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Bites Nearby: Pear Street Bistro

This hiding place is perfect for watching the world go by, enjoying a sophisticated meal for a deal, or playing hooky from work for a mid-afternoon cocktail.

Pear Street Bistro
2395 San Pablo Ave.
Pinole, CA 94564
Tel: (510) 741-8875
Pearstreetbistro.com

Hours: Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

If the last time you had a decent cocktail for chump change was at home, then Pear Street Bistro is the place to be. All-day happy hour means a different cocktail each day of the week for just $3. And these aren’t the watered-down, pre-mixed kind you might expect. The cosmopolitan I sampled on a warm Wednesday afternoon definitely packed a punch, was delightfully slushy and tasted nothing like store-bought cocktail mix.

Pear Street Bistro has a remarkably chic, metropolitan feel for its sleepy location in the historic Old Town of Pinole. The bar stools glow with purple neon lights and a long, casual dining table spans the room. Big windows and bar mirrors give the place a comforting glow without sacrificing the casual dimness of a good cocktail bar.

Service is prompt and classy. The waiting staff are dressed in crisp black and white, and greet each dining patron — whether restaurant or bar — with the same level of elegance. The cocktail list is expansive, and the food menu simple yet sophisticated. By comparison, both bar and food prices are surprisingly low. For $10, I sampled the Asian Chop Chop Salad, which was beautifully presented with a colorful contrast of salad greens and bright orange carrot shavings. The salad was a little heavy on the sesame vinaigrette, but rich with fresh, clean flavors and textures. The chicken boasted a nutty quality and was deliciously supple, as well as ample on the plate.

Happy hour runs from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday to Friday and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, with $3 well drinks and beers and $5 wine or champagne. But no matter what the time of day, there is always a drink deal to be found at Pear Street. Red or white sangria is $6 per glass or $18 for a pitcher. All-day happy hour means a different $3 cocktail all day every day, and Sundays are fun days with $7 endless mimosas until 2:30 p.m. with the purchase of a brunch entrée. The brunch menu is expansive, from omelets to pizza to steak, all served with a fresh, homemade biscuit.

Verdict: Pear Street Bistro is a classy and affordable retreat. If only the bar were open a little later on the weekend, it might attract a deal-seeking evening crowd and bring some warm-hearted rowdiness to this placid strip of San Pablo Avenue.

Best Deal: All-Day Happy Hour $3 Cocktails:

  • Monday: Gin or Vodka Martini
  • Tuesday: Tequila Sunrise
  • Wednesday: Cosmo
  • Thursday: Margarita
  • Friday: Cuba Libre
  • Saturday: Apple Martini
  • Sunday: Mimosa

Bonus Deal: Pick up a frequent diner card. You’ll earn a stamp for every $10 spent, and get a $10 Pear Street Bistro gift card when you reach $100 or 10 stamps.

Food Need-to-Know: Restaurant dining for lunch is available from 11 a.m. to  3 p.m. Sunday through Friday. Food continues to be served in the bar area throughout the day. The restaurant re-opens for dinner from 5 p.m. until close every day. 

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