Raising the sports bar: The Athletic Club Oakland opens

Raising the sports bar: The Athletic Club Oakland opens
Photo: Jamar JB B./Yelp
By Nathan Falstreau - Published on May 21, 2018.

Just in time for the remainder of the Western Conference finals, The Athletic Club Oakland has debuted a few days ahead of schedule. 

The new sports bar comes from owners Miles Palliser and Ezra Berman (The San Francisco Athletic Club, Lord George), and replaces the former Izzy's Steak and Chop House, which closed last December

“With the world feeling so divided right now, it is important for us to create an inclusive space where you can hang up your hat when you come in,” said Palliser. “Sports is a universal language that unites people over their shared love of a game.”

Substantial work has been put into the former space, said a spokesperson via email, including more than 40 television screens and 20 "dedicated sound zones."

Miles Palliser and Ezra Berman. | Photo: Jordan Wise

Sound zones allow patrons to hear audio for their preferred event without needing to tune out nearby games. "It ensures that every seat is the best seat in the house," said a club representative. 

Palliser and Berman teamed up with Clint Miller of Parisa O'Connell Interior Design to create the space, complete with reclaimed bleacher wood, a bar top made from flooring from an old basketball court, caged gym lights, trophy cases and tufted leather booths for lounging. 

There's a mix of bar seating, high top tables and dining tables, along with communal seating and pool and shuffleboard tables.

The bar program has been designed by Matty McGee (Prize Fighter, Flora, Era) and features twelve draft brews, more than twenty additional varieties in bottles and cans and eight wines on tap. Expect to see a rotating list of ten signature cocktails on offer, too, like the spiked, house-made Slushie du Jour. 

Cauliflower "wings." | Photo: Jordan Wise

Athletic Club Oakland's food menu is designed by Matt Rosson (San Francisco Athletic Club, The Corner Store, Salt House) and offers an assortment of burgers, sandwiches, salads and a selection of pub fare like deep-fried pickles, nachos and wings with six signature house-made sauces for dipping.

Vegan and gluten-free folks will find options for dining as well such as the Impossible Burger and crispy cauliflower "wings." 

While no reservations are required, customers can RSVP to book leather booths for twelve to twenty-five, along with the bar's upper level "Skybox," which has six dedicated screens and room for up to forty fans. 

The club also features "The Rivalry Room," which provides seating for thirty guests on gymnasium-style pull-out wood bleachers, with drop-down projection screens for the game. 

“Guests can come in at anytime, and we will always find them a TV and deliver their game with quality sound and a smile," said Berman. "If we don’t have the channel, we will add it. If we can’t find the game, we will stream it."

During its soft-opening phase, ACO is "operating on modified hours and a limited menu as they work out opening logistics," said the spokesperson.

In the near future, the bar will be open Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. – midnight, from 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. on Friday, and on Saturday from 9 a.m. - 2 a.m. For specialty events like the World Cup, ACO will open even earlier.