Heinold's First and Last Chance 


Jack London Square, Oakland, California

City of Oakland Historic Preservation Program
Oakland Landmark #3
National Register of Historic Places 09/01/00


A W | A Associates staff member was in charge of a team effort to investigate this historic building and evaluate the conditions of construction, as well as the potential need for repair, then developed the repair documents of the building envelope and some structural elements.


Opened in 1883 as J.M. Heinold's Saloon, this Historic Landmark looked much then as it does today. The building was constructed from the timbers of an old whaling ship over the water in a dock area at the foot of Webster Street. For nearly three years, it was used as a bunk house by the men working the nearby oyster beds. Then Johnny Heinold purchased the building for $100, and with the aid of a ship's carpenter, transformed it into a saloon for seafaring and waterfront men.

During the 1920's, the ferry that ran between Alameda and Oakland stopped next to Heinold's. Alameda was a dry city at the time, and this bar was truly a commuter's First and Last Chance for a refreshment. As the years wore on, many servicemen left for overseas from the Port of Oakland, and the First and Last tradition stuck, so the name of the saloon was officially changed to Heinold's First and Last Chance.

In the years that followed, an inordinate number of writers, adventurers, politicians, and humble folk have enjoyed the ambiance and history of this unique bit of Oakland.