Food & Drinks

Imbibe 75 Place to Watch: Slug Bar

Dancing, disco balls, and … natural wine? It makes sense to chef Andres Giraldo Florez and Jake Michahelles, the team behind Oakland’s Slug Bar, an all-day (and well-into-the-night) wine bar. Having found success with Snail Bar, a natural wine hot spot with a more restaurant-like experience, the pair noticed there wasn’t really any place to eat and drink similar types of food and wine in the neighborhood after they got off shift. Enter Slug Bar, which opened in July.

The tight menu features a mix of elevated crowd-pleasers like tostadas and corn dog bites, and is complemented by a rotating selection of 12 by-the-glass natural pours chosen by Michahelles, a vet of Chez Panisse, Punchdown, and Scribe Winery (think: Everwild, Domaine Bichery, and Julien Peyras). For non-wine folks, there’s beer from local brewery Sante Adarius as well as Miller High Life, a longtime sommelier fave.

By day, the bar functions as a casual place to grab a bite of boudin blanc and a glass of Zero Zero Red, but come late night on the weekend, the tables are cleared out for DJ sets that attract a packed floor of revelers. “Natural wine isn’t immediately to me, ‘Let’s go and dance,’ but the wine’s good and the music’s good and the food’s good—that’s what our vision was,” says Michahelles.

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