hosts rotating exhibits.
A multicultural retail and dining destination.
Rather than a club with members, Pacific Ring considers itself a school with students, 95 percent of whom are involved in the non-contact aspects of the sport; only 5 percent are interested in combat and competition. Nearly half the students are women; one of the gym's co-owners is a woman. A neighborhood feel underscores a dedication to authentic Muay Thai, a centuries-old martial art from Thailand. Facilities include a boxing ring, punching bags, and personal trainers.