Best of the East Bay - Nightlife
Best new bar, venue for live music, beer menu, new nightlife, happy hour, pickup spot...
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Way To Get Over The Hump
→ Head to Spoontonic Lounge for punk rock night every Wednesday, starting at 10 p.m. DJs spin everything from the Sex Pistols to Social Distortion, while the grungy hip clientele drinks the punkest of all beverages—$2 cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
2580 N. Main St., Ste. A, Walnut Creek, (925) 977-1888. —Justin Goldman
→ The Walnut Creek nightlife scene keeps getting hotter, and 1515 Restaurant Lounge is the latest locale to add fuel to the fire. The newest restaurant and bar by a Dudum—this one from Tony Dudum, cousin of local restaurant mogul Jeff—features a sleek, urban interior and is partitioned to separate the dining room from the lounge. The separation is an absolute necessity on Friday evenings, when a postwork crowd of well-dressed young professionals spills out onto Main Street, ready to ring in the weekend. If the throngs of beautiful partygoers on the patio are any indication, 1515 is here to stay.
1515 N. Main St., Walnut Creek, (925) 939-1515, www.1515wc.com. —J.G.
Place To Rock Your Socks Off
→ Pining for those dazed and confused days of youth, when life centered around the parking lot party before the Aerosmith concert? You’re in luck. The newest nightclub in Walnut Creek, Betty’s Rock Bar (formerly O’Kearney’s Funhouse) books the next best thing to the biggest bands in rock ’n’ roll—their most dedicated imitators.
Most Friday and Saturday nights, tribute bands like the Unauthorized Rolling Stones and the Cure copycats, Japanese Baby, take the stage. Heavier metal fans should check out Hot for Teacher (Van Halen), Powerage (Bon Scott–era AC/DC), or Iron Maidens (all-female Iron Maiden—get it?). The night we went, Petty Theft rocked the house with a set of Tom Petty classics. For those wishing to exercise, or exorcise, their inner Mick or Janis, try the Roxxxstar Karaoke every Tuesday.
1251 Arroyo Way, Walnut Creek, (925) 979-0132, www.bettysrockbar.com. —Peter Crooks
→ The expansive beer menu at Port Costa’s Warehouse Café has long reigned supreme in this category, but this year we had to make room for a new watering hole’s list of libations. The Trappist, in trendy Old Oakland, proudly boasts that it sells “no big corporate beer,” and the suds here are a godsend to any hops hound with a sense of adventure. The voluminous selection—at any given time there are 15 beers on tap and more than 150 available in bottles—is largely made up of unpronounceable yet delicious Belgian beers and American microbrews. Among our favorites were the Netherlands’ Koningshoeven, Belgium’s St. Bernardus, and Maine’s Allagash. A note for beer connoisseurs: Many Belgian ales are extremely strong (we’re talking double-digit alcohol content), so take advantage of BART, which stops at 12th Street, three blocks away.
460 Eighth St., Oakland, (510) 238-8900, www.thetrappist.com. —Justin Goldman