Downtown Berkeley's Art House Gallery & Cultural Center mixes art with purpose. In addition to art exhibits, the space also hosts benefit events.
This Jack London Square anchor tenant lives up to its claim of world-class jazz; everyone from McCoy Tyner to John Scofield comes by at least once a year, and you can also occasionally catch rising stars and school bands in addition to big-name national acts. The acoustics are marvelous, the sushi is fresh and good, and the grilled calamari is also recommended. Tickets range from $5 for a Sunday afternoon children's matinee (with paid adult admission) to upwards of $100 for a special event. Two shows nightly.
Intimate, historical venue hosting drama, musical theater and instrumental musical performances.
The performing arts facility hosts cultural dance classes, performing art workshops, plays, and more. The space features a 350-seat theater, five dance studios, meeting rooms, and rehearsal spaces, which are all available for rental.
Same as it ever was, this Berkeley Irish bar has been around since the days when Ronald Reagan was California governor, and it hasn't changed much — although you can now order a cheeseburger as well as traditional Irish fare like corned beef and cabbage. There are lots of beers on tap, but why not just have a Guinness or a Harp while you're here? It's certainly appropriate, and the regulars won't look at you like you're from Mars. Entertainment includes Irish Dance and Ceili Mondays at 9 p.m. (dance instructions start at 7 p.m.); Open-mic Tuesdays at 8 p.m.; Berzerkley Poetry Slam on Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. with house band Three Blind Mice accompanying; live music Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Check the web site or call for calendar info. Full bar and twenty drafts, dance floor, and stage. The kitchen serves food until 10 p.m.
At Actual Cafe, it's all about sitting down and enjoying the coffeehouse experience. Get a cup of Joe (or tea) served in a real china cup, plop down, and just hang for a while. Actual Cafe boasts comfy furniture and communal seating to encourage actual interaction with actual human life-forms. It's "not just another wi-fi shack." Indoor bike parking and a full menu are also available. Weekends are laptop-free.
Rest and relaxation offered through flotation. Customers can spend at least an hour in an enclosed tank floating in a dense solution that keeps the body afloat without any effort.
This gallery, which was founded and directed by Ofra Fisher, Joe Kowalczyk, Michael Steffen, and Peter St. Lawrence, displays dynamic pieces of art sure to please any onlooker. The collection of art studios, located in the emerging Oakland Arts District, display a wide variety of medium, showing the broad spectrum of Bay Area artists and what they produce.
Founded in 1968, the Freight & Salvage may be one of the most reliable venues for music in the East Bay. The venue is all ages, nonprofit, non-smoking, and alcohol-free. Here’s what you can count on from this Berkeley institution: a variety of traditional acoustic music played by accomplished musicians, an excellent sound system, and a crowd that deeply appreciates the music. Somewhere between a glorified barn and a church, the Freight’s atmosphere ensures that the attention is focused on the stage, where a range of folk, bluegrass, swing, country, Cajun, and world music can be heard. While shows here aren’t cheap, this venue is also a nonprofit, so you can feel better about where your money is going.
The artist run and operated cooperative gallery exhibits works by twenty artists, including Julie Alvarado, Mary Curtis Ratcliff, Leah Markos, and Eli Geiser.
1:AM, short for First Amendment Gallery, showcases the work of renowned local and international street and urban artists in month-long exhibitions while recruiting and building up the next generation of producers by running youth-oriented mural workshops and classes on graffiti lettering and making vinyl toys like those created by hip hop artists, fashion designers, and illustrators that depict figures from Asian and American pop culture. And, if that’s not enough, 1:AM offers private workshops for your next work retreat - “to boost the morale of your employees and promote team-building.”
This club, modeled after an Eastern European wooden synagogue, is a Berkeley institution dedicated to dance and music. The non-profit venue hosts live music nearly every night, and shows are all-ages. Ashkenaz hosts reggae, bluegrass, Balkan, Brazillian, Cajun, and Caribbean bands, just to name a few. Come early for a dance class or on Sunday afternoon for a kid’s concert.