BAR CRAWLER: Raising hell on wheels in the Island City
BLADIUM BAR AND GRILL
So you're a few drinks deep — time to check out the actual Alameda haunts. Bar! Well, a gym bar. Once you arrive at the Bladium (you'll pedal past an impressive lineup of battleships on the way), smile sousedly at the front desk of the Bladium athletic center and weave your way through in-line hockey and indoor lacrosse arenas to the comfortable second-floor sports bar, where you can knock a pint back and take in some of the heated amateur action going on among the athletic types below. Don't let all the secondhand endorphins make you feel lazy — the kind of drinking you're doing takes endurance.
800 West Tower, Building 40, Alameda. (510) 814-4999, www.bladium.com
FORBIDDEN ISLAND TIKI LOUNGE
Enough crawling with the generalists — let's get dark 'n' sugary the way only a quality tiki bar can encourage. Find the flavor at the low-lit Forbidden Island, where there will be a luau in progress, if you play your cards right, and sufficient vats of rum and juice even if you didn't schedule your crawl around roast pig. Hoist a Neptune's Garden (it's blue and has fruit garnishes!) to discovering more about the Forbidden Island's watering holes and continue on your way.
1304 Lincoln, Alameda. (510) 749-0332, www.forbiddenislandalameda.com
LOST WEEKEND LOUNGE
See how we planned this out? We started with sober sea legs on the ferry, pinky-up tastings while you can still bullshit about noses and mouthfeels, then the limber tiki limbo — enter now the dives. Lost Weekend is a good one, and it's smack in the center of Alameda's fun downtown, which is worth a saunter about if you're feeling a little shaky after Forbidden Island. Otherwise, belly up the bar, gaze at the TVs and myriad ephemera on the walls from hazy sports meccas — Philly? Texas? — and discover that here in the Island City, the jock and black-clad hipster crowds can oftentimes merge into one.
2320 Santa Clara, Alameda. (510) 523-4700, www.lostweekendlounge.com
Turn the corner onto Park Street and you, my friend, have come to the end of your bar crawl — lucky for SF residents, it's on familiar turf. The Lucky 13's East Bay branch is just as good a rockabilly dive into a heavy, microbrew-tinged blackout as its Castro counterpart. Same wooden tables to back-slap and talk trash over without blazing TVs to distract your train of thought, same walled patio for fresh air and lighting of the cancer stick (yeah, alright, you're wasted). Two big points for the Alameda Lucky: you can bring in take-out stromboli and french fries from Scolari's next door — and the Fruitvale BART Station is only a happy downhill ride away when you're ready for the mainland. Lean your bike against the wall and find a comfy seat for yourself, brave crawler — you've earned it.
1301 Park, Alameda. (510) 523-2118, www.lucky13alameda.com