It’s been a busy few weeks for Irish Americans here in California’s Bay area. There have been shows, commemorations, memorial masses, and more – and another event is coming up this Saturday. This weekend Oakland celebrates the grand opening of its new Irish pub, Sláinte.
San Francisco has a wide variety of Irish bars to choose from, but they have always been more scarce in the East Bay. The owners of Sláinte hope to change that and to bring another option for people who love Irish culture to Oakland. It’s a lovely pub with a cozy feel and a fireplace. Books (including my own) line the walls for patrons to grab and peruse and a giant portrait of Oscar Wilde looks down over the bar. Musicians, readers, and dancers are always welcome at Sláinte, which is why they do not have a large sound system to drown out conversation or live tunes. Their selection of Irish Whiskey is decent and the breakfast is fantastic – but the Irish Coffee is truly divine. Sláinte is infused with the hospitality of Donegal and it does its best to make you feel welcome and comfortable and like you want to stay all day. Many do.
The pub has been open for a couple of weeks now, but this weekend is their official opening party. The celebration lasts all day from noon to midnight. Students from the McBride School of Irish Dance will be dancing from 12-2PM and there are rumors of Irish pipers and other musicians coming in for a seisiún as well.
I don’t usually plug any businesses or restaurants in this blog but I have been excited about this place since I first heard it was coming to town. Now, after sampling their wares, and meeting many of the people involved, I feel like they deserve a great party full of people to welcome them to Oakland. I hope they stay for a good long time and if you’re local or visiting, be sure to stop by.
Céad míle fáilte Sláinte! Save this seat for me.