Most Charming Bar Owner


Sure, the High Life bottles cost $4 each, and a well-brand screwdriver sets you back $6. But a night at Kim’s is a night like none other. It’s a Raiders bar in the heart of Koreatown — itself wedged between Temescal and Uptown — and the clientele reflects this, with regulars ranging from forty-and-over African Americans to scruffy white hipsters, and many Oaklanders in-between. The big-screen TV airs sports and classic movies, the flow of freshly nuked popcorn is endless, the titular backyard has ample room for cigarette smokers, the Internet jukebox blares R&B and classic rock and soul, and, on a weekend night, there’s a good chance that a dance party could break out in the walkway between the bar and the tables. But the joint’s real gem is Kim herself, cognac in hand. You may take her for a sweet old lady, but do not cross her. Kim can buy you shots as easily as kick you out, so show some respect: Don’t smoke herb out back, don’t drop your drink inside, and don’t complain about the prices. When Kim joins you on the dance floor to shake it to R. Kelly or the B-52s, you’ll realize cheap drinks aren’t everything.


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