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Word on Webster: A toast to Webster Street

Submitted by on 1, October 5, 2010 – 4:50 am2 Comments

By Steve Gerstle

Webster Street has long been known as a place to toast friends, meet new ones and revive one’s spirits. I recently visited a number of our local watering holes to check out the drinks and those doing the drinking.

Fireside Lounge

Recently renovated bar with beautiful decor. While the fireplace isn’t working, there is a free pool table. Only open Thursday – Saturday evenings. I attempted to visit several times, but the bar was not open during posted hours. The business is for sale. Have you ever wanted to own a bar?

1453 Webster Street; 864-1244. http://www.thefiresidelounge.com/

Frog & Fiddle

Recently opened. Modern bar in one corner of the restaurant. Three beers on tap, Rock Wall wines and a basic spirits selection. The kitchen serves burgers and salads. Friendly, experienced bartender who seems to have drawn a following from having worked at another local bar. The acoustics aren’t very good, but the owners are working on fixing the problem. The crowd is in their 30s, 40s and 50s. Live music should be coming in the near future. In addition to a frog on the bar, they also feature two geckos on the wall. There are no plans to add “Gecko” to the name.

1544 Webster Street; 522-FROG. http://www.frogandfiddle.com/

Island Paradise Club

Caribbean music. Open only Friday and Saturday nights. Strict dress code and there is a cover charge. Because of the limited hours, I wasn’t able to visit. A call to the club was not returned.

1436 Webster Street; 865-3225. http://www.islandparadiseclub.com/

New Zealander Restaurant & Pub

Beautiful historic bar located in the Croll Building, a California landmark that was built in 1879. Eleven beers on tap including many heavier beers such as India Pale Ale. There is also a cider on tap. Small selection of wines and a standard selection of spirits. They also carry Moa bottled beer from New Zealand. The crowd seems to favor tap beers and the bar has more of the feel of a pub than a cocktail lounge. Diverse crowd in terms of both age, race and culture. They also serve food such as burgers, steaks, pub pies and salads. Live music on Thursdays and Saturdays.

1400 Webster Street; 769-8555. http://thenewzealanderpub.com/

Otaez Mexican Restaurant

Large modern bar with four beers on tap including Dos Equis lager and amber. Full bar with wide selection of tequilas. Good selection of Mexican bottled beers. Customers prefer margaritas and Dos Equis. The focus seems to be more on the Mexican restaurant than on the bar.

1619 Webster Street; 521-9090. http://www.otaezrestaurant.com

Shamrock Irish Pub

This is a large bar with two pool tables as well as a Foosball table. It features a rocking jukebox that keeps the crowd moving and shaking. There are 14 beers on tap including Guinness, Bass and Lagunitas IPA. There is a full bar with a very large selection of spirits. The crowd is mainly over 40 and really enjoys the drink. Attentive bartender.

1403 Webster Street; 769-9788.

Wally’s Corner

The “No A——s Allowed” sign is prominent above the bar at Wally’s Corner, which features one beer on tap: Bud. There is a large selection of spirits, but no wine visible. There is a pool table. The crowd is mainly over 50 and dedicated drinkers.

1600 Webster Street; 522-4412.

News Bits

AC Transit is planning major cuts in service and Alameda is not spared this time. Two rounds of cuts will be taking place. One begins October 31 and the second, which is much more severe, begins on December 19. The end result will mean no all-night service in Alameda and no weekend service east of Broadway or west of Webster. Line 31, which serves the West End, will be eliminated on weekends. All Transbay bus service on weekends will be eliminated, including Alameda’s O bus. Specifics regarding these two rounds of cuts are available here and here.

The historic monument honoring Alameda as the terminal of the first transcontinental railroad has been repaired. Vandals had sprayed graffiti on it and skateboarders were using it to do tricks. Public Works repainted and repaired the monument and added anti-skateboarding hardware. Previously, Public Works had rebuilt the monument after a motorist crashed into it. The monument is located at the northwest corner of Webster and Lincoln by the Shell gas station. The historic location is noted here.

The Women’s Initiative for Self Employment (WISE), a Bay Area non-profit that helps lower-income women start their own businesses, has opened a retail shop at 1532 Webster Street. The shop will showcase, on a rotating basis, the goods and services of those businesses that WISE has supported.

2 Comments »

  • Husky Gurrrrl says:

    Re: AC Transit Bus Line Cuts

    AC Transit is the absolute poster child for self-fulfilling prophecy. 20, heck, even 10 years ago, it was a great way to commute from Alameda to downtown SF, downtown Oakland or to your pick of BART stations. Now they’ve eliminated or consolidated so many routes that getting from Point A to Point B is a convoluted, transfer mishmash of routes. For example, there used to be a busline direct from Bay Farm, up Broadway and Park over to downtown Oakland. There were scads of Caltrans, Kaiser and Clorox employees that took that bus. It was one of the first cuts. Why was it cut? Oh, not enough ridership. Really? Standing room only on all three evening runs – trust me – I was there and I don’t seem to recall any AC Transit decision makers riding the same bus. (For you naysayers, we were acquainted with each other in that “Alameda-friendly” way and were aware of where we all worked.)

    So now who suffers? Those of us that sit in bumper to bumper traffic down Island Drive, up Fernside, High or Broadway when we’d really rather ride the bus and save time and money, especially for parking, gas and wear and tear on our cars. Not to mention that I’m not even given the choice to “spare the air” or make environmentally sound decisions. If I want to go to work, I either drive or am faced with a one and one half hour, three bus commute to go *nine miles*. Stagecoach anyone?

  • Sadly, AC Transit is now looking at a fourth round of cuts (to be implemented in March 2011). Next week, the board will vote on whether to hold a public hearing for cuts.

    Our elected officials (Diane Feinstein, Barbara Lee, Carol Ward Allen, and others) all fought hard for funding for a half-billion dollar duplicative transit service on Hegenberger to take a few people to the airport (Oakland Airport Connector) but Transit that people use everyday is going wanting for funds. The system is broken.

    Until we reprioritize fix-it-first funding that stabilizes the funding for core transit services, we’re going to be in a world of hurt in the short and mid-term.

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