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Beta Lounge

This sleek, loungey little wine/sake bar boasts an interesting menu of nigori cocktails, a dozen or so largely satisfying noshes, and an ambient conviviality that belies its proto-IKEA design scheme.

FIVE

Turns out, the Hotel at Shattuck Plaza has not only a rock-solid restaurant, but a bang-up — if slightly mannered — bar space as well. Drinks are well-made and undeniably thought-out — you'll be hard-pressed to find a cocktail here with fewer than five ingredients — but it's a pleasant place for an after-work or post-theater cocktail. Plus, there's live entertainment on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

What doesn't this place do? Located beneath the venerable Jazzschool in downtown Berkeley's theater district, the Jazzcaffè, run by German-born proprietor Kristine Seinsch, is part cafe and part bar, and also offers catering and event production services. Each succeeds on its own merits. Originally intended to serve a quick bite to Jazzschool students and teachers, the cafe has grown into a gathering place for the local jazz scene, offering a simple yet sophisticated (and evolving) menu of breakfast, brunch, and lunch fare. The bar offers a range of wines, beers, and apertifs.

Kip's used to be campus' most unabashedly skeezy bar, complete with neon-colored liquor, auspiciously sticky floors, and unfathomably cheap pitchers. Now, it's cleaned itself up a little and sells such delicacies as salads and imported beer along with those aforementioned $7.50 pitchers of PBR. We'll leave it up to you to decide whether this is an improvement. Either way: KARAOKE!

Lot 68 Lounge

Perhaps most notable for the fact that it's located inside the Shattuck Cinemas movie theater, this bar/restaurant offers a full bar, a comfortable atmosphere, and surprisingly delicious food.

Revival Bar & Kitchen

Amy Murray’s bustling downtown Berkeley venue celebrates the Bay Area’s bounty of fresh, organic foodstuffs with flair and a sense of fun.

Triple Rock has a local vibe, a dozen house beers on tap, comfort food, and the best rooftop beer garden in the East Bay.

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