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It’s apparent as soon as you step into the Warehouse that this Jack London establishment caters to our civic men and women in uniform — various badges and shields of law enforcement agencies cover the walls above the pool table. Beyond that, the Warehouse is a clean, friendly watering hole for watching the game on the flat-screen TV or enjoying a burger.

Located two blocks from the El Cerrito Community Center, Well Grounded is a family-owned cafe that sells coffee and bagel sandwiches, including a gluten-free option.

This family-owned cafe is a great place to bring the family; it's got something for everyone, and the room to fit ’em. The back patio has space for fifty, and the garden is perfect for pets and young children. Laptop luggers are provided free wi-fi, and the eco-conscious can revel in the cafe's use of fresh organic fruits and veggies from the nearby Webster Street Farmers' Market, held every Tuesday and Saturday. For off-site patrons, the cafe's extensive menu is augmented by catering and delivery services.

Fondly known as the "White Ho," the White Horse Inn is one of the oldest gay bars in the country. Built in 1933, the white building at the corner of 66th and Telegraph with a flag of a horse draped out front and cigarette butts like confetti on the sidewalk doesn't appear to echo much of its rich past. But inside, the bar is a lively place and welcoming to all walks of life, with a big-screen TV playing continuous karaoke and a single pool table to fight over underneath. Three nights of the week, DJs spin a variety of dance, Top 40, and hip-hop; in addition, there's lively karaoke every Monday and Tuesday nights, drag shows on Wednesdays, and breast cancer charity bingo games Thursday afternoons. No cover charge on Thursdays, otherwise it ranges from $5-$10.

DJs nightly. Open Mon.-Fri. 5 p.m.-2 a.m., Sat. 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Closed Sunday.

Since 1962, Woody's Cafe has been serving the neighborhood of East Oakland. This joint uses beans from Mr. Espresso for all of its coffee beverages. Customers can enjoy outside patio seating and free wi-fi. Even though the cafe closes at 7 p.m. daily, music, art, and comedy events are held until 9:30 p.m. throughout the week. Check their web site for event details.

At World Ground, in the Laurel district of Oakland, everything is just right. They have good coffee, beer on tap, peanuts in the shell, sandwiches, soups, salads, and delicious smoothies. It's a great place for studying, reading, meeting friends, or just people-watching. There's an outside area along with the indoor tables, and all those coffeehouse-related things such as poetry readings and live music. World Ground has the whole place-you-want-to-hang-out-in down so well that another one recently opened in Jack London Square.

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