Meet the next watering hole in our new bar series, The Nightcap: Room 389 opened last year on Grand Avenue near Lake Merritt, and its laid-back atmosphere and good music has helped its popularity steadily grow. The bar, says owner Benjamin Cukierman, is a place where neighbors “come hang out with their friends without having to yell over the music.”

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21 Grand

The signature teal color of an old-school iMac stood out among a hodgepodge of items. There was a Sierra Nevada box filled with torn packaging envelopes, complete with stamps and postmarked dates. The one-man crew of 21 Grand—a downtown Oakland gallery and performance space—was purging everything that had accumulated in storage for the last decade, but the venue’s “emergency rummage sale” a couple of weeks ago wasn’t just an effort to collect a few bucks. It was to make the month’s rent.

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