Owned by an elderly couple who still tend bar, this is damn near the definition of a neighborhood dive: drinks are dirt-cheap, the clientele is composed of an eclectic groups of regulars, and the entertainment includes a pool table, TVs, and a legendarily cheap jukebox — or you could just pass the time people-watching.
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.
Vintage decor gives this bar and grill a classic feel, but the menu — ambitious, inventive cocktails and well-made snacks like sliders and sausages — is contemporary Emeryville all the way.
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.