Ahh, the local beer joints. How I love them. Each have their own feel and vibe which makes them unique, good or bad. I’ve been coming to Ben & Nick’s in Oakland for a good 4 years or so. I like their selection of beers. Usually 6 or 7 on tap.
I love the locale of it, right down the street from BART so I don’t have to worry about driving after several pints! This place is perfect for the “after work & grab a beer with friends” kind of place. Plus, this place has a good vibe to it. Reminds me of an English pub with some nice wooden booths which ads a nice touch.
During this visit, being a Saturday afternoon, beautiful weather outside, the place was not too busy. We took a spot by an open window. Since Pliny is always on tap here (almost always) I knew what I wanted and my wife wanted a mixed drink and some food. (she’s not a beer drinker)
The server noticed us as we were seated, but found a few other clean up duties to tend to prior and wandered in the back. After 10-15 minutes of waiting, I got up and flagged her down.
The waitress took our order with great disinterest, short replies to questions we had about menu items and didn’t see her again until we finished our food and drinks. She sat the bill down with just as much personality as when she took our order.
Just as I was chaulking this up as to me possibly being a little to critical, I noticed some loud talking by a patron that was sitting to the side of us. He was asking the same waitress why she was giving him attitude and ignoring him. This went on for 10 minutes with her finally saying “if you don’t like my service don’t come back.” In a way, I felt validated, that I wasn’t being an ass that day and someone else noticed this as well.
In conclusion, I like Ben & Nick’s. I really do. I like the beers, the food is ok and it’s a great place to hang out. I will not stop coming here but the service in my opinion, needs to be worked on.
Here’s a list of beers that frequent their taps:
Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig IPA, Steelhead XP, Death and Taxes, Trumer Pilsner, Guinness and Boddingtons
Ben & Nick’s
5612 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618