There are not many hip dance lounges in Berkeley (most are in San Francisco). The Shattuck Down Low Lounge definitely occupies a unique niche. It offers Salsa, reggae, funk, soul, Hip hop, international, rock and karaoke nights, to name a few.
The Ashkenaz is a Berkeley institution that has been around forever. They primarily do "adult" music - blues, reggae, world music. It's a cozy, casual place with a relaxed feel.
The Ashkenaz is in North Berkeley, quite a ways from the main area of Shattuck/Telegraph. It's also two blocks away from the famous 924 Gilman club, which couldn't be more different (it's a world famous punk rock club catering to the under-21 set).
this is a very cool place
i used to go there all the time when i lived in san francisco and last time i went there it was 1 year ago
it still rocks
some of my friends play there very often so i go there to see them play
it's a very unformal place
well, u better have someone to drive u back to the BART at night, otherwise u'r gonna be stuck at Gilman
one of my favorite spots in berkeley. a unique bar, people watching, live music, pool tables, darts, games, Trivia nights,
Best of all - the staff is great!
And, they allow you to bring your dog inside to play and hang out!
Dress Code: no dress code.
It's a pub !
If you are looking for cafes, bars, or restaurants with a college crowd that is more mature, you'll it find down College Ave. From my experience, it seems the people that hang out here are mostly graduate level students. The designs of the shops and places to eat seem more "artsy-fartsy"(for lack of a better term). The scene is alot more mellow than where the undergrads tend to hang out.
Dress Code: Depends on where you go.
Check to see if there are any shows playing here while you are in town. This is a great place to see concerts, if for nothing else, the scenery. Like the name says, it is designed like an outdoor Greek Amphitheatre. Beyond the tall pillar stage, lies the bay and San Francisco skyline, and usually a magnificent sunset falls behind that. Good stuff…
Dress Code: none
Irish restaurant. In the evenings on Wed & Fri, Nicole rocks out to your favorite oldies. On Wed you can even sing along. Come early & eat curry chips with your guiness! Besides the wonderful appetizers, the entrees are not reccomended.
Dress Code: evening casual
Sadly, Berkeley has virtually no nightlife spots. City ordinances make the streets totally dead after about 10PM. Student nightlife centers around house parties, drinking in dormitory rooms (with the doors locked so the RAs won't know!), and stuff going on around Fraternity Row (along Piedmont between Bancroft and Dwight). Your best bet for a party is generally going to be around the frats ... but FYI, you either have to know someone or be a female.
The Ivy Room is in nearby Albany. This is a great place to try a unique cocktail and enjoy a live DJ without a cover.
Ashkenaz is a community dance hall that offers a wide range of experiences, from reggae to Balkan folkdance!
If you drink every beer they serve you get a Raliegh's 'Round the World' t-shirt. I'm working on my second one ;-)
Dress Code: Casual