This North Berkeley pub is popular, particularly among students, for its wide selection of board games like Scrabble and Connect Four, not to mention darts, pool, and the Sunday-night trivia quiz. Order a brew from the thirteen on tap or sample its serious selection of Scotch. Even man’s best friend is welcome. On alternating Wednesdays and Saturdays, this laid-back British-style bar hosts bluegrass, world music, or jazz bands.
There's nothing broken at the Broken Rack, which offers twenty tables, a host of high-octane cocktails, and a comfy lounge complete with that vanishing species, the smoking section. There’s also foosball, pinball, and free wi-fi. It may seem a little odd to find a pool hall right next to a food court and the high-rise condos of Emeryville, but the atmosphere is relaxed and adult. Just the game, no scene, no cruising. Tie one on and sink a few.
This Jack London Square club used to be a hot spot for salsa, but these days it attracts a well-heeled, mature African-American crowd. The huge, open-aired, barnlike venue has two sides: one is a sports bar and billiards hall; the other is a nightclub, karaoke, and comedy club. In both cases, be prepared to adhere to the club's dress-code policy of hard-soled shoes and no T-shirts or sportswear for men, and "sexy attire" for ladies. DJs spin hip-hop and R&B on Friday nights, while Saturday night specifically caters to an older clientele.
Located on Shattuck Avenue just a few blocks from downtown Berkeley BART station, this venue is a favorite hang-out for college students. Thalasa is decked out with 23 tables, a full bar, and patio seating.