My New Favorite Place in the East Bay: Revolution Café

Compulsive Decoration and a Million Pianos

Compulsive Decoration and a Million Pianos

Revolution Café is located in West Oakland in a neighborhood known as The Lower Bottoms, not a particularly endearing name, but somehow fitting for a place west of “Dogtown.” From the outside it doesn’t look like anything special, but when you walk through the front door its awesomeness will smack you in the face. The emptiness of the neighborhood is completely and wholeheartedly made up for by Revolution’s ambience: an unpretentious and homey hoarder’s-living-room-chic (minus the chic). The compulsive decoration, consisting of hundreds of pieces of insane art (e.g the birdcage hanging from the ceiling housing a Barbie and a clown), 4 pianos, a drum set, and tons of mismatched furniture, is beyond charming.

The In-House Scoundrel Making Prank Calls

The In-House Scoundrel Making Prank Calls

Throw in a 12-year-old “in-house scoundrel” (as the counter lady called him) interviewing the patrons on art and trying to get your phone number and you’ve got yourself a cozy afternoon of studying, eating cheaply, and warding off precocious elementary school hustlers handing out their phone numbers on post-its. In his words, Revolution Café is “good” and “fun” because you can “bring babies and animals,” you can “play the band,” “make prank calls,” play with “toys and stuff,” and “fart.” I saw no evidence of the last one, but if babies and animals are allowed in there who knows what kind of madness could ensue, right?

FREE Amazing Sandwich

FREE Amazing Sandwich

When she heard I was writing a piece about the café, the super-cool lady working the counter offered to make me a FREE sandwich (I was pretty excited because it was the first kickback of my journalistic career, though I felt like somewhat of a fraud). In a few short minutes out came a gorgeous platter of fresh salad of baby greens, a gigantic sandwich of homemade hummus, sun dried and fresh tomato, olives, and the works, plus a banana to snack on later.

Elvis the Voyeur

Elvis the Voyeur

As if that weren’t enough, here are some more reasons to visit this well-kept secret: it’s open 8am-8pm Monday-Saturday, most things on the varied breakfast/sandwich/soup/salad menu are under $5, they serve beer and wine, they offer FREE internet, it is conveniently located right across the street from the West Oakland Bart stop, a life-size cardboard cutout of Elvis stares at you while you pee, there are fresh $.75-cent pastries, actually good home-brewed $.50 coffee, and I’m pretty sure they offer FREE coffee refills and FREE coffee period if you bring your own mug. They just started having Open Mic Nite (1st Friday of the month, 8:30pm) and Comedy Nite (3rd Friday of the month, 8:30pm).

7th Street Revolution Café
1610 7th St @ Peralta St. [W. Oakland]
Open 8am-8pm Monday-Saturday

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About the author

Chloe - Pennywise Reporter

Chloe's youth was split between California and Kauai, frolicking on a macadamia nut farm in the tropics and landing finally in the Bay Area. Raised by super-Jew hippies, and the youngest of three sisters, Chloe learned early the virtues of thrift, economy, and green living. To the chagrin of her parents (who hoped, of course, for a Jewish doctor or lawyer), Chloe has put her degree from UC Berkeley to great use by becoming a folk singer. As "Chloe Makes Music" she plays shows throughout SF and beyond, donning vintage frocks, selling handmade merch, and pinching pennies as she sings for her supper. Calling Berkeley home for the last six years, you can think of Chloe as the website's East Bay Correspondent, opening your eyes to the hippie-filled, tree-hugging, organic-loving, vegan-eating, but way-overlooked and awesome assets of Berkeley, Oakland, and beyond.

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