[Credit: Dan Honda/Bay Area News Group]
For those growing weary of hearing yet another story about their favorite bar closing to make room for a condo development, here's one with a happy ending. Over the weekend, Oakland dive bar Kingfish Pub and Café survived the looming threat of death-by-condo by getting hoisted onto a trailer and moved to a new location on Telegraph Avenue.
The Temescal mainstay has been serving beer in its original location on Claremont since the 1920s, but when a newfangled condo development recently threatened to raze it to the ground, owner Emil Peinert hit on a solution. Rather than pack up the bar's memorabilia and build a new space, Peinert decided to just move the building across the street. This past Saturday, a moving crew spent about two hours gently hoisting and rolling the elderly building a mere 35 yards from its original location, as local residents looked on in suspense.
While moving the entire rickety structure was not the easiest option, Peinert is invested in preserving the cultural importance of a place that has remained virtually unchanged since at least the '50s. He even applied for landmark status in 2014, closing the bar and providing transportation for its loyal patrons to attend the Landmarks Preservation Advisory Board meeting in support. While the efforts weren't able to save the pub from potential destruction, it was a testament to the significance of bars like Kingfish in the Oakland community.
Because, at the end of the day, the Kingfish is still basically a shack, plans for the relocated structure include a new foundation and plumbing, plus a 2,000-square-foot back patio with expanded seating. If all goes according to plan, Peinert hopes to be back in business by March.