(credit: STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images)
With the Bay Area experiencing some of its chilliest weather in years, there’s nothing much better than a warm, cozy fireplace. But if you’re headed out on the town for the evening, there are other ways to stay comfy than with just hot winter drinks. In fact, there are many great drinking establishments across the Bay Area known for serving up great drinks and for keeping patrons warm with a beckoning fireplace. Here is a look at five of the best Bay Area bars with a fireplace.
Bodega Bay Lodge
103 Coast Highway One
Bodega Bay, CA 94923
With spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, Drake’s Fireside Lounge is an extraordinary setting to savor signature cocktails and fine wines from Sonoma County. Located at the stunningly beautiful Bodega Bay Lodge, the lounge features a full bar, spacious outdoor seating with a fire pit and a lovely stone fireplace indoors in the central seating area. The lounge food menu is similarly outstanding, with dishes like Dungeness crab cakes, liberty duck confit and grilled black Angus rib eye steak among the noteworthy selections. Additionally, some signature cocktails have a unique Sonoma County connection, such as the Captain Morgan in Sebastopol, Bodega Head Manhattan and Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” after the fictional 1960s thriller that took place in Bodega Bay. For a more upscale dining experience, visitors can visit the adjacent Duck Club Restaurant, featuring fresh seafood and locally sourced produce.
Hotel De Anza
233 W. Santa Clara St.
San Jose, CA 95113
Hedley Club Lounge is an excellent spot to grab a drink after events in downtown San Jose or to enjoy some of the area’s best jazz bands. Located in the historic Hotel De Anza, the upscale cocktail lounge and wine bar is just minutes from the SAP Center, home of the San Jose Sharks and the vibrant nightlife at San Pedro Square. Visitors to the hotel’s art-deco lounge with marble décor can enjoy drinks at the gorgeous cherrywood bar or relax in comfortable seating near the wood-burning fireplace. House specialty cocktails include French Pear, Mint Julep and the Hedley Manhattan and the extensive wine list features many Italian wines and local selections from the Central Coast and California Wine Country. In addition to a nice food menu featuring appetizers, salads, pizza and sandwiches, visitors can also dine at the hotel’s award-winning Italian restaurant, La Pastaia.
1822 San Pablo Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94710
Berkeley’s oldest pub is also one of the city’s friendliest bars as well as one of the most entertaining. Celebrating its 50th anniversary last year, this popular local’s bar is well known for having a wide selection of craft beers, including several Belgian and German styles along with premium spirits like Dewar’s scotch whiskey, Jameson Irish whiskey and Jim Beam bourbon. The Albatross hosts live music featuring jazz, bluegrass and world music on a regular basis and trivia nights are held on Sunday evenings. Also on hand is a great supply of board games such as dominos, backgammon and Yahtzee, as well as six dart boards and pool tables in the back near the toasty, round iron fireplace. In 2012, The Albatross was a top 10 selection for best college bars in America and regularly mentioned as the best bar in the East Bay for board games.
14555 Big Basin Way
Saratoga, CA 95070
Tucked away in the upscale mountainside community of Saratoga, the Michelin-starred Plumed Horse has a very elegant lounge and extraordinary fireplace. The restaurant featuring French and California cuisine and the French Champagne Lounge has more than 1,800 wines on its wine list, primarily from Napa and Sonoma Valley, in addition to rare wines from all over the world, including the Bordeaux region. Classic and inventive cocktails liked Green Eyed Monster and Raspberry Beret may also be purchased in the lounge section or the restaurant. Led by executive chef/owner Peter Armellino, the Plumed Horse has been awarded with a prestigious Michelin star for eight consecutive years.
25 Lusk St.
San Francisco, CA 94107
Twenty Five Lusk is just one of several San Francisco businesses with a fireplace. But for people wishing to visit a local hotspot for innovative dishes and expertly crafted drinks with unique fireplaces, this fascinating place is one not to miss. Located in the SoMa district not far from the San Francisco Cal Train Station, Twenty Five Lusk has a cutting-edge look to its architecture, with a glass balustrade and orb-like stainless steel fireplaces and bars on both levels. The wine list is also quite impressive, including selections from Bordeaux and the Rhone Valley and multiple labels from the California Wine Country. In addition to American and European beer, the bar menu has an eclectic mix of classic drinks and new and seasonal cocktails. Bar guests can also order outstanding cuisine, such as slow roasted pork belly, charcuterie and cheese and Wagyu burgers.