Jack’s Restaurant and Bar
60 Crescent Drive, Suite A
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
When you don’t want to take friends and family out to a complete dive bar nor to a pristine restaurant where snobbery prevails, try Jack’s. With a section on the restaurant’s menu dedicated completely to macaroni and cheese, a fresh and lively atmosphere and a happy hour that goes until 6:30 p.m., this restaurant makes a perfect choice for a Black Wednesday. Jack’s is a popular hangout for the locals, so if your party is larger, there are rooms you can book to yourselves in the upstairs level.
ØL Beercafe & Bottle Shop
1541 Giammona Drive
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Say the letters of this bar while your tongue stays at the tip of your mouth, and you’ve correctly pronounced the name of this Danish bar. But it’s not so easy to choose from the enormous selection of European imports at this fantastic brewery. Don’t know what you prefer in beers? Sample a few from its many rotating taps to decide. Need extra help? The bartenders are certified and extremely knowledgeable. Bring your gang here to wade through the multitudinous selections of Belgians, Trippels and Quads. The food is sparse, as the point this bar wants to make is that you savoring the flavors of its specialty brews. The dark interior gives off a charming and comfortable vibe.
Luka’s Taproom & Lounge
Oakland, CA 94612
Looking for a great place to meet friends before the gobble-gobble fest on Thanksgiving day? Luka’s is one of the better bars to visit for happy hour, mixed drinks, eclectic cocktails and a diverse assortment of beers and entrees. The biggest debate you might have is whether Luka’s serves up the best macaroni and cheese around. Luka’s has a dance floor in the back room to shake off a few extra calories to prepare for your upcoming Thanksgiving feast.
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2367 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94704
College townies who want to gather before their big night of turkey stuffing can meet at this spacious bar, which was recently rated one of the “Best Pool Halls in the East Bay.” The bar is also within walking distance of the Bart, which could be another bonus. Pool sharks and their friends can go as a group and rent tables for $10 or pay only $5 if they go before 8 p.m. The pool hall exudes a “Pirates of the Caribbean” meets “Spongebob Squarepants” theme, if you like that aura. Who knows, maybe this underwater Atlantis groove might just be the thing to get you into the night-before-Thanksgiving mood.
Old Weang Ping
6217 MacArthur Blvd.
Oakland, CA 94605
If you are craving authentic comfort foods that differ vastly from the traditional menagerie of Thanksgiving-day delights, OWP is a great pick and worth the trip out to east Oakland. If you want to schmooze with a small group on Black Wednesday, this restaurant, run by a husband-and-wife team, will serve you dishes of delight and keep your taste buds guessing if they’re in Thailand for the night. Tea is served right away to complement the beautiful flavors of all the meals. The place is said to be in a dicey neighborhood, which is why the restaurant is kept locked, so sometimes you’ll have to knock. The flavors boast homestyle Lao cooking, a taste that’s hard to find anywhere else. With only beer and wine on the drink menu, this isn’t necessarily a watering hole but definitely a great spot to enjoy a few simple libations.
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.