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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? 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; and live music on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. There's a full bar with twenty drafts, and the kitchen serves food until 10 p.m.

Thrashing, crashing, vocal-cord-straining, pounding-your-ears-and-obliterating-your-will-power rock. You know you love it. And the Stork Club is where rock makes its home. Tuesday through Sunday starting around 9:30 p.m., cover is usually just $5. Happy-hour DJs spin rock and punk tunes, a bluegrass jam happens on Mondays and Storking Comedy takes place on Tuesdays. The honky-tonk-style bar is decked out with red and yellow tinsel, Christmas lights, rubber-seated booths, a pool table, a jukebox, an extensive Barbie collection, and a tawdry, winter-wonderland atmosphere.

Serves light meals to accompany its vino, with a tasting bar in the back.

With the tagline “We’re country, & we like to rock,” this Fremont club makes no bones about its identity. There’s a DJ and a live band every night and two bands every Saturday. Arrive early on the weekends for line-dancing lessons, a cheaper cover charge, and a chance at finding a space in the parking lot. The Saddle Rack is an enormous bar — boasting a large stage, two dance floors, three full bars, plenty of seating, a game room, an oxygen bar, and a mechanical bull. If that’s not enough, there’s the “hitching post,” where a bartender will literally pour liquor down your throat.

This winebar cafe at Rialto Cinemas Cerrito features wine and artisan beers along with a menu of small bites, paninis, flat-bread pizzas, and sharable salads.

A low-key smoker’s paradise and homey-feeling lounge, proffering more than fourteen blends of tobacco and a good selection of pipes, lighters, and cigarette holders, as well as beer on tap including Bass, Fullers, Guinness, and Harp.

The end of Webster Street in Alameda is a near-ghost town at night, but head into the Shamrock Irish Pub and you’ll find the locals. The decor — a bouncy bartender, two pool tables, darts, Foosball, pinball, video gambling, and a peanut dispenser — is likely to keep patrons stimulated for hours, and apparently it works. If that doesn't suffice, the Shamrock hosts live music a few Fridays each month.

Good times abide at Shooters, with karaoke every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; four TVs in the bar and lounge; and plenty of pool to be played. Patrons can partake in $5 PBRs and shots of Jameson every Thursday.

With four TV sets, Smitty's is an ideal sports-watching locale. You'll also find pool, cheap beer, and shuffle board in this dive.

This narrow Uptown bar has exposed brick walls, high ceilings, and lots of art on the walls. DJs spin house, hip-hop, soul, Brazilian music, and more.

St. George Spirits has been applying the California cuisine ethos to hard liquor for decades, churning out artisan spirits that are made in small batches with ingredients that are often organic and locally sourced. Housed in a former naval hangar in Alameda, the distillery offers tours Wednesday through Sunday and has an onsite retail store. But the real draw is the tasting room, which -- though it's not a full bar and thus doesn't serve cocktails or food -- offers flights of absinthe, eau de vie, gin, rum, liqueurs, and vodka in a modern space with a knowledgeable staff and huge windows looking into the distillery.

Stage Left Cellars, based in Oakland, specializes in Rhône varietals. The winery sources its grapes from vineyards all over the West Coast, bottling Paso Robles-grown Viognier, Grenache, and Syrah, in addition to Pinot Noir (and Grenache) grown in the Santa Maria Valley, and Syrah from the Santa Ynez Valley and the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon.

In addition to serving up the requisite libations, this Alameda watering hole hosts weekly activities like industry-night Tuesdays and dollar-dog Thursdays.

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