OAKLAND (BCN) — More than 50 people donned Santa costumes and took to Oakland bars Saturday evening for the city’s first-ever Claus Crawl.
The costumed drinkers were brought together by East Bay Loop, an online community that aims to shine a spotlight on East Bay events and away from San Francisco, according to an event organizer.
“People always tend to talk about San Francisco and we think the East Bay has the same to offer or even better,” said Lamont Perriman, a vice president of East Bay Loop.
Claus Crawl is in its first year and resembles SantaCon, an annual national event involving hundreds of people dressing up in Santa costumes and taking to the streets. San Francisco’s SantaCon began in 1994.
Five bars and restaurants participated in Saturday night’s event, which saw a fair number of red- and white-dressed participants.
Patrick Lynch, one of the owners of Bar Three Fifty-Five at 355 19th St., said he saw maybe 40 people dressed in Santa costumes.
Each venue offered discounted drinks for participants who brought in a toy to donate. All toys will go to underprivileged children in the East Bay through Family Giving Tree, a Milpitas-based charity organization, Perriman said.
Bar Three Fifty-Five offered $1 off all beers and a special price on its Bulleit Bourbon, Lynch said.
At Ozumo Restaurant at 2251 Broadway, which saw about eight participants, Santa-dressed customers were offered a choice of two signature cocktails.
The first cocktail included sparkling wine, lychee juice and a dash of strawberry puree, according to Ashley Luna, the restaurant’s maitre d’.
The second cocktail had vanilla vodka, coffee liqueur and soy milk, he said.
Other participating venues included Pican Restaurant at 2295 Broadway, which saw about 10 Santa-dressed customers, and The Layover bar at 1517 Franklin St., which also saw about 10 participants.
A full list of participating venues and pictures from the event can be found at www.eastbayloop.com.