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We Love the Nightlife: A New Bar in Oakland

Legionnaire Saloon arrives in Oakland; celebrating 40 years with Berkeley world music venue Ashkenaz; and more nightlife news and happenings.

Belly dancing at Ashkenaz.

Can you believe St. Patrick’s Day is next weekend? I’m already stocking up on green and trying to perfect my car bomb cupcakes. We’ll have a full roundup of festive events—both adult and kid-friendly—early next week, but here are a few tidbits to tide you over before the holiday.


Legionnaire Saloon opens in Oakland

Fans of the early days of the Layover are in luck, because Prozack and RaeAnne Turner, both formerly of the downtown Oakland bar, have opened a new joint. The new Oakland performance space and bar is called the Legionnaire Saloon, and boasts a vintage 45 jukebox and pinball machines, in addition to a stage for live music. Every first Thursday, kicking off tonight (March 7), Legionnaire throws a “Where It’s At” party, with northern soul, R&B, and funk music. Another unique event is Golfunk (a combination of funk bands and golf videos), which takes place the third Thursday of the month. You’ll also have your choice of eight tap beers and a wide spirit selection. 2272 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, legionnairesaloon.com.


Ashkenaz turns 40

Over in Berkeley, legendary dance hall Ashkenaz is turning 40 and throwing a party for the occasion. The world music venue, which opened in 1973, will celebrate with ten days of special events, starting tonight (March 7). East Bay Express interviewed some of the numerous acts that have graced Ashkenaz’s stage here, and you can check out the full line-up for the 40th anniversary bash on its website. 1317 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, (510) 525-5054, ashkenaz.com.

Distillers Lobby for Law Change

7x7 brings news that the California Artisanal Distillers Guild (CADG) is fighting for a change to laws that date back to Prohibition. Currently, spirits producers aren’t allowed to sell samples of their products during tours, or bottles at their distilleries, unlike wineries and breweries, which are able to do both. Alameda’s St. George has been able to work around the law by giving away samples and leasing space to a third-party retailer for sale of its product, but that’s understandably annoying. In an attempt to change the outdated laws, the CADG is currently lobbying a petition, which you can sign here, in Sacramento. Help the distillers shake off the shackles of Prohibition laws, and you get to taste their work and buy their bottles. Sounds like a win-win to me.

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