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Sep 18, 2006 06:18 PM

Oakland - The Warehouse Bar & Grill – THE place to spend National Talk Like A Pirate Day (Tues, Sept 19th)

Although this was one of the worst lunches I’ve had in a long time, I’ll probably go back again when at Jack London Square.

I liked the vibe at this bar where off-duty police officers unwind. I suspect there is solid, though unexciting food to be had here.

The guys at the next table said they have a great Sunday buffet ... the line is usually out the door ... besides, in a Chowhound query that made me curious, Ruth’s personal trainer is crazy for the Philly cheesesteak

From 4-6 there’s a $2 appetizer happy hour and draft beer specials. After 6pm there’s a nightly dinner special for $6.95 that includes soup or salad. Friday is the $10.95 prime rib night and there is a live band for entertainment.

But the Chicago dog was about as far away from Chicago as it could be. It should have been arrested for impersonating a Chicago dog ... very badly.

The dog itself was pretty good. A major-sized grilled dog, that is probably skinless beef. That was the ONLY good thing about it.

The bun was stale and had NO sesame seeds. Topping the dog were five thin, half slices of the palest, worst supermarket tomatoes ever. Food4less would be ashamed to sell these.

Along one side of the dog was regular, NOT neon relish. On the other side was diced red Spanish onions ... Spanish onions, do you hear me? Although they were nice fresh onions.

That was it. No sports peppers, nothing else. I chose the potato salad instead of the fries. Note to self ...when ordering potato salad in the future ask if it is made in-house. This was not and like supermarket deli potato salad.

I didn’t religiously heed the warning from the food gods ... when I asked the young waitress if it was a a real Chicago dog, she hesitated and said, “uh, I THINK so”. I wrote it off to her being young and didn’t query further because I figured she wouldn’t know about sports peppers. Note to self ... next time interrogate the server about the Chicago dog.

Another lesson learned ... never order iced tea at a serious bar. It was beyond awful, sharp and metallic. I was hot and thirsty and just didn’t feel like a beer, so I sugared it up and downed it. Refills are free and before I could object the sweet bartender replenished the glass from a cocktail shaker before I had the wits to decline.

The walls are lined with framed blow-ups of badges from sea to sea and beyond ... from the Bart Police to the FBI. The Army, Navy, Amtrack, Oakland Unified School District, Oakland Fire Department badges were among the many on display. There was a badge from a town where I have a lot of relatives, Danbury, Connecticut. So that might give an idea of the range of the collection.

This is one of the nicest dive bars I’ve ever been in, from the décor, so to speak, to the customers, off-duty police officers wearing their civvies.

There was a kind of decency and respect about the bar. This really is a place someone could comfortably take a family. One of the officers had his five year old son with him. It is a cool place to kick back and get a beer in the Jack London Square area

Maybe or maybe not the food ... nothing looked spectacular, but most of the guys were just having a brew. The picture of the burger and fries on the web site link below is a dead-on mug shot of that dish. The specials on the whiteboard at the end of the bar were a chicken parmigan sandwich and T-bone steak.

Two tv’s are on either end of the bar tuned into sports. There is 62’ HDTV (that’s BIG) in a corner opposite the bar. The bottles are neatly lined up on the bar and back-lit with white lights. There’s a pool table in the next room. An unused-on-my-visit, juke box was on one wall.

The ordinary, plain wooden tables have empty six-pacs of Corona Beer to hold condiments like Heinz catsup, Heinz mustard, A1 sauce and old beer bottles filled with salt.

There is a big roulette type of wheel in one corner. It seems the bar has a charity of the month and they use it for that. One of the past charity nights featured a ribs and jambalaya cook-off. It is the type of place that called its Karaoke event “a hoot”.

There is a discrete pirate thing going on here. In the center of the bar is a small “Beware of Pirates” sign. Leaning against one tv is, of course, an Oakland Raiders plaque. It is all understated ... and then there’s tommorrow night’s celebration of “National Talk Like a Pirate Day” where anyone dressed as a pirate gets a free drink.

When I first read about that, I thought the idea was a bit bizarre ... cops dressed like pirates ... but, you know, after being in the bar I actually think it might be a fun event. These are nice family type of guys.

And maybe the weekly lingerie shows might not be all THAT sleazy, though I have no plans to attend. This is a guy’s bar. The bartender reminded me of some of my friends in my younger days who worked as servers at bars and, uh, dressed for success in that profession. Let’s say those friends showed me how to do the bunny dip so they weren’t overly successful.

So the female bartender was dressed for success, though like the bar, not sleezy. She was a nice girl, too, like my friends.

Cagney & Lacey could drop by here ... and bring the kids. It might not be a good idea to try to illegally park near this bar.

The Warehouse Bar & Grill
402 Webster (at 4th in Jack London Square
)Oakland CA
(510) 451-3161

Hours of Service:
11:00 am to 2:00 am
7 days a week

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  1. We had a fun night there a few years ago, despite several of our friends being somewhat predisposed against authority figures, so to speak. I never thought to try the food though!

    Did you notice all the dollar bills attched to the ceiling in the pool table room? We spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how they got up there, since the ceiling is so high that even a tall person standing on top of the pool table would not be able to reach it.

    There is also an intriguing--to say the least--portrait of an Alameda County sheriff (aka, the Blue Meanies), clutching a shotgun (aimed slightly off-camera) and chomping on a huge cigar. Obviously not his "official" portrait, but likely taken at the same time!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Leadbelly

      I got the idea that there might be sort of new owners. The guys at the next table were talking about how nice the place had been cleaned up. The owners pictured in the link at the top of this topic seem young-ish. The buffet started recently. I just glanced at the pool table and missed the dollar bills on the ceiling. I was entertaining myself looking at the different badges. Yeah, there are amusing little things here and there like that portrait you mentioned (didn't see it) but nothing stands out garishly. You have to look a little closely.

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