Curious about Bars

Ignore the Red Umbrella in the photo and take in this picture of a historic saloon built from the timbers of the Umatilla, an abandoned paddle steamer.

With $100 and the aid of the ship’s carpenter, Johnny Heinhold built this saloon in 1871 from the Umatilla’s bones for seafaring men to feel at ease sitting at its bar.

This is the saloon at Oakland’s waterfront where famed American Novelist and Journalist Jack London in the 1890’s listened to sailors’ tales, and met Alexander McLean, known for his cruel nature and ship nicknamed The Hell Ship. The vicious Captain and seafaring stories inspired Jack London to write his best selling novel of mutiny and shipwreck, The Sea Wolf.

“But, – and there it is, – we want to live and move, though we have no reason to, because it happens that it is the nature of life to live and move, to want to live and move. If it were not for this, life would be dead. It is because of this life that is in you that you dream of your immortality.”
― Jack London, The Sea Wolf

Heinold’s has been been a working establishment since 1884. The Saloon has been closed since COVID.

The historic saloon still has original gas lighting and the potbelly stove.

My sister and I have been traveling the San Francisco Bay Area on a quest searching for captivating bars and researching spirits in the form of cocktails (more to be revealed later).

For many reasons, I’m anxious to revisit and stay at the Waterfront in Jack London’s Square. When COVID orders are lifted and Jack London’s rendezvous Heinold’s opens again, I’ll be back in Oakland, California to order a beverage and visit with the ghosts of the past.

I love a good ghost story.

Published by As the Road Wanders

Travel Blogger and Traveler

3 thoughts on “Curious about Bars

  1. Oh how fun! I’ve been to Jack London square numerous times but wasn’t aware of this. As far as bars in the bay area…may I recommend the Hotsy Totsy in Albany, Bull Valley Roadhouse in Port Costa (although the bar is probably not open yet, but there’s one across the street that’s a biker bar from my understanding). I don’t know when St. George’s Distillery will be open again for tastings, but that’s always fun (in Alameda). I’m enjoying your forays around the bay area. I was compelled to leave the area several years ago (financial…and other… issues due to divorce), but try to visit a few times a year (my adult kids and sister are all there). Of course, now it’s been since Christmas 2019 since I’ve been out but hope hopefully by the end of summer I’ll again be by my beloved Pacific!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the recommendations! I hope you can visit soon😊 I hadn’t been back to Jack London Square since I was a four year old kid on Romper Room in 1969, LOL. Suffice to say, it has changed.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: