Sunday, March 24, 2013

Oakland bar crawl, part 2, Heinold’s

The night started out uneventfully, regrouping after a day of working a conference. We had the choice of several corporate parties, or ditching San Francisco and heading over the bridge to the East Bay.  We chose wisely and headed for Oakland.  The rest is, as they say, alcohol over the liver.

The night started with at Messob for Ethiopian food, then to the dive tiki Kona Club.  After leaving the Kona Club, common sense dictated that we head for our hotel and get some sleep.  So we headed downtown and ended up hitting three bars, our selection being limited by it being late and a Tuesday.  Not to fear, we hit three winners.


(image credit unknown, via Heinold’s website)

First stop was Heinold's First And Last Chance Saloon , an old school bar which survived the Great Earthquake, and much more.  From their website:

“Opened in 1883 by Johnny Heinold as J.M. Heinold's Saloon, this Historic Landmark looked much then as she does today. She was built right here in 1880 from the timbers of an old whaling ship over the water in a dock area that even then was at the foot of Webster Street. For nearly three years, the building was used as a bunk house by the men working the nearby oyster beds. Then in 1883, Johnny's $100 purchase, with the aid of a ship's carpenter, was transformed into a saloon where seafaring and waterfront men could feel at ease.”

The entire tiny establishment tilts severely due to settling and the effects of the Great Earthquake.  It’s ramshackle appearance is at odds with the nearby yachts in the harbor, but this old Jack London hangout stands proud in the face of change, a single middle finger upraised in the face of gentrification.  The place is laid back and friendly- I’m sure during weekends and boating season it is overrun with people who don’t quite fit the vibe, but it’s worth the trip.



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