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This Saturday after matinee @ Julia Morgan Theatre: cheap eats + full bar?

San Franciscans involved with Pocket Opera's "La Belle Helene" at Julia Morgan Theatre in Berkeley seek venue for after-matinee bites + drinks, full bar preferred. Lower end restaurant preferred, walking distance or easy parking. There will be 4-8 of us. Please give me your suggestions! I don't think we have vegetarians, but who knows these days! We want to kick back and have fun after the show. All suggestions appreciated! Thanks!

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  1. Probably the closest is Henry's in the Durant Hotel. Not much on this board.

    2600 Durant Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

    2 Replies
    1. re: wolfe

      That's a really good idea. I was just thinking...the theater isn't that near to anything and the parking is horrible on College and most cheap places don't have a full bar. Henry's had a good review after the new chef started there. Has anyone been since?

      1. re: Glencora

        Used to despise Henry's. Had drinks there on Monday and it was much better. Good bar. And the fried plantains were tasty. Other bar food on menu looked tempting.

    2. Actually, I was hoping for a recommendation between the theatre and McNally's at the Oakland end of College Avenue. Or maybe a Telegraph Avenue suggestion near Temescal. By low-end I meant bar bites under $12 and mains like $15.
      Hounds, please put your thinking caps on for my little gathering!

      1. Inexpensive - Ben N Nicks on College near Keith. Good beer list, full bar, decent bar food. You could park in the BART lot which is really near here.

        How late is your matinee over - a couple other places come to mind but they don't open til 5:30ish, maybe more expensive than you are looking for too.

        Really good - A Cote (College near Taft, a few blocks past Keith towards Oakland). Best small plates in the east bay, great drinks. Probably more expensive than what you are looking for.

        In between - Marica (College about a block below Broadway) Really good cocktails, nice seafood. Again, maybe more expensive than you're looking for but lots of nice apps and small plates in the 6-12 range. Oysters. Small dining room and very limited seating at the bar

        1. Oliveto Cafe with a parking lot.

          Oliveto Cafe
          5655 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

          1. Go to Claremont Diner for eats then walk next door to The Graduate for drinks. They probably let you bring in food from next door. Alt: Noodle Theory across the way. for eats. All will be w/i your price range.

            Noodle Theory
            6099 Claremont Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

            Claremont Diner
            6200 Claremont Ave, Oakland, CA

            6202 Claremont Ave, Oakland, CA

            1 Reply
            1. re: ML8000

              Yeah, if you order at the Graduate, the bartender will call next door and they'll bring it over, and you'll get a discount. Food is pretty good diner food, and I love the Grad.

            2. I was thinking the first place you hit heading south that meets your requirements is
              Barclay's Pub but then I remembered they're beer/wine only. Still, decent cheapish
              barfood and outside seating if the weather holds. And a fantastic beer list.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Chuckles the Clone


                Barclay's Restaurant & Pub
                5940 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

              2. I would also say A Cote now that you've clarified your cheap eats are my midprice eats ;)

                For cheaper, how about Garibaldi's happy hour? They do half price on the bar menu (you must sit in the bar, not the main room) until 7pm & then again after 9pm. Might be squished or hard to sit together, is the only thing, if you end up w/ all 8 people.

                1 Reply
                1. re: indigirl

                  I tried to go Garibaldi's happy hour on a recent Friday and it was packed. We ended up at the Conga lounge. It was fun, but the food wasn't great.

                2. Despite my giving Henry's a thumbs up, if you're looking to head south on College I would recommend Wood Tavern. Usually hard to get a table, but you should hit them before dinner. They run a bar menu straight through the afternoon. Excellent food. Not cheap but not crazy prices. You'll have a great soup option, a salad, a burger, a sandwich, a charcuterie assortment, and a cheese option. They'll also make you fries if you ask (they're a side w/ the burger). Oh yeah, the bar is great. Killer Bloody Mary (called The Woody). Sample menu here: http://woodtavern.net/menus/store/woo...

                  I would also sign off on A Cote, but they do not open until 5:30. I like Oliveto, but I think they are not a great place for cocktails (they do well with their specialties, but not so much with other mixed drinks).

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: lexdevil

                    There is not just a sandwich, there is a pastrami sandwich.

                    1. re: wolfe

                      There's usually only one or two sandwiches on the bar menu. It's shorter than the lunch menu. That said, it's still great (and miles ahead of everyone else in the area who either close up shop from 2:30 until 5:30, or simply don't open until 5:30). Yes, if the Pastrami sandwich is available, it's really good. But so is the Crispy Pork Belly Sandwich, the Bacon, Lettuce, and Softshell Crab Sandwich, the Portabello Mushroom Sandwich...you get the picture.

                    2. re: lexdevil

                      Ooh, I forgot about Wood Tavern. This is my favorite of the suggestions so far, but may be a little expensive for the OP?

                      1. re: Hunicsz

                        I think the bar menu fits the price range, though dinner would not.

                      2. re: lexdevil

                        Wood Tavern is my recommendation too, great food, and great drinks. Check in advance, though, and see how long the lunch menu lasts, because it would be better to get there when they were still serving lunch, which I think lasts for a while.

                        1. re: lexdevil

                          Wood Tavern is a little pricey given the request for cheap eats.

                          1. re: ML8000

                            The OP further clarified that cheap eats meant under $15, and just about everything on the lunch or bar menu at Wood Tavern is under that amount.

                        2. La Mediteranee on College is just a couple minutes walk away, but it does not have a full bar. Not much on that part of College does have full bar, it seems. Trattoria Siciliana is also close by, but no bar. Also, they only take cash.

                          1. Second on À Côté and Wood Tavern. Probably the best food and service of Berkeley-Oakland restaurants with full bars.

                            The food at Henry's has gotten exponentially better under their new chef, Eddie Blyden. Probably no problem walking in with a group of eight, either.

                            No full bar at Ben 'n Nick's or Marica.


                            A Cote
                            5478 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

                            Wood Tavern
                            6317 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              > No full bar at Ben 'n Nick's

                              Are you sure? Because that's what I originally thought but when I went by there
                              last night it really looked like the people in the window were drinking out of cocktail
                              glasses. Been so long since I've been inside I can't remember.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                Yep, there is definitely a full bar at Ben 'n Nick's. We go there relatively regularly since it's one of the few comfortable places with a full bar where a toddler is not out of place. We were there just a few days ago, in fact.

                                1. re: Hunicsz

                                  I stand corrected. That's good to know. I've been there often enough I should have noticed.

                                  How's the food? I haven't eaten anything there in years, and it appears that it's no longer connected with Cato's.

                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                    Eh, the food's not so great. There's a few things that are OK, but nothing is great and some things (the reuben, the hamburger, soups I've tried) are pretty bad. I think it was better when it was related to Cato's. I remember that both places used to have a good burger, haven't been to Cato's in a long time so I don't know if they still do. We normally get the buffalo chicken wings, which are pretty good and have the right amount of spice/tang. We also enjoy the BLT, but that's pretty hard to mess up. They used to have a surprisingly good whole leaf caeser, but I was disappointed last time I had it. The romaine was clearly old, the dressing was lacking in both anchovy and garlic, and it was smothered in poor-quality parmesan. Hopefully it was an off night.

                                2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                  Huge full bar and $6.50 decent Manhattans. The food was okay--didn't need better wth these folks!

                                  1. re: plainfood

                                    Cool. Glad you found something that worked for you.

                                  2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                    Marica definitely has a full bar. Good cocktails are a selling point of that place IMO.