The Warehouse Cafe – Port Costa, California - Gastro Obscura

The Warehouse Cafe

Where the polar bear watches over everything, and every drink is a double. 


In a building dating back to 1889, often surrounded by a boisterous crowd and numerous motorcycles, the Warehouse Cafe in Port Costa is a legend unto itself.

The cavernous, dimly-lit interior space was once a storage warehouse for the grains that were delivered by train ferry to the once bustling railroad town. When the local bridges were built, the heyday for this quirky area was over and the population dwindled to a tenth of its size as all the businesses closed and its workers fled for better days.

Sometime in the 1970s the Warehouse was reopened as a bar and restaurant. It is the largest building in the tiny town and as one of only a few businesses left, it has become a not-so-secret secret getaway drinking spot. One of the main draws of the bar is its massive area for outdoor seating and decks. Since it is also right on the Carquinez Strait, the outdoor seating is a huge hit during the days of summer and the area is a magnet for motorcycle and car clubs. The Warehouse celebrates this by serving barbeque and hiring a blues band that plays outside on Sundays.

The dimly lit interior is filled with a plethora of mismatched furniture, video games, and pool tables, all of which are lorded over by a truly enormous taxidermy polar bear who stands triumphantly over a decomposing sea lion. Taxidermy is a popular thing in the Warehouse and there are many other stuffed beasts lining the ceilings and walls, along with crazy sculptures and old signs. Toward the back of the bar, a gift shop called Baron’s Boardwalk serves up oddities, antiques and other odds and ends for the tipsy visitors who stumble in.

Speaking of tipsy, the bar comes well stocked with more than 250 beers from around the world, and all cocktails are doubles unless specifically ordered otherwise. Come prepared to spend the day - time flies in this rowdy and strange bar, and the drinks and atmosphere are distracting enough to keep you coming back again and again.

Know Before You Go

there is no public transportation into Port Costa. Port Costa but the Warehouse Cafe can be reached by car from I-80 through the town of Crockett or from Highway 4 via McEwen Road. It can also be reached through the back roads of the canyons by car, bike, or motorcycle.

They are cash only and do not accept any form of credit card, Apple Pay, etc. There is an ATM available there, but just be sure to either arrive cash in hand or with your debit card in your wallet. 

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July 18, 2013

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