Since we’re finally getting a dose of the wet and wild winter weather, I figured you might be looking for a dark hole to climb into and get drunk in this weekend. If that’s the case, look no further than The Avenue in Oakland.
The Avenue is a quintessential dive bar with some extra, special touches. It’s the kind of place that’s deceptive based upon its exterior, because it’s actually friggin’ huge in there. There’s a pool table that only costs 75 cents per game (unheard of), a fireplace, and almost too much seating. In the rear of the bar, there’s a flat screen TV with Guitar Hero guitars attached to it. But not once have I ever seen the TV in use, which is fine, really, because the jukebox provides plenty of entertainment. Besides, who could complain when the cocktails are stiff as a board and only cost $4?
The crowd is as diverse as you would expect for North Oakland. One time, I met an older African American gentleman who displayed his bejeweled denim jacket to me and boasted about how long it took him to sew and/or glue each piece on by hand. Another time, an old, white sailor-type told me a joke that ended with the following lines: “The farmer answered the door. This time, it was the pig.” Beyond that, there are hipsters and neighborhood folks in equal measures, and everyone seems to get along just fine. But if you really need to bail, at least there’s Lanesplitter’s across the street.
Thanks to John M. for the pic.
4822 Telegraph Ave. [Temescal]