If I wanted to be transported to the 1970s, I would go to Skates on the Bay on the Berkeley Marina. Skates looks very old fashioned, from the wooden plank façade to the chandeliers and the maroon lounge chairs. But, if you can look past the décor, you will find some great happy hour deals. They have two happy hours every weekday. The first is 4-6 p.m., and the second from 9-11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 p.m. to 11:30 Fridays.
Deals are ½ off select appetizers and cocktails. Portions are generous and you can make dinner out of it. I enjoyed the Kobe meatloaf sliders, which are like sloppy joes. The oven roasted red king crab and artichoke dip was good for the first few bites, but too rich and creamy to eat more than that. The teriyaki tenderloin was a pleasant surprise, and could have been a meal by itself. The roasted garlic prawns were seasoned well but overcooked. Vegetarian options are limited to slightly upscale pub food like sweet potato fries (crispy and delicious), beer battered onion rings, and cheese plates.
While the food makes it worth a try, the $4 drinks could be better. The pomegranate margarita and green apple drop were so watered down that I would have preferred a wine cooler. Service can also be haphazard since happy hour is in the lounge only
Skates on the Bay
100 Seawall Dr., Berkeley
Photo: Chad L.