Oakland is about to lose an important institution when the sale of the Kerry House finalizes in the next days or weeks. Initially, regulars thought last Thursday was the last day of operation, but an employee there told Grub Street today that they’re keeping the doors open until a transfer of the liquor license goes through. That means they’re open right now, but may close as early as tomorrow.
People who are not old drunks or wayward college students may not understand the weight of this loss, but for those of us with strong ties to the Piedmont neighborhood, it’s a blow. This is the bar where you could eat Indian food from Raj next door while waiting for your laundry to dry, catching up with a friend in quiet conversation. It’s also the place where you could yell and whoop, roughhousing around the lawless upstairs pool room while smoking inside, running down for an incredibly cheap pitcher and round of whiskey shots every few minutes. Word is, the folks who run Smitty’s on Grand Avenue will take over operation of the K-Hole (as we affectionately called it during our years as a regular), but you can pretty well bet it’s never going to be the same.