For memorable hobnobbery or the simple pleasures of hanging out in a hotel bar that has pizzazz and all that jazz, the following places in the East Bay are sure to be hits with whoever you want to spend time with. Take your friends to these hot spots, or even meet up with a favorite co-worker for a couple of shots. Make the occasion fabulous with an overnight stay, or just pop in for a zin. Either way, these hotel bars are a sure bet when you want to check out some of East Bay’s greatest hangouts.
Hotel Shattuck Plaza
2086 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
The Five Lounge has an urban chic feel and is a splendid place to go with friends for after-work drinks or social gatherings. An organic wine list is featured at this bar, along with freshly squeezed fruit juices. The cocktails are sublime, especially the Moscow Mule and Basil Gimlet. You can’t go wrong when you order one of Five’s Manhattans with booze-infused cherries. A short walk from the BART Station, this upscale hotel bar is well known within the Berkeley community as a haven to busy business travelers and professionals. The HSP is described as “The Jewel of Downtown Berkeley” and is located two blocks from the UC Berkeley campus and next to the Berkeley BART station.
2600 Durant Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94704
Enter this unassuming brick hotel and you’ll be pleasantly taken back to a 1930s era adorned with quirky utilitarian-style pieces of furniture. Henry’s is Hotel Durant’s highly reviewed bar and a local favorite hangout frequented by many a bespectacled professor and/or Berkeley college student. This unique gastropub is tucked into the belly of Hotel Durant and stocked to the gills with booze and brews. College students will cram the room on ‘Twofer Tuesdays,’ and rubbing elbows with these fine, young, jovial fellows and lasses is sure to lighten up whatever kind of day you’re having.
807 Main St.
Pleasanton, CA 94566
This is one of the magnificent spots that Pleasanton proudly proclaims as its own, and it is also owned by John Madden, football hall of famer. Plant yourself at the corner bar that’s located inside the lobby, just to the left of the winding staircase. The quaint feel of the hotel’s cozy interior will draw you in like a warm, welcoming hug – but with the added bonus of fancy drinks and splendid wines. The friendly bar is oftentimes host to local book clubs and the occasional gathering of night owls who are taking in the sights and events of downtown Pleasanton. The Rose Hotel is a perfect place to stop before or after dinner for a drink or two.
The Claremont Hotel
41 Tunnel Road
Berkeley, CA 94705
The Paragon Restaurant & Bar is a hip oasis, offering some of the best of the Bay Area’s views. Try the bar’s hand-shaken cocktails made especially from one of the bar’s friendly bar staff. It offers daily specials and happy hour. The Claremont is a vast, castle-like property that can be seen from all over the Bay. This property is also a private club with pools, tennis courts and a large fitness center.
Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa
3287 Mt. Diablo Blvd.
Lafayette, CA 94549
Venture over to this place not just for the atmosphere, but also for its showcased wines and brews. The Park Bistro gives off an old, rustic, French farmhouse charm, but is accompanied by modern amenities. This gem is boasted as the ‘Crown Jewel’ hotel of the East Bay. The bar service is very friendly and drinks are generous and well made. Come visit not only for the bar’s intimate, luxurious and inviting atmosphere, but also for one of the most spectacular views of the Bay area.
Related: Best Rooftop Bars In The Bay Area
Kelly Gullo is a freelance writer in San Francisco, CA. Kellys topics are about music and nightlife. Kelly has also written a variety of articles on health and dieting and topics related to the environment. Kelly has a degree in journalism and public relations from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.