Thirst and 10 resumes with a look at the Bear's Lair, the gathering place of the California Golden Bears. We asked Erik at California Golden Blogs to give us a review of the joint:
"This on-campus pub (the only one at UC Berkeley) is a must for Cal fans. Strictly a beer and pizza joint (no liquor), what it lacks in selection it makes up in quality, with a number of good beers on tap, pitchers of which are available at reasonable prices — and that's not counting 'Beat the Clock Fridays', where pitchers start at $5 until 5 p.m. and increase a buck an hour. The food is good too, with tasty pizza and nachos (plus the only White Castle sliders on the West Coast!) for reasonable, college student-friendly prices.
"All the Cal memorabilia on the wall adds to the decor (including part of one of the goalposts torn down after the 2002 Big Game win over Stanford, the first since 1994), and the plethora of HDTVs around the place make it a great place to watch sporting events. I've made plenty of 'single serving' friends while watching Cal sporting events there, though it can get packed for other events as well (it was standing-room only during the 2006 World Cup final).
"For the more ambitious, the Bear's Lair does host team drinking competitions, and though I've never participated, they still make a fine spectator sport.
"Finally, what will really make for a true college pub experience is a postgame appearance a few hours after the game by the band and Cal's mascot, Oski T. (The) Bear. Very little fires up an inebriated crowd like the Cal Drinking Song (at this point, the band is pretty hammered from playing at other bars and frats, but so is everyone else at the bar), and I can think of few mascot traditions more bizarrely awesome than Oski chugging a pitcher of beer through a tube in his eye. (Oski, being a secret mascot, cannot remove his headpiece even to drink, thus the need for the straw.)
"Personally, I have a lot of great memories at the Bear's Lair, from vomiting on the floor on my 21st to unsuccessfully hitting on the bartenders who cleaned it up, and watching something called Louis Rankin run for 200-plus yards on our defense. OK, they may not be good memories, but at least I remember them."
Let us know what you think. Thumbs up or thumbs down on the Bear's Lair?
Previous reviews: Esso Club (Clemson); Dirtbag's (Arizona); Bash Riprock's (Texas Tech); The Original Varsity Club (Ohio State); Walk-On's (Louisiana State); O'Connell's Irish Pub & Grille (Oklahoma); Top Of The Stairs (Virginia Tech); Linebacker Lounge (Notre Dame).