Heinold's First And Last Chance Saloon

Address: Jack London Square, Oakland, CA, 94607-3721, United States
Tel: +1 510 839 6761
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon 3pm-11pm; Tue-Thu noon-11pm; Fri-Sat noon-1am, Sun noon-11pm
Door: Open door
Style: Saloon bar
Price guide: Value
Food: No food
Established: 1880

Images By: diffordsguide.com

Review Words by Simon Difford on 2011-10-20

Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon is a peculiar little bar, crafted out of timbers from an old whaling ship. It dates back to 1880, and has changed little since. The bar itself is sunk in the centre of a modern square, but inside it's wizened, old and precariously sloping at a 45-degree angle - so badly that table legs have been amputated to create horizontal surfaces for resting drinks.

The saloon is steeped in history and is famed for being Jack London's writing place - he went on to make 17 references to the bar and its founder, Johnny Heinold, in his novel, John Barleycorn.

The First and Last Chance Saloon still uses original gas lamps, and the ceiling is a collage of business cards, which have been charred black from the old wood and smoke stove. Trinkets collected over the past 130 plus years decorate the room: A taxidermy stag hangs behind the bar, a toy penguin dangles from the ceiling and sombreros, model ships, firemen's hats and old coins decorate the walls.

For a pint of ale in historical surroundings, you won't find a better place and its just a short ferry ride away from downtown San Francisco.

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