For a more voyeuristic sporting pleasure, take in an A’s or Raiders game at Kim’s Backyard. This is the sort of bar you always leave having made a new friend. And if you behave yourself, your first new friend might just be the mayor — who has been known to stop by — or Ms. Kim herself. She’s been in the Oakland nightlife business longer than anyone can remember, and this is her one-woman show. As sole owner, bartender, and caterer, Kim runs a tight and dank ship while pouring some of the stiffest drinks around. The dark interior and R&B-heavy jukebox are perfect for consoling fans of any team the A’s annihilate after the All-Star break. And when fall arrives, the Backyard is just about the only place you can watch a Raiders game without some Mad Max reject wearing spiked shoulder pads crowding your field of vision. The football fans don’t get too out of hand here, ’cause Ms. Kim don’t take no shit!
Readers’ Pick for Sports Bar: King’s X