It’s Always Good Time at the Kingfish

kingfish oakland
Image Courtesy of OurOakland

It’s time for you to make a field trip to the East Bay to check out the Kingfish. (Or, if you already live in the East Bay, see what your area has to offer.) You’ll find it’s worth making the trip across the Bay.

The Kingfish is what everybody is looking for in a dive bar. The building used to be a bait shop back in…well shit, I don’t know, the 30’s? It has retained the same façade and dimensions, and probably most of the same building materials, since its transition to a bar. Customer doodlings from decades past cover the walls, as well as the ceiling, which is low enough that your head just barely misses it as you stand up. In San Francisco this place would be packed with fedora-abusing hipsters and IT professionals looking for authenticity. Here though, it’s a mix bag of all ages, scenes, wardrobes, and uh… personal hygene. Still not authentic enough for you? The bar is on its way to becoming a historical landmark.

Tall boys of PBR and Tecate are three bucks, always. From seven to nine, every night but Friday, cans of Olympia are just a buck. Good selection of beers on tap and in the bottle, and since it’s Oakland they’ll be cheaper than they would in the city, plus a respectable selection of whiskeys. There’s also a special on Monday nights where if you buy a pitcher, wings, cheese fries, or nachos ring in at a dollar. The food comes from the Ethiopian restaurant across the street, so in addition to burgers and standard bar fare, you can order a sample platter of Ethiopian food complete with the spongy bread injera. Careful though, because like all spongy things, injera will expand in a beer-filled stomach. And of course, there’s the unlimited supply of FREE popcorn.

No night at the Kingfish is complete without a game of shuffleboard, which takes up the back room of the bar. You’ll meet some interesting characters. They also have FREE liars dice available for customers. Hell, I’ve even seen people playing Dungeons and Dragons at one of the tables here during off-off-peak hours.

It’s a great place to watch Bay Area sports teams play, especially the A’s and the Raiders. I’ve watched many an A’s game here, pounding dollar Olympias with grizzled old timers. And dogs. There’s usually at least one person with a dog in the bar. Every bar should have dogs in it, because a friendly dog when you’re drunk is the best entertainment the world has to offer.

The Kingfish
5227 Claremont Avenue
[North Oakland]

Oakland

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About the author

Nate Cox- Low-Budget Literati

Nate was born in the People's Republic of Berkeley and has gotten weirder ever since. After pursuing an economically unwise degree in Literature at UCSB, he has returned to the Bay to try this whole starving artist thing. Get him drunk enough and he will tell you about everything from Aboriginal Australian languages to jazz theory to how he coulda been a contendah. In his spare time, he looks at satellite images on Google Earth of places he will never go.

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