Haunted Bay Area Suggestions?
I'll be driving up to the Gold Country to spend Halloween night with my wife in an old 1800's hotel in the ghost town of Columbia. I posted this thread on the greater California board:
I think we've basically ruled out dining options that far East/NE for the 31st and are instead considering something in or around the Bay Area. Since we'll have a car and are crossing the Bay regardless, I was considering dinner in Oakland. I'm completely open to any and all suggestions.
What I'd like in order of priority:
1) FUN/interesting/spirited ambiance. I'm not willing to sacrifice all reminders of the holiday simply to enjoy a great meal, which could be had any night of the year. I'd like to find a place with spirited surroundings and hopefully a touch of Halloween enthusiasm. My wife wants to dress up; I'm on the fence. Eitherway, we want to be somewhere fun first and foremost. Decorations or themed dining would be great (no tacky supperclubs please, nor places with clubby atmosphere) - Perhaps there's a popup like Lazy Bear happening in an unusual setting with fun decor or black and white monster movies screening in the background. Something along those lines. Otherwise, any old historic Bay Area haunts that might seem well suited to dining out on Halloween night. It does not have to be a party atmosphere; an intimate setting can work just as well. It's the ambiance that matters!
2) Good food! We're sticking around the Bay for dinner because we simply couldn't find any great meals up in Gold Country. We're willing to lower our standards a bit to accommodate the first criteria above, however ultimately we'd like to have a good meal. It does not have to be "$pecial occassion" dining and in fact, we are not looking for any Michelin level recommendations. I think Lazy Bear was a good example of the type of place we'd consider on the higher end. We're just as glad to spend $25/person as we are to spend $85/person. Casual is fine and preferred to aything overly formal (unless it aligns strongly with requisite number one, above!)
3) I guess I only have two precedents actually. See above! :)
Handles Gastropub in Pleasanton and Moss Beach Distillery are reputed to be haunted. Forbes Island is maybe a bit like being locked in a dungeon.
To the extent adults celebrate Halloween here, it's mostly about decorating for trick-or-treaters and wearing costumes. At some restaurants the employees dress up. Theme dinners are pretty rare. Here's a list from last year:
Fusebox is doing a special dinner theater event (Ellen Sebastian Chang is a longtime local theater pro so this could be very good):
“Supernatural Seoul: Ghosts of Dogtown,” is slated for Halloween (Thursday, October 31): Emcee Infinite’s beatbox version of Poe’s “Tell-Tale Heart” will headline a night of ghost stories. Doors open at 6:30, and the $40 prix-fixe dinner-and-a-show will run from 7:00 to 8:30. Ellen Sebastian Chang, the restaurant’s GM, notes that this is NOT a kid-friendly Halloween event. Call 510-444-3100 to make a reservation.
Bocanova in Oakland has a Halloween Costume Party, with a four course menu that is heavy on the pumpkin. $28.
Up the road in Plymouth is a place call Taste that is most likely the best restaurant in that part of the Gold Country. It's about thirty minutes North of Columbia by car.