Tag Archives: Ruby Room

First Friday Adventures

2 Apr

We all know about the art murmur, which is a great way to spend the first Friday evening of the month, but this first Friday, there are lots of other options to get out and enjoy Oakland, especially if art galleries aren’t your favorite place to hang out. Here are some adventures you can take tomorrow night:

Adventure 1: Celebrating Bikes & Small Bites in Temescal

Tip Top Bike Shop is turning 2, and to celebrate the store’s birthday, they’re having a party, complete with cake, music and beer. But it gets better than that – though the party is free, they’ll be accepting donations, all to benefit Walk Oakland Bike Oakland. The party starts at 6pm at their shop at 4800A Telegraph, and you can find out more details at WOBO’s blog. Once you’ve had your fill of cake and bike talk, head across the street to Barlata, the recently opened but already popular Spanish tapas bar. I’ve yet to go there, but City Homestead gave it a great review (A-, which is pretty much as high as her ratings go). Stop in to have some wine and nibble on small plates. When you’re done, hop on your bike or the 1 bus to get home.

Adventure 2: A Night at the Museum

Can I just say that I love the trend of museums staying open at night? And tomorrow night, the Oakland Museum of California will be open after hours, from 5-9pm, as it is every first Friday. Swing by 1000 Oak Street to catch a lecture, enjoy some jazz, watch a movie, or just wander the museum. But 9pm is far too early to end a Friday night, so afterward, walk three blocks up Oak Street to 14th to grab a drink at Ruby Room.

Adventure 3: A Classic Evening in Uptown

Every other Friday, the Paramount screens classic movies for only $5! Tomorrow, they’ll be showing An American in Paris, featuring Gene Kelly as an ex-G.I. who just wants to paint (and, of course, dance). Catch the movie at 7pm, and when you’re done, head from Broadway to Telegraph to check out the Den at the Fox Theater. The Den is the bar attached to the Fox, which is open to the public (without paying for a show). The space is gorgeous, filled with sofas, tables, and a piece of the ceiling from decades ago that’s apparently fake (but still nice to look at). My favorite parts are looking out the windows on the second floor and checking out the old switchboard, which is still very much in tact. Grab a cocktail or a bite to eat and enjoy being transported back to the 1920s for an evening. And while you’re gazing out the window, see if you can imagine any more uses for the empty lot across the street.

Rediscovering Downtown Oakland: Where to Grab a Drink after Work

20 Feb

This post is a bit difficult for me to write because lately, there’s really only one place I go to get drinks after work – Radio. But Radio’s not for everyone so I’ve included a few other places to stop in for a drink after a long day at work.

Radio – 13th between Broadway & Franklin

Over the years, I’ve grown very fond of Radio. Of course, it helps that it’s only two blocks away from my office, but that’s not the only reason to love it. The bartenders and regulars are friendly, the drinks are cheap during happy hour, it’s always dark and basked in red lighting, and, of course, you can play pinball. Though Radio is small, it’s rarely overcrowded during the early evening (watch out late on weekend nights though – it gets packed!). My favorite part? You don’t have to worry about bringing a designated driver because Radio’s just a few steps away from BART and most major AC Transit lines, and it’s across the street from one of the few taxi stands in Oakland.

Ruby Room – 14th between Madison & Oak

Ruby Room has a very similar feel to Radio – laid back and basked in red light. But it’s several times the size of Radio, and instead of playing pinball there, you can play pool. I don’t make it down to Ruby Room often because it’s a bit out of my way, but it’s a nice place to sit with a bunch of friends to catch up. And it’s right near Lake Merritt, so if you live in that direction, it would be easy to stop in on your way home.

Pacific Coast Brewery – Washington between 9th & 10th

Pacific Coast is the perfect spot for large groups. By downtown standards, this place is huge, and they have several large tables. The beer selection is pretty extensive and very tasty. Plus, you can eat dinner or just much on some fries while enjoying your after work beer. The best part of Pacific Coast might be the outside patio. During the warmer months, I love sitting out there and enjoying beautiful Oakland evenings.

Cafe Van Kleef – Telegraph between 15th & 17th

I previously wrote about Van Kleef as a music venue, but it’s also a great place to stop in for a quick drink in the evening. Van Kleef is small and pretty much always crowded, even on a Wednesday evening. So if you’re looking for a place that’s full of energy and you’re likely to run into someone you know or meet someone new, this is the place for you. But if you’re looking for a quiet and calm evening, Van Kleef probably isn’t for you.