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Hardy Wilson

The Hottest New Cocktail and Wine Bars in the East Bay

Here are the newest spots to throw one back

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The East Bay bar scene is heating up and with it comes a bevy of bars that are serving good times alongside a selection of strong cocktails, wine, and beers. There are new natural wine spots, beer gardens, and rooftop spaces to kick back at and have a drink — there’s even a mezcal-focused spot if that’s your thing — with many places featuring a just-as-enticing food menu to boot. Here are 10 of the newest bars in the East Bay to visit.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Baltic Kiss

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Those looking for lively entertainment alongside a well-stocked bar and Southern-influenced food will do well at Richmond’s new Baltic Kiss. Located at the Baltic building, which dates back to 1904, Baltic Kiss gives the older space some artistic updates while highlighting a bar made just before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Drink any of the local wines or beers the bar keeps on hand (such as nearby East Brothers) or dip into a seasonal cocktail — if you have any room left after eating from chef Toy Carracci’s food menu.

John Woodworth

Study Hall Rooftop Lounge

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Rooftop bar Study Hall is located across the street from UC Berkeley, atop the Residence Inn on Center Street. The space seems built for pre-gaming during football season at Cal — you can watch the stadium fill up from the spacious roof, where you can enjoy the bar’s take on classic cocktails or a food menu filled with shareable and not-so-shareable items, such as a burger. It’s a spot where you can winkingly tell the gang to meet you at Study Hall, without a chorus of protests.

A rendering showing tables and chairs in front of a plant wall on a roof. Study Hall

4bells Public House

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It makes sense that 4bells Public House would have plenty going for it, given that Sergio Monleon of La Marcha and Jennifer Seidman of Acme Bar have taken over the former Doc’s Refresher spot on University Avenue. It’s still a great place to catch a game on TV, but now there’s a full bar menu courtesy of Seidman and a food menu from Monleon, boasting items such as lobster tamal or PB&J wings.

Tip-Sea

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Fans of Berkeley brunch spot Venus were sad to note the restaurant was confirmed as closed for good back in April by Berkeleyside, but with that shuttering came the promise of a new bar from Venus owner Deepak Aggarwal. It seems the new bar has opened as Tip-Sea, with drinks primed for the downtown Berkeley crowds.

The Rendez-Vous

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Helmed by Johnelle Mancha and Brian Hill of design studio Mignonne, Rendez-Vous is akin to a French retreat with decor and food vibes to match. From the newly-discovered frescoes dating back to Prohibition, as highlighted by Berkeleyside, to the cocktails, French-forward wine list, and food, it’s a great gathering spot to enjoy oysters on ice with a gimlet while you chat with a friend.

High 5ive

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High 5ive in Oakland has been a welcome addition to the cocktail scene, with its rooftop views and stylish decor. The drinks are nothing to sleep on either, so start off with the rum-based Kingston negroni before picking up a side dish from the bites menu. If you’re looking to soak up the outdoor vibes longer, there’s a newly added brunch option with the requisite brunch drinking options such as mimosas (this one with St. Germain) or a bloody mary, among others.

Night Heron

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Just steps away from the 19th Street BART station, Night Heron is a new Oakland spot with inventive cocktails made to be sipped next to colorful art and murals from local artists. If you’re looking to lean into the popsicle trend, there’s the Girl Who Cried Champagne, a vodka- and Champagne-laced cocktail topped with a coconut and Thai herb popsicle. There are plenty of other things to imbibe in as well, including low- and no-ABV options. And if you’ve worked up an appetite, customers can order a bento box made by nearby Itani Ramen.

Hardy Wilson

At its core Slug is a natural wine bar, akin to its sister business Snail Bar, but with the glamorous addition of DJs and music once the night gets going. It’s an excellent spot to both learn about (and drink) the latest natural wines alongside bites that seemingly pair well with everything. If you drink something you like, there’s a convenient bottle shop attached.

Patricia Chang

One of Oakland’s newest bars isn’t a full-service spot with everything from whiskey to gin; instead, it is “mezcal church” with a thorough selection of tequilas and mezcals — and nothing else. But rather than feeling limiting, the menu feels exploratory and, yes, educational. The mezcal flights take you on a journey through the complexities of the smoky spirit, while the cocktails show you what can be done with it. The Cornhub delivers notes of corn, while the El Mazapanso incorporates orgeat, mole bitters, and nutmeg. Tacos El Precioso is running the food menu, so whether you’re looking for something hearty to eat, or perhaps a cheese or meat board to snack on, the kitchen has you covered.

Adahlia Cole

Fieldwork Brewing Company - San Leandro

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Fieldwork Brewing Company is expanding its East Bay footprint with a new taproom and outdoor beer space in San Leandro totaling 7,800 square feet of prime, sunny, beer-drinking space. There will, of course, be plenty of options on tap — 32 to be exact — ready to fulfill your drinking needs alongside a menu featuring taproom classics, such as a bevy of pizza options, wings, and salads.

Fieldwork Brewing’s newest location reimagines a former 1960s Firestone Auto Service Center into a 7,800-square-foo beer garden at 100 West Juana Avenue in San Leandro. Eric Wolfinger

Baltic Kiss

John Woodworth

Those looking for lively entertainment alongside a well-stocked bar and Southern-influenced food will do well at Richmond’s new Baltic Kiss. Located at the Baltic building, which dates back to 1904, Baltic Kiss gives the older space some artistic updates while highlighting a bar made just before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Drink any of the local wines or beers the bar keeps on hand (such as nearby East Brothers) or dip into a seasonal cocktail — if you have any room left after eating from chef Toy Carracci’s food menu.

John Woodworth

Study Hall Rooftop Lounge

A rendering showing tables and chairs in front of a plant wall on a roof. Study Hall

Rooftop bar Study Hall is located across the street from UC Berkeley, atop the Residence Inn on Center Street. The space seems built for pre-gaming during football season at Cal — you can watch the stadium fill up from the spacious roof, where you can enjoy the bar’s take on classic cocktails or a food menu filled with shareable and not-so-shareable items, such as a burger. It’s a spot where you can winkingly tell the gang to meet you at Study Hall, without a chorus of protests.

A rendering showing tables and chairs in front of a plant wall on a roof. Study Hall

4bells Public House

It makes sense that 4bells Public House would have plenty going for it, given that Sergio Monleon of La Marcha and Jennifer Seidman of Acme Bar have taken over the former Doc’s Refresher spot on University Avenue. It’s still a great place to catch a game on TV, but now there’s a full bar menu courtesy of Seidman and a food menu from Monleon, boasting items such as lobster tamal or PB&J wings.

Tip-Sea

Fans of Berkeley brunch spot Venus were sad to note the restaurant was confirmed as closed for good back in April by Berkeleyside, but with that shuttering came the promise of a new bar from Venus owner Deepak Aggarwal. It seems the new bar has opened as Tip-Sea, with drinks primed for the downtown Berkeley crowds.

The Rendez-Vous

Helmed by Johnelle Mancha and Brian Hill of design studio Mignonne, Rendez-Vous is akin to a French retreat with decor and food vibes to match. From the newly-discovered frescoes dating back to Prohibition, as highlighted by Berkeleyside, to the cocktails, French-forward wine list, and food, it’s a great gathering spot to enjoy oysters on ice with a gimlet while you chat with a friend.

High 5ive

High 5ive in Oakland has been a welcome addition to the cocktail scene, with its rooftop views and stylish decor. The drinks are nothing to sleep on either, so start off with the rum-based Kingston negroni before picking up a side dish from the bites menu. If you’re looking to soak up the outdoor vibes longer, there’s a newly added brunch option with the requisite brunch drinking options such as mimosas (this one with St. Germain) or a bloody mary, among others.

Night Heron

Hardy Wilson

Just steps away from the 19th Street BART station, Night Heron is a new Oakland spot with inventive cocktails made to be sipped next to colorful art and murals from local artists. If you’re looking to lean into the popsicle trend, there’s the Girl Who Cried Champagne, a vodka- and Champagne-laced cocktail topped with a coconut and Thai herb popsicle. There are plenty of other things to imbibe in as well, including low- and no-ABV options. And if you’ve worked up an appetite, customers can order a bento box made by nearby Itani Ramen.

Hardy Wilson

Slug

Patricia Chang

At its core Slug is a natural wine bar, akin to its sister business Snail Bar, but with the glamorous addition of DJs and music once the night gets going. It’s an excellent spot to both learn about (and drink) the latest natural wines alongside bites that seemingly pair well with everything. If you drink something you like, there’s a convenient bottle shop attached.

Patricia Chang

Odin

Adahlia Cole

One of Oakland’s newest bars isn’t a full-service spot with everything from whiskey to gin; instead, it is “mezcal church” with a thorough selection of tequilas and mezcals — and nothing else. But rather than feeling limiting, the menu feels exploratory and, yes, educational. The mezcal flights take you on a journey through the complexities of the smoky spirit, while the cocktails show you what can be done with it. The Cornhub delivers notes of corn, while the El Mazapanso incorporates orgeat, mole bitters, and nutmeg. Tacos El Precioso is running the food menu, so whether you’re looking for something hearty to eat, or perhaps a cheese or meat board to snack on, the kitchen has you covered.

Adahlia Cole

Fieldwork Brewing Company - San Leandro

Fieldwork Brewing’s newest location reimagines a former 1960s Firestone Auto Service Center into a 7,800-square-foo beer garden at 100 West Juana Avenue in San Leandro. Eric Wolfinger

Fieldwork Brewing Company is expanding its East Bay footprint with a new taproom and outdoor beer space in San Leandro totaling 7,800 square feet of prime, sunny, beer-drinking space. There will, of course, be plenty of options on tap — 32 to be exact — ready to fulfill your drinking needs alongside a menu featuring taproom classics, such as a bevy of pizza options, wings, and salads.

Fieldwork Brewing’s newest location reimagines a former 1960s Firestone Auto Service Center into a 7,800-square-foo beer garden at 100 West Juana Avenue in San Leandro. Eric Wolfinger

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