Director of Sales and Marketing , East Bay Express
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!
This award-winning cafe, tea house, bar, restaurant, venue, and gallery is one of Uptown's most happening spots.
Concrete floors and a position in the heat of Oakland's warehouse district give Swarm an industrial feel, but the artists who work and show here run the gamut from delicate line-drawers to large-scale sculptors.