Barclay’s Restaurant & Pub

Barclay’s Restaurant & Pub
5940 College Avenue
Oakland, CA 94618
510.654.1650
Scores:
  • First Timer Friendly: Yes/Yes
  • Food: 9/9
  • Beverage: 10/8
  • Atmosphere: 8/8
  • Overall: 8/9
  • But is it a pub? Yes/Yes
Overview:
I needed a ride to Berkeley to get my car from a shop, and since my girlfriend was at work I decided to bug my Dad.  While I was at it, I insisted my Mom join, as well as my roommate Omar.  If we had to go to the dreaded East Bay, we could at least make it a trip to a nice pub!  After searching the area for pubs that were open for lunch on a Saturday, I decided that Barclay’s Restaurant & Pub would work great.
Chris’ Opinion:
The food is terrific. Everyone loved their food from what I could tell (especially the fried pickle chips appetizer!!) and there were options for everyone (yes, even Mexican Omar).  The beer…well what can you say about a place that has 30 beers on tap at all times and has had over 2700 different beers in their history.
The place is kind of strange from the outside, a newer blocky building and it is on the bottom floor, half below street level.  They have a nice little outdoor area where the people with dogs sit, which is awesome. Inside, it’s a totally different environment with nice wood bars, a few TVs, and a mishmash of random tables and chairs (kind of uncomfortable!)  The lighting was nice and the only real downside was that the music was a bit too loud for casual conversation.  The staff was super friendly and attentive, and the other patrons were nice as well.  I had a good conversation with a nice, shaggy, drunk older gentleman.
Karl’s Opinion:
And guess what #1 of the 2700 beers was/is…Guinness…that’s right.  I think it’s fine to mention “2700 Beers” on the menu but then have more than 30 at a time.  Not really a problem.
The food was great, the beer was good, and the atmosphere…worked, once you get over your preconceived notion that pubs must be dark and have “English” things covering every surface.
I see Barclay’s as a place that fits in with what many Americans “need” in a pub-a place to hang out, meet up with friends, have some better-than-average food, and drink a pint or 2.  And that your dogs are welcome-so much the better.
Not perfect, but getting close.
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