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.
One of a few places for rock bands to play east of the hills, Livermores Pine Street Bar & Grill features plenty of entertainment to keep regulars coming back. Situated in a small strip mall, the bar features two rooms with pool tables, darts, satellite DirecTV for watching your favorite game, plus a jukebox. For live entertainment, check out the lingerie show on Monday nights, bands on every second and fourth Wednesdays, karaoke on Thursdays and Sundays, and live bands every Friday and Saturday nights.
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.
If we're playing upscale-bar bingo — which, of course, we are, always — this Emeryville watering hole takes the prize: industrial accents and a basement-chic design aesthetic, an obscure/ironic/old-timey theme, an attractive and upwardly-mobile clientele, drinks scraping the $10 range: ding, ding, ding, ding.