Best New Bar: Hipster extravagance
It seemed it was never gonna happen -- Kitty English, aka DJ Kitty of KALX, aka the Ruby Room's soul-and-funk-spinning diva Kitaytay, aka your friendly Ivy Room bartender -- kept going on and on about this beautiful bar she was going to open. And suddenly, one night very near the end of 2005, it arrived, just in time for those "Kitty's since 2005" badges to stand accurate. The bar has been packed since, a confluence of the neighborhood's upscale loft-dwellers lacking a neighborhood watering hole, the dearth of a stumble-distance happy hour for the offices all around, and Kitty's own following. The place reflects her Portuguese heritage (the Un Poco de Todo snack plate) and sophisticated daring and local culture cred (a drink named for the band Persephone's Bees, featuring new-to-the-market Pearl pomegranate vodka). This is a grownup bar, with Pabst on tap the primary shout-out to the proprietress' dive-bar roots, so the prices are a bit steep. Sometimes the music's kind of loud, too, but the dancefloor is often populated, and the crowd is among the East Bay's most interesting. So if you want to chat, go to a cafe -- if you want to people-watch and get the funk down, come here.