-written by: Mark Davis
Oh, you was all reading up on this site and thought our expertise only went as far as dope shoes? Wrong. We also know a lot about drinking. There's a slew of rad spots all over the Bay and we've been to every single one (that we can remember!). Still, our favorite spots are the ones we hit up over and over after a gravy shift, an alley-cat, or a night of hard-fought polo matches. Most of all, these are the places where we know we're going to run into friends both old and new. Here are a few of our all-time favorite watering holes to hitch our horses up at. Next time you find yourself in town, refer to this if you're looking to link up with our kind.
-Benders (19th x South Van Ness)
Who even knows how many alleycats planned, how many half-baked ideas affirmed as genius, how many classic stickers have been conceived inside the hallowed temple of drunkitude known as Benders Bar and Grill.
This longtime bike bar has a good drunchie selection including some bo$$ burgers and legendary tater tots. They have a long robust history of supporting bike events, and the community has supported them for years in return. They occasionally have punk shows as well as a slew of bike parking inside. If you smoke, they have a patio out back that closes a couple hours before the bar does. Show up, shoot some pool and you'll make friends quick. Chances are high you'll run into some local legends.
-Uptown (17th x Capp)
Okay, we're violating a crucial rule against blowing up the spot here, but as long as you don't blow up the spot, then we should be alright. Uptown is a low key dive with a beat pool table, and adequate bar seating on two sides. There's a spot for lounging in the back corner and a few booths in the front. Its small size keeps it from getting too crowded, and is a good spot to hang out with just a few homies if you want to be able to, you know, converse. No bike parking inside, but you'll probably see some sweet whips locked up outside. The corner out front is well lit.
This spot has everything except food. Huge outdoor patio, cheap drinks, pool table, shuffleboard, event space, and most of all, a good customer base. It's a classic queer hangout space so leave your hang-ups at the door. TCB courier holds a party here every first Monday of the month with $1 Tecates, $2 well drinks, and their very own Misfits cover band, The Messfits.
-Eli's Mile High Club (MLK x Macarthur)
There are two bars in Oakland where you can smoke, drink, and shoot pool at the same time, and this is the one you hope to find yourself in. The word-of-mouth Tuesday night Oakland Alleycat starts at WOB hill and ends at this fine establishment. They host a lot of metal bands, often featuring the dude you rode there with. They do $2 Tecates, have ample bike parking inside, and are awesomely dog-friendly.
-Telegraph Beer Garden (23rd x Telegraph)
This is a rad open air beer spot whether you're trying to cop a buzz at 2pm or stay that way into the narrow end of the night. Huge end-to-end benches mean it's a great place to end your group ride or just find a spot and post up with a homie or two. This place has a real light atmosphere. It's easy to talk here, and I don't just mean volume.
-Golden Bull (14th x Broadway)
The only things I can piece together from my last time there were Sardine yelling into a megaphone and losing my goldsprint. This downtown bar has a wide variety of events, and always open their doors to bike-stuff. They do a lot of shows too, so don't be surprised if you show up and there's a line and crowd. Legendary shop King Kog hold parties here when they need more space than their shop allows. Oh, and Analog is right next door - they sell damn good vegan eats late into the night.
Happy riding, happy drinking, and hopefully we’ll see you around!