Drink Through the Decades
Play the Drinking Timeline game with Oaklands saloons
1883 // Jack London toiled with his story ideas at Heinolds First and Last Chance Saloon. How much more illustrious can you get? A lot. Other patrons include President Taft, poet Joaquin Miller, and journalist Ambrose Bierce. Many of the dollars hanging on walls are from men leaving for World Wars. The 1906 earthquake left the bar on uneven ground, and it's stayed that way ever since with the clock stopped at the time the earthquake struck.
1916 // The tagline for the Merchants Saloon in Jack London District is poisoning Oakland since 1916. Step right into the shackety shack in the midst of turn-of-the-century warehouses. It's not the upright piano that's the showstopper, but the tile urinal at the bar.
1922 // The Kingfish Pub and Cafe in the Temescal neighborhood is nothing more than a squat shack, where for years, the order of the day was buying bait. Today the Kingfish is a popular neighborhood spot for beer, sports, shuffleboard, which has been played here since the 50s, and the regular Kingfishers.
1933 // The men who came to Telegraph Avenues White Horse Inn in the first few decades were forced to struggle silently in the closet or face felony charges, at least outside these doors. Though they had some respite here, they still had to be guarded within The White Horse, the oldest continuously operating gay bar in the United States. Today, its all out in the open, with karaoke and disco nights.
The 1950s // The spot at 2221 Broadway is now known as Lukas Taproom but was once an inn (burnt down in the 30s), The Cigar Box, and finally Hof Brau. Lukas opened in 2003, taking over Hof Braus and preserving its 1950s history throughout. Its still a place to get a delicious meal and a good beer. Oysters are $1 per on Mondays.
The 21st Century // Modern-day saloon Heart & Dagger, housed in the old Serenader bar, plays rock n roll on the jukebox and has an expansive patio with tables near Lake Merritt. The wood-paneled Legionnaire Saloon in Uptown has a 45s jukebox curated by co-owner and former emcee Prozack Turner.