Nestled between Alamedas bustling Park Street and Alameda High School, this 92-year-old hall draws about 250 people on Friday nights for dancing to live zydeco, and occasional Saturdays for swing. These weekly gigs are not too unlike a church function -- except for the full bar hidden in the back corner — with punch bowls filled with Oreos, pretzels, and chocolate chip cookies, and regulars who affectionately call each other by name. Tables line the wooden dance floor in this four-hundred-capacity hall, and its easy to see why people of all ages and walks of life from rockabillies to pimply-faced teens in Nirvana T-shirts to your aunt who frequents Ashkenaz come for the guaranteed crowd and, oh yeah, the handy dance lesson beforehand.
Stepping inside this cozy venue might conjure up sweet memories of sunny days spent in your grandma's kitchen. Beyond beer and wine, the cafe offers up a simple but sweet home-style menu of soups, sandwiches, and baked goods like lemon pound cake. Live bands, from jazz to bluegrass acts, hit the stage weekly. The Station also caters private events in its lounge area or in the entire cafe.
Wedged next to a car dealership on the crummier end of Alameda’s Park Street, this honky-tonk-ish dive bar features live music, karaoke, and pool tournaments Wednesdays through Saturdays. Decked out with a pool table, jukebox, Big Toy machine complete with lesbian porn, several tables, and a small stage, John Patrick’s is no supper club, but it’s a fun, cash only neighborhood watering hole.
It's impossible to be all things to all people, but this cafe at the end of Park Street in Alameda almost succeeds. This space is a hodgepodge of creativity: A variety of hippie arts and crafts for sale, such as rain sticks and beaded baskets, fill up the space, plus there are regular crafts nights, and poetry readings. Order a pot of black lavender tea and start knitting at one of the large wooden tables. No one will kick you out.