The low light atmosphere has helped me drown out the obnoxious Piedmont crowd in the past, and enabled me to enjoy some of their fine taps. The service is solid, the food some basic but essential bar grub, and price what you’d expect from their selection.
I finally had a chance to visit this place after an appointment with my spine surgeon at the hospital around the corner. It’s located in a cool part of Oakland. Lots of nice looking restaurants and shops in the area. This place, as mentioned, looks sort of like an old house that was converted to a taproom. There’s ample room inside though with a medium sized bar and lots of comfortable seating. I could see spending a long evening here with friends. No seating at the bar was the only weird thing. The tap list was pretty good. A few locals and some relatively obscure stuff for this part of Cali. I got the Figueroa Davy Brown, but they also had Pliny which is always a good thing. I didn’t try the food, but the service seemed attentive and friendly.
Another weird thing was that there were people openly smoking weed inside. Probably only one or two, but of course the smell filled the whole place. I was kind of surprised by that, but whatever. Overall, this is a really cool place that I would visit regularly if I lived in the area. I wouldn’t go to far out of my way though.
Cool place. Really looks like an old house, in fact. Shutters on the windows, old wooden interior, glasses lining the beams in the ceiling. Lots of photos and signage on the wall. Service was okay, but you go to the bar to order, it seems. There is plenty of space to sit and have a meal or just have some beers. The beer list is good and made up mostly of Bay Area stuff. Some Russian River, a few random North Bay and Oakland breweries, Moonlight, etc. Definitely worth a stop.
Food is good. Decent tap selection. Service leaves something to be desired. You have to order your food at the kitchen window, then go and order your beer at the bar. They bring your food to the table, but they don’t even give you napkins. They need a better system.
Cato's used to be the the best place in Oakland to get a pint of up and coming micro brews. Now it seems they've gotten fat and lazy with the taps. You can find the same beers there week after week with not much new and exciting. It's a great place to take the family, grab a pint, and hear some live music. I wish they would bring in more beers that are cutting edge.
They have some 25+ taps with lots of local and NoCal offerings. The place is small and very warn in with dark bead board paneling everywhere, big square dark stained wood pillars and beams. The tables are all warn smooth and carved up with initials and brief phrases. Pub grub such as salads, sandwiches, burgers, pizza and other assorted items like Krabby Cakes (must be Sponge Bob inspired). They have friendly, helpful and hardworking staff. You do need to go to the bar to get beer (no seats at the bar either) and you order food through a porthole labeled “Order Here.” The cold water to help cleanse the palate is self serve. This is a cool place with a couple of tubes to take in a game. I think I’ll spend another hour here. I had the Drake’s Amber, Bear Republic APEX and Lagunitas Gnarly Barleywine all in 10oz servings, excellent volume for rating. This place reminds me of a NoCal version of The Liar’s Club with the same type of beer geek friendly tap line up only the place here is much bigger. Wow, over the standing bar area they have sort of a trellis with a 100+ tap handles fixed to it. Nice touch.
An excellent place to hang out and socialize if you’re a local. However, if you’re not familiar with the concept of the “neighborhood Pub” AND OR a crotchety hump of a customer you might want to go to the generic sports bar elsewhere. The locals and the bar staff will pick up on it quickly and your money may receive a warm welcome, but you won’t.
Nearly perfect except for the recent addition of Soju-Cocktail drinks. Sorry but I’d like actual booze in my Martini please. Hopefully this is only a passing fad and they can fully get back to their roots –ass kicking ales.
Cato’s is a perfect little alehouse - a great little place to sit down casually and drink from a diverse selection of 25 micros, most of which are NorCal locals (usually Moonlight, Russian River, Bear Republic, etc...). Place gets crowded during prime times, but still manages a laid back vibe. I think that this has a lot to do with the estrogen content - Cato’s is probably the least guy-heavy beer bar I have ever been to. Service is minimal - you order food at the walk-up window, and beer at the bar. most of the bartenders are great and efficient, but one is a real hump. the food is good pub food, especially the pizza. the salads are also excellent. great place for a beer - it’s just so cozy.