Heinhold’s First and Last Chance Saloon
48 Webster St.
Oakland, CA 94607
Want to drink in a historical landmark? Leash Rover and head over to Heinhold’s First and Last Chance Saloon in Jack London Square for inexpensive beverages at the full bar, great indoor ambiance (original stove, creosote-darkened ceiling, photos of everyone from President William Taft to Robert Louis Stevenson), and outdoor seating where dogs are welcome (and maybe given a treat). You can people watch–and boat watch–while you sip. Heinhold’s Saloon, built from whaling ship timbers, opened in 1883 to cater to sailors. During the 1920s, the Alameda-Oakland Ferry stopped adjacent to the premises, and the bar was the “first – and last – chance” for commuters to down a quick one before traveling on. Jack London frequented the place and even referred to the saloon in his writings, and we all know that Jack loved dogs. While you’re ordering in this small, casual pub, check out the slanting floor. Nope, you didn’t imbibe one too many. It’s just another history bookmark: the pilings supporting the wood planks tilted during the 1906 quake, and the surface was never straightened.
Heart and Dagger Saloon
504 Lake Park Ave.
Oakland, CA 94610
Visit an inexpensive, casual neighborhood bar with a large outdoor seating area in back that’s accommodating to our four-legged friends. Heart and Dagger, near the Grand Lake Theater, serves beer and hard drinks and has a pool table and pinball machine. The bar operates with a dark ambiance, which makes one think “dive,” but it’s actually quite decent, with an attentive bar staff, to boot. The saloon doesn’t serve food, but you can bring your own. Best time to indulge? Friday and Saturday, when it’s packed with locals doing their “everyday” thing, and Sunday afternoons when the weather is nice. Choose a picnic table near the lemon tree on the patio and sit with your pooch while you sip and munch. Bring cash, as the Heart and Dagger Saloon doesn’t take credit cards (although they do have an ATM).
464 3rd Street
Oakland, CA 94607
So many beers, so little time! This is beer heaven – and good for dog-owners, too. If you like microbrews, local brews and variety in beers, and want to drink with your pooch alongside, this is your spot. Select from the draft or bottled selections at Beer Revolution and park yourself at a picnic table on the bay-facing outdoor deck, along with the other companionable suds aficionados and their dogs. Choose from approximately 47 draft selections and more than 100 bottled craft beers, ales, and stouts. And if you don’t know what you want to taste, the knowledgeable staff advises, even providing a small sample or two. Bring home a “doggy” bag, so to speak, as the bottled beers are priced for take-away for you to re-live the experience with your dog while sitting on your home’s patio. Beer Revolution occasionally hosts in-house brewer nights: sample new tastes and ask questions of the actual brewers. The bar is a casual establishment serving beer only; and although it’s not expensive, it is a bit more up-pocket than our first two locales. Also, bring some eats. Except for the occasional BBQ on Sunday afternoons, there is no food served here.
1822 San Pablo Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94702
Your dog is welcome at Berkeley’s oldest pub, the cozy Albatross (aka The Bird). As long as Fido’s on a leash, you can keep your dog with you until 8 p.m. With a full bar (although, it is a pub so do consider ordering beer), old-fashioned board games, and Sunday night trivia, as well as traditional darts, what more could a canine owner require? This casual, inexpensive pub holds the Guinness Company’s Gold Standard Award. The Albatross Pub is cash only (ATM available), and does not have a food menu, but you are welcome to bring your own grub.
2900 Main Street
Alameda, CA 94501
Our last dog-friendly drinking venue isn’t a bar at all. If you like sipping your adult beverage in a long-stemmed glass, visit Rosenblum Cellars, adjacent to the Alameda Ferry landing. Here, you can appreciate – or learn to appreciate – Zinfandel; and be sure to bring the dog along, because a nicely-mannered pooch can join you as you sit at a table outdoors while informative pourers guide you through the wine flights. (It’s rumored that the veterinarian founder was the guiding force behind the large water bowl set out for your furry friend.) Rosenblum Cellars serves up some of the highest-rated well known California zinfandels, and also lists other Rhone-style varietals from 30 small wineries. Choose Syrah, Petite Sirah or Grenache, many of which are crafted from “old-vine” grapes lovingly tended by growers who are passionate about their family vineyards. Tastings are free, but there is a charge for flights. The water for your pup is complimentary.