Hold on beer lovers, Benicia has more brews on tap. Back in July, we featured four spots to sample specialty and other beers. Here are four more worthy spots to check out.
321 First Street, 707.746.7665
This fun, boisterous bar, the newest in town, is a big hit with the younger set. It’s a great place to catch a game, watch a fight or rock out with your many new-found buddies. This is a true sports bar with autographed sports memorabilia and 20+ flat screens. Rookies sells plenty of mixed drinks and offers mostly commercial brews, but has a few specialty beers, like Anchor Steam and Kona Longboard, on draft. There’s also a different draft beer featured every Wednesday, 6-9pm during “Pint Night.” They have a good selection of beers in the bottle, too. Hip, clean, well lit and comfortable, Rookies does its thing very well.
The Union Hotel Restaurant and Bar
401 First Street, 707.746.0110
Housed in a building from the 1850’s, the historic Union Hotel is the oldest continually operating hotel in California. It’s a classic old hotel and its dark wooden bar is over 120 years old. Owner Gabby Ovieto keeps his bar in fine shape and really cares about his beer. Visitors who have stopped in for a meal in the past might be surprised to learn that the Union Hotel also serves four pretty fine tap beers, such as the toothsome, medium bodied Black Diamond IPA. Add live music on weekends, a casual vibe and the great Happy Hour deal; Monday through Thursday 5-8pm. The excellent beers cost only $2 per pint! That’s a price hard to beat, anywhere.
Lucca Bar & Grill
439 First Street, 707.745.3749
Lucca’s Bar, found by a passageway on the right side of the restaurant or through an entrance off of First Street, is an easy-going joint, with black and orange walls and a lively clientele. Known more for its mixed drinks, Lucca also serves up a credible array of draft beers, with the usual suspects, including Sierra Nevada, Stella Artois, Harp, Newcastle, Guinness and Blue Moon. Hoegaarden, the Belgian White, is among the better beers presented by the bottle. It’s a good place to relax, chat and grab a brew before or after dinner. Happy Hour runs 4-7pm Monday-Friday, when all beers are a dollar off.
Bottom of the Fifth
498 Military East, 707.745.9949
The last of a dying breed, housed in a former Bordello underneath a Chinese Restaurant, Bottom of the Fifth is still going strong, and in fact will soon be undergoing a major remodel. This honest-to-goodness dive bar, beloved by Benicia’s dockworkers, longshoremen, refinery personnel and other locals provides loyal customers with inexpensive drinks, a regular crowd and spirited, feisty conversation. “This is the only Blue Collar bar left in town,” says local Clint Gomez. “No other spot in town has pool tables.” The remodel will up the ante for Bottom of the Fifth with five new beers taps and a kitchen. Open daily at 7am, this is a bar full of character, and characters.