Downtown Oakland’s Penelope is the place to go for an end-of-the-work-day cocktail. The compact, friendly bar/café appears like an oasis in the middle of City Center for anyone in search of libations and food after a long day. Friends and co-workers can sit at outdoor tables on pleasant evenings, but it’s good to know that the heaters are there in case the fog rolls in later on. Seating inside is cozy: four tables and twelve seats at the bar, but the high-ceilinged room feels spacious.
Penelope’s happy hour is from 4–6:00 p.m. during the work week. Beers are $4; all well drinks are $5, and the house wine is $5 a glass.
On a recent evening, the featured drink was a Peruvian Summer for $7, a refreshing combination of fruit juices, vermouth and Pisco Portón. This particular cocktail neatly sums up the taste of summer, with the inclusion of watermelon and lime. Every day brings a new featured cocktail, which you’ll see listed on the chalkboard next to the bar.
Two excellent choices from the cocktail menu are the Penelope, which features tequila and a mixture of muddled apples, fresh beets, pears and lime—and the blackberry margarita, another satisfying flavor-of summer treat.
On the regular cocktail menu, you’ll find an array of drink options that make it worth getting through another work day. The Oakland Heat is a real crowd pleaser. All the drink offerings feature fresh and seasonal ingredients; you’ll be delighted with the combinations of choice spirits and summer bounty at this time of year.
Penelope’s food menu currently includes the steak sandwich for $8, the classic grilled cheese and soup combo for $10; small plates of meats and cheeses for $10; smoked salmon toasts for $7, and a cup of tomato soup for $5.
The plans for summer after-work fare involve visits by 510 Burger, the popular food truck, on Thursdays and possibly Fridays.
Penelope couldn’t be more convenient to folks who work or live near City Center. You’ll find it right near the corner of 11th Street and Clay, just a block or so from BART. Join the other happy hour aficionados who have discovered Penelope’s charms.
Open Monday – Friday
11:30am – 2:00pm
4:00pm – until closing