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Gin Definitions

SFO <- -> OAK

It's time for Bay Area residents to start making plans for Labor Day weekend Sept 4-7. Why? Because the Bay Bridge will be closed for seismic upgrades. This is not a bad thing at all: BART will run trains 24 hours during the interruption, and that means drinkers can party in either city and get back home safely.

For city residents, a visit to Oakland is probably long overdue. I know it is for me. Here are some suggestions of places to visit from my own "bars to visit" spreadsheet. (Of course I have one, don't you?)

  • Camino: A restaurant with a cocktail menu designed by Thad Vogler using only spirits from non-industrially grown crops and in-season citrus.
  • Sidebar: The cocktail menu was designed by Jonny Raglin of Absinthe. Each drink is available in a classic and locavore version, made with local ingredients.
  • The Den at the Fox: This newish bar is attached to the Fox Theater. 
  • Pican: A restaurant with a focus on bourbon. 
  • Adesso: a gastropub with cocktails.
  • Grand Tavern: A restaurant with classic cocktail list
  • Penelope: Another gastropub with an interesting cocktail menu.


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i would also recommend a visit to Marzano:

kinda like Oakland's version of Beretta... kinda.

Jeremy Brooks

Don't forget the Hotsy Totsy in Albany! They are slinging some great drinks there now, and the interior has been updated. And they have a free jukebox!
You can walk there from the El Cerrito Plaza station. It's easily my favorite East Bay watering hole. And if you feel like playing frat boy, the Mallard is across the street.


Jeremy is totally right on! the Hotsy is not in Oakland, but if you are coming to the East Bay for a cocktail, the Hotsy Totsy should be on the top of your list to visit!

the remodel has been *genius* from the cocktails and spirits to the tastefully-done interior. it is hip-yet-still-Hotsy.

and there is a dedicated taco truck in their parking lot on the weekends. yeah... super cool.


As much as I love Oakland and want more people to come here, half of the recommendations in that list are not near any BART stations.

Mr Manhattan

Flora (near BART, probably the best cocktail list in the East Bay) and Pizzaiolo.

And forget The Den - that's a place for lite beer and G&Ts from a siphon served in plastic cups.


another not-very-BART-accessible suggestion: lucky lounge on Grand Ave. very yummy specialty cocktails.

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