Content originally written for the Let’s Go: USA & Canada Guide by our researcher-writer, Graham Bishai.
Cornerstone Craft Beer & Live Music ($-$$)
2367 Shattuck Ave.; (510) 214-8600; cornerstoneberkeley.com; open Su-Th noon-midnight, F-Sa noon-2am
The timeless act of grabbing a beer as a way to socialize always takes place in a communal venue. People flow freely through Cornerstone’s airy, open space. While some patrons congregate at the bar, others gather around one of the several tables in the hall. Better yet, grab a seat out on the patio next to the fire pit. There’s a pub-style food menu, but the main event is the beer. They’ve got over 50 different pours stocked and on tap, and a menu that helps you decide where to start. When there isn’t live music, there are lively people, whose buzzing banter fills the airwaves of this cavernous space. No awkward silences or awkwardly having to show your pitiable dance moves. Just good times. And beer.
No cover, beers from $6, cocktails from $10; BGLTQ+ friendly; wheelchair accessible; happy hour M-Th 3pm-6pm
Tupper & Reed ($$)
2271 Shattuck Ave.; (510) 859-4472; http://www.tupperandreed.com/; open Su-F 5pm-1am, Sa 5pm-midnight
Named after the original owners of this former music store, Tupper & Reed’s 1906 storefront is home to a bar that rolls with the vintage-is-cool-again vibe. With black iron gates and a brick and wood interior, you can’t help feel like you’re someone living in an era past, as you post your $12 cocktail to your Insta story. Antique music paraphernalia, like 1920s phonographs, are abound at this bi-level bar. A pool table brings on calm, respectable, games between friends—this is a classy place. The polar opposite of a dive bar, the place has more of a cocktail lounge feel. The decor is hard to argue with, setting the slow, relaxed, and polite pace. You won’t swing from the chandelier here—that just wouldn’t feel right. It is, however, a great place to enjoy a drink in an incredibly elegant, yet laid back, living history exhibit.
No cover, drinks from $10; happy hour daily 5pm-7pm