Enjoy esoteric beers at an Oakland bar in a 1920s Victorian..
From the sidewalk, this Grand Avenue tavern looks much like the desolate nail salons and mom-and-pops that pepper the neighborhood, but inside, the bar's owners have kept the grandeur of the old Victorian building intact, leaving a multi-roomed space with velvet arm chairs and crystal chandeliers--beer-with-the-buddies meats 19th century tea party. Out back, a huge deck patio lit by candles and covered by umbrellas makes for a perfect spot to enjoy one of the 13 uncommon bottled beers (think Kwak, Hitachino Red Rice and Meantime IPA), half-dozen draft selections or pricy signature cocktails like the Old Cuban or Absinthe Gimlet. Obviously, this is a spot for drinking, but fortunately you don't have to subsist on alcohol alone: a variety of shareable "social bites" (as well as a few larger portions of old school dishes like braised beef and Cornish hen) are available to complement the booze, and the decor.
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