Whether you spell it "355" or spell it out "ThreeFiftyFive", the Bar at 355 19th St. in Uptown Oakland is happening. Three of us went in at 8 on a Sunday night - we had been invited for a Benefit Party for a delicious new company called Blackbird Underpinnings - and we got one of the last available banquettes, along the wall of the dance floor and right next to the stage. By 10 p.m., you couldn't move in the place and people were practically standing on our feet. Folks of all ages were jammed in there, but they were predominately 20-and-30-somethings. A mellow group, regardless, and great people-watching!
Bar ThreeFiftyFive (I'll go along with their Facebook page spelling) is attractive - a gorgeous retro bar, small and intimate. I'd say it's mostly Art Deco, tastefully decorated and with an easy-going atmosphere. Go for dancing to whatever the DJ spins, and sometimes to live music (the stage). The carved wood bar goes nearly the length of the room, with three bartenders behind it the night I was there. The drinks were good and the bar staff did a great job, considering the size of the crowd.
According to Yelp reviews, this popular spot is often packed to the rafters. If you like it a little quieter, go early and don't stay late. If you like lots of action, lots of fellow-elbow-benders, and lots of noise, go late and don't plan to talk much.
A word to the wise: There is no food at Bar ThreeFiftyFive, other than very minimal bar munchies. Eat before you go for best results!
For more info: Bar ThreeFiftyFive, 355 19th St (between Webster and Franklin), Oakland (510) 451-3355.