Thursday, May 28, 2009

revival of the dive!

Big news friends!

I have received word that the Kingfish Pub and Cafe will be re-opening it's doors! You guys! The Kingfish!

Seeing that I have been dying to go to said pub since I moved here, I feel like I may have mentioned it before. But, just in case, the Kingfish is similar to what I would imagine a bar looking like if it was actually located in a Louisiana bayou. The roof is made of what looks like tin, "The Kingfish" logo almost impossible to read since the paint has mostly chipped away, and I'm pretty sure that the building might actually be falling over.

I am beside myself with excitement. This place is right across the street from my house! And unlike the Red Sea, I feel like I can actually feel comfortable going in and grabbing a beer after work without feeling hella white and female.

22 is gonna be a good year, I can feel it.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

from a cheap hotel room in a different state

As the list of dives grows ever longer with every passing weekend, it makes it all the more difficult to write sufficient reviews on a regular basis. My sincerest apologies.

Either way, we must press on.

Since moving to Oakland, I had a rather prejudiced view that the East Bay had nothing to offer in terms of dives or taverns. I was always under the impression that in order to get drunk and have a good time, one would have to hop on Bart and venture to the land of hipster co-mingling.

But I must say, this is not the case! Here are some recent examples:

The Avenue
48th and Telegraph

Oh, The Avenue. Seeing that The Avenue is about 2 blocks away from my house, it has become a home away from home of sorts. Before I moved to Oakland, my dear friend (and former neighbor) Megan informed me that her favorite local bar was Biggums. Due to an unfortunate fire (or other disastrous incident), Biggums closed down and is now condos (or something equally as ugly).
All the local barflies with an undying love for Biggums now seem to flock to The Avenue, making the crowd a little unpredictable, but I must say the bartenders are lovely lovely individuals. (Note: If a tall guy is bartending and doesn't have slicked back "greaser" style hair, do not order a vodka gimlet from him because he will give you a vodka gibson. It has happened twice.)
The Avenue is a great place to go with a group of friends, especially if you're into playing pool and/or guitar hero with drunk strangers.

The Red Sea
Claremont and Clarke

Every friend or relative that has ever visited me has asked me two questions when outside my apartment building.
"Oh man, have you ever been to the Kingfish?"
"Oo oo what about the Red Sea?"
Reason being, these two establishments are my next door neighbors and therefore would allow me to get unreasonably drunk any time of the day and stumble just the few steps home.
Unfortunately, due to some licensing issues, the Kingfish was shut down before I even moved in. The building looks like it belongs in the Lousiana bayou and I am anxiously awaiting the day it will be able to open its doors once again. The Red Sea (laser noises on the website, alright!) on the other hand, is almost always bustling with activity any night of the week. From what I can tell, it's a bar/lounge and adjoining Ethiopian restaurant. I've yet to try the food there, but I did make it over to the bar finally.

I believe it was a Friday night, my dear friend Sayaka and I were hanging out in my apartment probably drinking wine and being bored. We decided to venture across the street and check out this Red Sea joint, unsure what was on the other side of the barred glass door.
There were a few men standing outside in little pods, smoking cigarettes and speaking another language very rapidly. We politely smiled as we walked past them and opened the door, only to find maybe 20-30 other men fitting the exact same description as the pods of men outside. The only other women in the bar were the two bartenders, two very pretty girls about the same age as us who seemed completely unfazed by the situation they found themselves in.
"Is this a gentleman's lounge or something? Are we allowed to be here?"
We ordered our unbelievably strong drinks, a vodka tonic and a jack and coke, drank them pretty fast, and were on our way.
It was weird to say the least. I'm not sure I'd say that I'll never go back, but just be warned that the entire clientele are fast-talking, fairly drunk Ethiopian dudes.

Geo Kaye's
41st and Broadway

Geo Kaye's was one of the first bars I went to in Oakland. The first time I went there it left me with a lasting feeling that I had just gotten drunk with my grandpa. The whole place has a distinct aroma of Jim Beam and pretzels and the bartender, Tom, is one of the nicest old men I have ever met. The place itself is quite small and the hard drinks are even smaller but I feel like this place has oodles of potential. Because of the size of the place, I would recommend going there with just one, maybe two friends. Not the best place for a rowdy bunch of 20-somethings. Also, they just got a new jukebox, one of those computerized ones, but make sure you get your songs in before the nerdy douchebag who just put on the entire Counting Crows anthology.
If you're looking for a drink that your grandpa would've made or you feel like complaining about the economy with guys named "Tom" or "Larry" Geo Kaye's is the place for you.

Note: This will be installment number one of an ongoing "East Bay" series. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

love is like a bottle of gin

I almost always have the urge to start off each blog post with "Dear Readers" ala Brad Neely but I have a feeling that might get really old really fast.


Some of you may be asking yourselves, "Why in the heck is she writing a blog about bar hopping? Whatever could she know about bars at such a young age?" Well, I'll tell you. I'll tell you that I am an individual with a propensity for spending copious amounts of money that I don't have. I'm the guy (or in this case, gal) who goes in with a gaggle of friends and says "Drinks are on me! Because I have been drinking!"

And so, even though I have only been of legal drinking age for just shy of 7 months, I have managed to compile quite a list of dive bars, pool halls, lounges, and alcohol-acceptable venues to call home.

When I met Joel Markham he would often say, "We're goin' to the rush!" "Rush inn!" "Aw yeah let's go!" "Let's go to that Rush inn!" I asked Joel to take me there when I turned 21, he obliged, and ever since it remains my favorite bar.

There are a couple of reasons for this:
1. Wendy
2. Joel
3. Wendy and Joel together
4. $4 stiff drinks
5. Good music on the jukebox (especially on Tuesday nights when there is no one else in the bar except the weird meowing guy who you just met and the alcoholic lesbian who just wants to have a good dance to some Earth, Wind and Fire)
6. It's one of those places where you can expect to see one or many people that you wouldn't otherwise see if you were visiting Santa Cruz but you also don't need to hang out with them for an extended period of time
7. For all you underage friends out there, you can easily walk in and hang out (just don't try and buy a drink)

The rush has sort of made a name for itself in Santa Cruz as "The Hipster Bar" or "Pergolesi After Hours." Now, see, I'm biased because generally I like hipsters and Pergolesi and things of that nature. But when I hear people talking about the "that hipster bar in santa cruz" with the same tone as if they had found gum on the bottom of their shoe, I get disheartened. Don't give up on the rush! There's nothin' else like it! And yeah, you might run into a douchebag or two, but come on folks, it comes with the territory.

Monday, December 8, 2008

a new beginning


and welcome. to the new blog.

i've decided to switch it up a little and showcase two things i am really good at:
1. going to bars
2. making blatant kids in the hall references

i hope you and all of your family and friends who are kind enough to RSS the blog feed (complete jibberish as far as i'm concerned) enjoy this new venture.

we're gonna have a real good time.

onward and upward,