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Nov 7, 2010 07:22 AM

CommonWealth, Oakland

Very nice pub well-populated on Saturday afternoon with neighborhood denizens; much greeting by name. 2 unobtrusive TVs, one tuned into Serie A football, the other with college football. Tasteful tunes, also unobtrusive, included Os Mutantes- big plus.

7 or 8 taps, including the local Linden St. red lager and less-local Union Jack; several offerings by the bottle with English and Scots imports figuring prominently.

Special of the day was shepherd’s pie; the one we saw being prepared in the small kitchen (by the owner, who used to man the Trappist’s back bar, and one other fellow) to the left of the bar looked great, I’ll be ordering this next time. No menu or drinks details on their website, but past facebook postings show bubble and squeak as another special. The breakfast menu features Heinz beans on toast, oats and the like. I’m not into coffee but it seems to be a focus of the effort here given the large array of equipment and was very popular with the regulars.

2 soups were offered, French onion and curried split pea with bacon. My split pea with just a hint of curry powder and quality diced bacon was excellent alongside a roast beef, rocket & cheddar pressed sandwich on a quality, toothsome wheat bread while the French onion ordered by my companion looked overly unctuous with cheese and overly large wedges of onion- though her English cheddar, rocket and tomato chutney pressed sandwich was very good indeed. She swears it was a delicious soup, however, and she is to be trusted.

Proper pub food has finally arrived in Oakland; we’ll be regulars.

CommonWealth Cafe & Public House
2882 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

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  1. I went in the other night. Didn't have anything to eat except some Ryan Farr 4505 chicharrones, but the selection of beer on tap was great (and that night all local). Very friendly pub.

    There is a place record for it:

    1. very limited menu at lunch time, sandwich rolls and 2 kinds of soup. dinner heartell has only 2 entrees. duck pate roll(6) very nice. salami (6) a disappointment. onion soup (3) nice.

      great beers (5) but not a lot of dining choices. good people here. expectations should be adjusted.

      1. They've extended their hours: Mon.-Sat. 9am-10:30pm, Sun. 9am-4pm.

        1. Commonwealth has started Firkin Thursdays. They're tapping a new cask-conditioned ale each Thursday at 4:00. This week is Dying Vines Old Brick Bitter. If you're into hand-pumped beer, you might want to check it out.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mdougherty

            They're up to 15 meritorious tap handles. The menu has also expanded a bit, adding several salads, the shepherd's pie as a regular menu item (along with a veggie incarnation of same), and mac and cheese.

          2. I've been ~4-5 times and have enjoyed all the food (stew, toasties, salad, split pea soup) except the French Onion Soup. The onions were cooked, but not caramelized and the broth was salty with not much else going on.

            As others have said, nice selection of beers.