Prizefighter: Ten Things You Need to Know

Emeryville’s got a new bar, and here’s the skinny:

1. They have delicious punch bowls. Menu says they serve 6-8 people. We say 3-5 for a good time.

2. For $6 you can get the Oaxacan Standoff: a can of Tecate, a shot of mezcal, and sangrita. Sangrita is an accompaniment to tequila, and while often mistaken for tomato juice, it’s usually a blend of fruit juices, lime, and something spicy like chile powder or hot sauce. At Prizefighter you can choose from a green, red or purple sangrita. I liked the green.

3. As you may have guessed from point number two, they have a mezcal bar. Mezcal is an agave spirit, but unlike tequila, it’s made with all kinds of agave (tequila is made with blue agave only). Mezcal is also usually made in small batches, using artisinal methods passed down through the generations. This means that mezcal is an increadibly varied spirit, which is what I love about it. Sometimes, as its reputation suggests, it’s as smokey as a cigarette. But other times it’s earthy, warm, and fruity. It’s an acquired taste, so ask the bartender for a recommendation when starting out.

4. One of the owners, who has been at the bar both times I went, is a veteran of Bourbon & Branch. The bartenders come from places like Absinthe, Flora, Range and Prospect. If all those references mean nothing to you then the takeaway is that they can craft one hell of a cocktail. There’s a range of classic cocktails on the menu, running $9 each.

5. They have a nice selection of local beers, and they do pitchers.

6. The Emery Go-Round will take you there for free, making points one through five less dangerous, and all the more fun for everyone except the bus driver.

7. This was formerly the home of the bar Kitty’s, a place that brought together the worst of berkeley high graduates from ’89 to ’05, women who communicate via high pitched screaming more than they do regular talking, and grabby men. Apparently, as our ear drums found out last night, not everyone got the memo that this isn’t Kitty’s anymore. Go Sunday through Thursday for a more, um, quiet experience.

8. They have a patio with heat lamps.

9. Food trucks will be around (check their facebook page for updates), but Rotten City Pizza is across the street, in case you get hungry and need to soak up that punch bowl.

10. Written on their menu is one of my favorite quotes: “Para todo mal, mezcal, y para todo bien tambien.” Translating to something like, mezcal for the bad times, mezcal for the good times.
And for a good time in Emeryville, head to Prizefighter.

Got the travel bug?
Prizefighter, 6702 Hollis (at 67th), Emeryville