The past few weeks have given us plenty of time to look back fondly at some of our favorite old dive bars. For the Dive Bar Tourist, a stroll down memory lane would be incomplete without a visit to The Lemon Tree in Alameda, CA, where many fun and festive nights ended. This bar has been a staple in the community for a long time. It’s been here since the 1920s, when it was attached to the Alameda Hotel, and attracted visitors like WC Fields, Errol Flynn, and Amelia Earhart. Tucked away off of Park St, with a Flintstones style rock-wall facade, a lack of windows, and a sparkly black popcorn ceiling, it provides a good place to slip away and forget the outside world for a while. If Alameda has a beaten path, The Lemon Tree is a few blocks off of it, where only the dedicated would detour from the annual Park Street Bar Crawl, which was always held the first Saturday after Independence Day.
By day, this place is full of friendly regulars who have probably been coming here for decades, and who treat everyone like family- even new customers. There’s a story of a new patron entering the bar after losing his job only to have all of his drinks bought for him by the regulars.
By night, the energy ramps up as younger patrons fill the place to enjoy karaoke nights, live music, darts, and weekly pool leagues. However, if you’re in the mood for a little solitude, the bar is a California Lottery retailer, so you can pass the time by yourself with a beer, keno, and a stack of scratch tickets.
The Dive Bar Tourist has never started a night at The Lemon Tree, but has definitely ended a few there.
The bartenders here are attentive and friendly, and they pour good, stiff drinks. If you’re in the mood for something a little different, they offer a unique special: shots of schnapps. The fruity and fun selection of flavors and the $1.50 price tag will surely hit the spot. It’s hard not to feel happy at the sight of a bright pink watermelon flavored shot! While the bar doesn’t serve food, they frequently offer bar snacks, and sometimes offer free tacos on Sundays.
If you find yourself in Alameda, stop in and see for yourself why the Lemon Tree has been around for over 70 years!
Location: Alameda, CA
Be sure to try: A shot of schnapps!