Oakland's emerging beer renaissance finds a firm foothold at Beer Revolution, located near Jack London Square. Inside, a bevy of beers on tap (as many as fourteen at a time) includes local selections, Belgian and German styles, and microbrews from across the country. Perhaps even more impressive are the large coolers lined up against the wall opposite the bar, stocked with four hundred of the world's finest and rarest brews, with forty two of which are on tap. Take one to go or enjoy it on the sunny front patio for a $1 corkage fee.
Situated in the back room of Everett & Jones Barbecue's Jack London Square spot, Dotha's hosts live blues shows, allowing patrons to tap their toes while they chow down on the restaurant's delicious barbecue.
Talk about old-school: The Fat Lady's building dates back to the 1870s, and the bar has been in the same family since it was bought, refurbished, and reopened in 1970. It's now outfitted with well-chosen knickknacks — Tiffany lamps, stained glass, a sign rescued from the Fox Theater during its recent revitalization — and as far as the clientele goes, it's filled with whatever the human equivalent of well-chosen knickknacks is. Try the Mafioso (American Honey Bourbon, St. George's Firelit Coffee Liqueur, and steamed milk, $9 — looks like a root beer float and tastes like an alcoholic espresso).
Heinold's, which was founded in 1883, stands as the only place where you can drink at the same table once used by Jack London, president and Supreme Court justice William Howard Taft, and Robert Lewis Stevenson — in other words, it’s seriously old-school cool.
Undoubtedly one of the oldest bars in downtown Oakland, this little shack is beside a line of produce warehouses right at the edge of Jack London Square. Merchant’s is a dive bar that combines punk bar decor with a nautical theme, and features an upright piano, a jukebox, and a lofted DJ booth crafted from dilapidated plywood. Play pool or Pac-Man, or use the free wi-fi. Admire the ingenuity of the antique (and no longer used) urinal that wraps all the way around the bar: Serious drinkers didn’t even get up to piss!
With its old-fashioned furniture, a menu that's long on whiskeys and short on wheel-inventing, and comfortable, cozy, vibe, The Night Light is the kind of place your grandfather would love — that is, until the DJs get there.
Hold a glass up high as Skip Henderson and Starboard Watch, a pirate band, belts out old sea shanties. It’s just your average Thursday night at Quinn’s. The lighthouse dates back to 1890. The deck seats eighty, and the pub on the second floor has eight beers on tap and more than fifty bottled beers to choose from. The atmosphere is casual — patrons are permitted to toss peanut shells on the floor. The restaurant downstairs is more formal, but guests can order off the full menu wherever they are.
Its 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, enjoying a burger, or taking part in one of the monthly charity events such as poker, karaoke, or barbecues. Every Friday night (plus some Saturdays), the bar features a varied lineup of blues, rock, cover, R&B, and country bands.
This Jack London Square anchor tenant lives up to its claim of world-class jazz; everyone from McCoy Tyner to John Scofield comes by at least once a year, and you can also occasionally catch rising stars and school bands in addition to big-name national acts. The acoustics are marvelous, the sushi is fresh and good, and the grilled calamari is also recommended. Tickets range from $5 for a Sunday afternoon children's matinee (with paid adult admission) to upwards of $100 for a special event. Two shows nightly.