Oakland needed this This bar has some great decor and overall a funky, well-laid out vibe. Oakland needed a place like this. Service was a little cool, though, and the drinks are more expensive than you would think.
THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST in Oaktown Peter is part way hot Frank Sinatra, my uncle dad brother bartender and part mystic. This place is my Cheers. I love it so much I shed tears.
P-Raw: Faery Supe...
my new favorite bar I went to go see a band play at Cafe Van Kleef this weekend, and didn't want to leave! There are knick-knacks, art, and sculptures to look at everywhere you turn, a beautiful bar with amazing drinks, and incredible live music. There's also a smoking section in the front instead of putting people out on the sidewalk!
best downtown Oakland bar Cool kitschy stuff, a beautiful mural, yummy live jazz, and delicious drinks -- what more could you want in a bar? Smokers, often banished to sidewalk in many places, will enjoy the outdoor section, with as much eye candy as inside!
Hip but not poser It's an Oakland neighborhood cafe/bar run by an artist with roots in Amsterdam. Artists, jazz musicians, students, senior citizens, off-duty police, locals and shmocals all hang out in this mellow cafe atmosphere tangled with a bar scene. Friday's feature jazz with Vince Wallace on sax -- an old-timer who played with Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon and others.
Edgier bands, like Theloni On Wry, play an occasional Saturday night.
From what I understand, the place purposely stays away from rock, straight blues, hip hop and country music in order to maintain a more thoughtful crowd.
The place is thickly covered with art and knickknacks -- many of which are extraordinary (a recumbent dead-Jesus sculpture retreived from an old demoed church and covered with roses is mounted on a top shelf with a mirror angled down to make it observable from the bar; some astounding small sculptures from a local artist; and so much bread-basket and smaller stuff it's is impossible to notice everything even after 10 visits; the owner keeps adding and replacing stuff; every piece has a story behind it).
It's not a de facto white or black trendy bar, which so many trendy places end up being without trying, especially in SF. It's not full of tweny-somethings with the same hair cuts and buffalo-exchanged clothing nor is it full of cologne-drenched decked-out suits and silk-draped prowlers.
Reviewed by Beth Lisick, SFGATE.COM ...for most kitsch collectors, the problem isn't scoring all those glazed tiki mugs, Nefertiti busts and racy beer steins. It's actually having a place to showcase your loot once you've got it. Luckily for Peter van Kleef, he has plenty of space to do this at his bar/gallery/nut hatchery, Caf? Van Kleef, in downtown Oakland.
Boasting sky-high ceilings outfitted with mirror-backed shelves behind the long bar, the spot offers you the opportunity to sip a strong cocktail surrounded by thousands of collectibles competing for your attention. With battered boxing gloves, a cast-off Oscar statue, a lit replica of the Titanic, souvenir baseballs and a painting that includes Gertrude Stein, Andy Warhol, James Brown, Mayor Jerry Brown and the Dalai Lama breaking bread, you'll need to elbow your way into the space, at least psychically speaking...