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The Alley

Dive Bar, Karaoke Bar, and Piano Bar$$$$
Grand Lake, Oakland
  • The experts at Eater and SFGate recommend this place
    • Eater
    • SFGate
  • Teresa P.
    "Piano bar and singing are lots of fun."(10 Tips)
    Paula W.
    "Try a beer and the special steak dinner with salad and baked potato"(5 Tips)
    "... ticket stubs, money, business cards, and other ephemera to the wall, perhaps..."(3 Tips)
    Libby L.
    "Can't decide between a club steak and a special steak?"(2 Tips)
45 Tips and reviews
  • steak dinner
  • singing
  • karaoke
  • trivia
  • business cards
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  • Recent
  • Popular
  • Solario
    SolarioAugust 13
    Live music karaoke by the legend, Rod Dibble or a number of other musicians who perform live and make you sound incredible.
  • Eater
    EaterJune 19
    People love to stick ticket stubs, money, business cards, and other ephemera to the wall, perhaps after a crazy-cheap steak and a few rounds of songs accompanied by Dibble himself. Read more
  • Hannah W.
    Singing with Rod Dibble should be on everyone's bucket list. Love the old walls covered in business cards going way back. Such a special, unique, unpretentious bar.
  • Bommy C.
    Bommy ChaMay 23, 2016
    Eclectic interior and good spot to hang out at but they have basic beers in bottles only.
  • SFist
    SFistMarch 3, 2016
    There are few places in the Bay as wonderful as The Alley. It would be a decent joint without the piano, but the piano player puts it on the map. So grab a drink, pick a song from the book, and enjoy. Read more
  • Byron W.
    Byron WilkesFebruary 12, 2016
    Been here 5+ times
    Love love love The Alley. Perfectly nails the backyard bar vibe and I will definitely be back. If you don't like hipsters, steer clear.
  • Libby L.
    Libby Lee-EganNovember 17, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    They are renovating their kitchen so the menu is totally different. If you had your heart set on steak or fried chicken or a burger prepare to be disappointed!
  • William G.
    William GunnOctober 27, 2015
    Cash only piano bar
  • Brendan C.
    Brendan CurranJune 11, 2015
    One of the best bars in Oakland. Live piano karaoke for pros only!
  • Brian S.
    Brian StraussFebruary 11, 2015
    A dive with a heart of gold. Love the steak dinners and the characters at the piano. I met my wife here. What's not to like?
  • Michael G.
    Michael GoodeFebruary 4, 2015
    Gotta love Sunday karaoke.
  • Michael G.
    Michael GoodeFebruary 4, 2015
    Gotta love the karaoke Sunday's.
  • Libby L.
    Libby Lee-EganJanuary 4, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Can't decide between a club steak and a special steak? The club is much larger and only a dollar more. Decision made.
  • Fernanda A.
    Fernanda AlvesNovember 15, 2014
    Great place to relax and drink with some friends! Good atmosphere and decoration!
  • Candy E.
    Candy Eros DiazSeptember 25, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    Dirty martini's & steak dinners!
  • Alex K.
    Alex KimSeptember 24, 2014
    You may be surprised that they have an excellent selection of steaks at this dive bar. Gave the sirloin a shot and was pretty impressed.
  • Bryan D.
    Bryan DyerSeptember 19, 2014
    Been here 100+ times
    Drinks, bartenders, food, karaoke and trivia...
  • Alex T.
    Alex TenetteAugust 13, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Karaoke on Sundays, fun trivia nights and acoustic karaoke. Friendly staff and really great burgers
  • Zennie A.
    Zennie AbrahamJanuary 24, 2014
    Been here 100+ times
    Make sure to bring plenty of cash because The Alley doesn't take cash.
  • Zennie A.
    Zennie AbrahamNovember 22, 2013
    Been here 100+ times
    Take a chance and sing at the piano featuring Rod Dibble
  • Zennie A.
    Zennie AbrahamOctober 18, 2013
    Been here 100+ times
    Be extra nice to Jennifer the bartender and she will be extra nice back!
  • Zennie A.
    Zennie AbrahamMay 24, 2013
    Been here 100+ times
    If you want to sing at the piano, tip the piano player!
  • Zennie A.
    Zennie AbrahamOctober 8, 2012
    Been here 100+ times
    The Oakland Song was made here! Ask Rod Dibble about it.
  • Mary K.
    Mary KSeptember 16, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    stiff cheap drinks!!
  • John B.
    John BobeldykApril 5, 2012
    Cash only. Sorry, we do not accept credit cards.
  • Zennie A.
    Zennie AbrahamMarch 1, 2012
    Been here 100+ times
    Be sure to drop a buck in Rod Dibble's tip jar before you sing!
  • Laughing Squid
    Laughing SquidFebruary 21, 2012
    Bring a biz card, ask for the stapler & leave your mark. Stay for a drink & the piano bar stylings of Rod Dibble. The Alley is an institution.
  • Brad L.
    Brad Lauster (@bradlau)February 15, 2012
    Ron Dibble on the keys!
  • Christine B.
    Christine BayugaDecember 22, 2011
    Karaoke with a piano and people who can sing.
  • Christine B.
    Christine BayugaNovember 15, 2011
    Best steak dinner deal in Oakland!
  • Zennie A.
    Zennie AbrahamSeptember 30, 2011
    Been here 100+ times
    Newbies at the piano sing first. The mic order goes clockwise.
  • Zennie A.
    Zennie AbrahamAugust 28, 2011
    Been here 100+ times
    The steak is the best in Oakland!
  • Zennie A.
    Zennie AbrahamAugust 28, 2011
    Been here 100+ times
    I've been a regular here since 1997. That means I sing here! But the steaks at The Alley are the BEST in Oakland. Seriously. Having a YouTube / Twitter / Tout Meetup on November 2nd.
  • Teresa P.
    Teresa ParkerJuly 21, 2011
    The cheeseburger was moist and tasty. Piano bar and singing are lots of fun.
  • Courtney F.
    Courtney FloresJune 14, 2011
    A great place to do some low key Karoke on a Sunday night. Read more
  • Emily
    EmilyMay 18, 2011
    great dive bar w/ piano! Read more
  • Weston S.
    Weston SchaffertFebruary 14, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    It's not on the menu but ask for the Tony John. You'll get a bacon cheeseburger and fries for less than it would cost separately. It may have grilled onions too, I can't remember if it comes that way.
  • Alyssa S.
    Alyssa S.January 30, 2011
    Check out all the old business cards on the walls. They tell this place's story perfectly.
  • Tawnya L.
    Tawnya LongJuly 21, 2010
    Cheap steak!
  • Paula W.
    Paula Wirth / Eat Drink OaklandMarch 13, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    Try a beer and the special steak dinner with salad and baked potato
  • Kevin S.
    Kevin SealMarch 13, 2010
    Stuff a few bucks in Rod Dibble's tip jar and sing "Stardust."
  • Wayne
    WayneFebruary 21, 2010
    Don't challenge the locals at the piano bar. You'll lose
  • SFGate
    SFGateJanuary 29, 2010
    Down a shot of courage and sidle up to the piano bar to sing with the regulars. They've got a handy book of lyrics if you're at a loss for words. Read more
  • Tollef
    TollefOctober 11, 2009
    Been here 5+ times
    don't miss the steak dinner! and though a few more dollars the pan fried chicken is excellent.
  • Arlette T.
    Arlette ThibodeauJuly 23, 2009
    Been here 10+ times
    Go to The Alley with a team of pop culture whores and kill it at one of the Monday night trivia competitions.
131 Photos