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First Bite: Livermore's Beer Baron Bar and Kitchen is Reborn in Pleasanton

The bold pub fare stands on its own.


by Eric Miller

With a wall of craft whiskeys, a wavy ceiling designed from reclaimed barrel staves, and more taps than there are cans in a case of Budweiser, Beer Baron Bar and Kitchen in Pleasanton would shine just fine without pots and pans.

But owner Harpreet Singh Judge, who five years ago transformed the Livermore Saloon into the original (but booze-only) Beer Baron, has always wanted to offer food. And if this critic’s Sunday night selections were representative, Judge has made the right call.

Citrusy ceviche of shaved halibut; sliced rustic duck sausage over coarse polenta with fruity notes of fig and raspberry; sticky lamb riblets; and a (ground-in-house) burger on brioche all made for great pub fare. What’s more, our earnest yet amusing server, Nick, was well informed, conscientious, and helpful.

At this new Beer Baron, even if you pointed to a tap with your eyes closed, I'm sure it would cozy up just fine to a plate of fries crisped in duck fat. The food, it turns out, stands on its own as well as the booze.

336 St. Mary St., Pleasanton, (925) 223-8577, beerbaronbar.com. Lunch and dinner Tues.–Sun.

Happy Hour Bar & Bites at
The Cooperage

Monday through Friday
3pm – 5:30pm


This isn’t your typical happy hour. This quintessential neighborhood spot offers high-quality craft cocktails on tap and tasty bites. Menu features: $10 cocktails on tap, $5 select beer & wine, $1 oysters, $7 bacon cheeseburger sliders, $7 crispy beer battered shrimp sliders, $9 sashimi-grade ahi tuna tartare. 

32 Lafayette Circle, Lafayette
​Reservations: www.thecooperagelafayette.com or 925.298.5915

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