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 downtown Oakland bar boasts an array of fresh and unique cocktails. Its namesake beverage, the Penelope, is made from a mix of tequila, fresh beets, apples, pear, and lime.
Sells pianos and holds concerts.
With big-name chefs and a serious foodie following, Plum the restaurant is a fine dining establishment, and with average drink prices scraping $11 and containing ingredients such as tea foam, Plum Bar, its lower-fi appendage, is most definitely a fine drinking establishment — but it's a fineness that speaks less to pretension than to premium attention to detail, the kind you have to pay a little extra for: marigold flowers in your drink; beef-tendon chicarrones just seconds out of the fryer; a bar staff that'll slide an ice-cold glass of water to you from across the bar when they hear you clearing your throat, without you having to ask — or even noticing.
This well-ventilated and red-lit bar features lots of glamour mirrors, Japanese lanterns, and vintage mannequins. Eclectic nightly DJs spin golden oldies, hip-hop, new wave, swing, electronica, punk, metal, and just about anything else.
Once a favorite hangout for Oaktown pimps of the Fillmore Slim variety — according to urban legend, that is — the Ruby Room is a faux dive across the street from Lake Merritt where DJs spin a wall-to-wall soundtrack of punk, glam rock, and kitschy hip-hop classics. Characterized by its low ceilings, thick nicotine vapors, and scarlet glow, its one of the best places in Oakland to chat up sassy indie kids while drinking stiff, cheap drinks like whiskey sours.