Didn't go to Burning Man or manage to get out of town for the long weekend? Don’t have a backyard, and no one invited you to a barbecue? Wah. Here are five ideas for where you can enjoy your Labor Day (Monday, September 2nd) around the bay, and maybe even get a little smoke in your hair.
Grilling and Chilling at The Rock Bar
Gotta love some afternoon grilling and drink specials. The Front Porch may be closed on Labor Day, but the fine folks across the street at The Rock Bar will fire up the grill at 4 pm, and will be cooking until they run out of food (you can go strong until 2 am with the drinks, however).
Soul & Bowl at Mission Bowling Club
How does bowling, classic soul, and quality adult beverages sound? Exactly: groovy. Mission Bowling Club hosts Soul & Bowl nights every first and third Monday, which brings free shoe rentals and plenty o’ classic soul records. Guest bartender Daniel Hyatt will concoct some punches and other cocktails, which you can enjoy at your lane or on the patio. Oh yeah, and the infamous Mission Burger awaits. 7–11 pm.
Brunch at Slow Club
One conundrum about Labor Day is that it's a perfect day to go out for brunch, but a lot of restaurants close up shop. Slow Club has a sweet annual tradition of opening for brunch on Labor Day, which means you can score their bourbon French toast (and an eye-opener) from 10 am–2:30 pm.
Nab a Coveted Table for Dinner
Since so many people will be out of town—or hosting their own cookout—it’s a great time to land a table at a hotspot. A quick peek at OpenTable shows two-tops available at prime time at always-busy places like A16, Aziza, and Bar Tartine, or you can check out newcomer The Cavalier.
Barbecue at Homestead
Don’t let the Bay Bridge closure keep you from a good barbecue! Hop on BART and head over to the new Homestead in Oakland, where you will probably find some sun as well. For $20 (or $10 for kids, ten and under), you can dig into a buffet of pork ribs, brisket, corn on the cob, potato salad, and peach cobbler, plus you can purchase some wine and beer (bonus: Trappist Provisions will bring beers on tap and unique bottles of microbrews). The event is cash only, and runs from 12–6 pm. 4029 Piedmont Ave. at 40th St., Oakland, 510-420-6962.