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Haunted Bay Area Suggestions?

OliverB Oct 15, 2013 01:02 PM

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! :)

  1. b
    boopa Oct 31, 2013 04:16 PM


    I was going to suggest that you eat at the City Hotel Restaurant in Columbia. The food is very good, and the restaurant is run by a local culinary school. Sadly, I checked, and they are not serving dinner tonight. They are open for dinner on 11/1/13 if you are still in Columbia tomorrow night.
    If you happen to be staying in the City Hotel, you may find some goblins there (as one of the rooms is supposedly haunted).



    1. m
      ML8000 Oct 30, 2013 01:08 PM

      The Old Mint in SF is doing a huanted Halloween event...saw the line go half way down the block the other day. There's plenty of eat around that part of town.

      1. Robert Lauriston Oct 30, 2013 12:56 PM

        Halloween & Dia de los Muertos at Comal:


        1. myst Oct 29, 2013 08:43 AM

          Just wanted to mention my favorite Halloween spot, the Fat Lady in Oakland's Jack London Square; they go all out with cool decorations that change every year and have a good brunch or drinks appetizers at night if you have another trip or lunch to fill....

          1. Beach Chick Oct 26, 2013 08:47 PM

            As someone whom has seen ghosts my whole life, I will say that I have experienced activity at the St. Francis hotel and Alcatraz..maybe do a haunted walking tour during the day...maybe they have one with food and drink.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Beach Chick
              OliverB Oct 27, 2013 11:15 AM

              Thanks for all the suggestions everyone!

              We've already made reservations at Flora though. It's a beautiful building and the food is great, plus they're doing an "Old West Saloon" themed dinner which fits in great with our Gold Country adventure. We've got 5:30 reservations because it's a long drive to Columbus afterward, but I think it's the best option I've heard about so far.

            2. Robert Lauriston Oct 26, 2013 06:53 PM

              Adesso is having a Beetlejuice costume contest with a "special spooky menu."

              Fusebox is probably the best option of everything mentioned to date. Great food.

              1. l
                LawnDode Oct 26, 2013 05:17 PM

                I know Jardiniere is doing a "spooky" themed dinner on Monday, October 28. Their Monday's are always a great deal, 3 courses, paired with wine, for $49 per person. We've never done a Halloween one, but have enjoyed many other Monday dinners in the past. You can find the menu at http://www.jardiniere.com/monday_menu...

                1. r
                  rodrijeff54 Oct 21, 2013 04:50 PM

                  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.

                  1. z
                    zippo Oct 16, 2013 07:01 PM

                    might some of these work?


                    1. ssfire Oct 16, 2013 03:05 PM

                      Bocanova in Oakland has a Halloween Costume Party, with a four course menu that is heavy on the pumpkin. $28.

                      1. Robert Lauriston Oct 16, 2013 02:45 PM

                        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.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          macsak Oct 16, 2013 03:56 PM

                          is it just me, or does
                          Emcee Infinite’s beatbox version of Poe’s “Tell-Tale Heart”
                          sound AWESOME?

                          1. re: macsak
                            OliverB Oct 27, 2013 11:11 AM

                            It's just you. :)

                        2. Robert Lauriston Oct 15, 2013 01:30 PM

                          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:


                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                            OliverB Oct 15, 2013 01:36 PM

                            Thanks Robert,

                            I did find this on Flora's Facebook page:


                            I'll browse through the SFGate link for last year's listings.

                            1. re: OliverB
                              Robert Lauriston Oct 15, 2013 01:38 PM

                              The food's very good at Flora.

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