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We Love the Nightlife: August 30–September 4

Two new places to drink in the East Bay; wine and music festivals in Livermore; pirates plunder a Walnut Creek bar; and more nightlife happenings.



Portal Oakland

New places to drink:

Since I gave up alcohol to train for Tough Mudder, writing Nightlife has become especially tortuous, especially with these new places to drink popping up this summer. Make sure you stop by, and once I’m off the wagon I’ll check them out and give you the rundown!

Barrel AgedBarrel Aged (Martinez): I’m most excited about the newest edition to Martinez’s nightlife scene, Barrel Aged. The cocktail lounge and restaurant has an impressive drinks program, with barrel aged cocktails (negronis, Manhattans, etc), distiller events, live music, and whiskey flights. I chose a terrible time to stop drinking. 823 Main St., Martinez, (925) 228-7795, barrelagedbar.com.

Portal (Oakland): Portal had a really sneaky opening. So sneaky, in fact, that most local publications didn’t realize the restaurant opened. After looking at a friend’s sun-drenched photos from Portal’s patio, I’m convinced Portal will be your new favorite place to sip an icy beer. The outdoor beer garden is twice the size of the interior, and the restaurant features a rotating tap list and 10 beers by the bottle. 1611 2nd Ave., Oakland, (510) 663-7678, website.

Nightlife Events:

Cabernet Day and Harvest Wine:
It seems like every other day is IPA, whiskey sour, or [insert your favorite drink here] day, but I’m all for an excuse to try a spirit you’d normally shy away from or celebrating old favorites. Today’s Cabernet Day honors a wine you’re all probably familiar with, but La Rochelle and Steven Kent are using it as an excuse to kick off a weekend of events. Swing by the winery’s Reserve Room for tastings of the new vintages from the winery’s Single Vineyard series on Saturday, or stop by on Sunday during the Harvest Wine Celebration, which runs through Monday. More than 40 Livermore Valley wineries will open for the ticketed event, which includes complimentary tastings, a commemorative wine glass, and discounted wine. La Rochelle and Steven Kent will have food vendors and live music, plus special tastings in the Barrel Room. Buy tickets online here. September 1–3, 5443 Tesla Rd., Livermore, website.

The Mountain GoatsThe East Bay’s Mini Outside Lands:
We may be saying goodbye to summer and hello to fall this long weekend, but it’s hard to stay sad when there’s Wente’s Front Porch Music Festival to look forward to. This Saturday, indie favorites The Mountain Goats and The Dodos will headline the winery’s music festival, which also features performances from Jerry Hannan Band, the Front Porch (Karl Wente’s band), Wolf Hamlin, and more. Bring a blanket or a chair and park it by the stage, grab a bottle of wine, and experience a (very) mini Outside Lands in our own backyard. Looks like Livermore’s gaining street cred in the music world. $20 in advance, $30 at the door, Saturday, September 1, 3–9 p.m., 5565 Tesla Rd., Livermore, website.

Thar be pirates in Walnut Creek:
Ahoy Mateys! Walnut Creek’s Spoontonic Lounge will be hosting a pirate-themed version of its monthly Winchester DJ nights this Saturday. "Silverhook" Sean, “Dreadbeard" Curtis, and "Jollyfist" Jeff will provide the tunes, and according to the event website, “come dressed seaworthy and not as a landlubber and ye shall partake in the drink specials.” No cover, Saturday, September 1, 8 p.m.–2 a.m., 2580 N. Main St., Walnut Creek, website.

Cal game day specials:
Looking for a place to watch the game? Check out our round-up of local watering holes offering specials during Cal's kickoff game.


What do you like to do on a Friday or Saturday night? We are out and about looking for best night on the town, because We Love the Nightlife. Send us your tips at d-mail@maildiablo.com.

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