By JASON CAMPBELL
209 staff reporter
OAKDALE – Sometimes you don’t need a white tablecloth and you don’t need two different types of forks.
All you need is some good comfort food, a cold beer and some good company to make everything in the world.
Welcome to Shively’s.
If you’ve ever been to Oakdale, there’s a good chance that you drove right past this roadside haunt approaching the town on East Highway 120 at Valley Home Road and didn’t even know that it was there except for the illuminated yellow sign that may or may not be visible depending on the time of day.
The building itself is as low-key as you can possibly get – a repurposed Quonset hut with an additional room added on for those who feel like sticking around for some of the wares from their kitchen – which run the gamut from the traditional burger to fresh-fried fish.
And if it’s beer that you’re looking for, Shively’s has more beers on tap than any other bar of it’s kind around – a whole wall full of taps giving access to hard-to-find microbrews.
The entire wall behind the bar looks like a competition between brewers to make the craftiest tap handle possible – sharks competing with hockey pucks competing with the traditional wooden handles you’d find in an English pub.
There’s almost always a cup or two covering one of the taps because the well has run dry.
But Shively’s has one of the largest draft beer offerings that you’ll find in the Central Valley. That draws in not only thirsty construction workers looking for a cold one on the way home from work, but also craft beer enthusiasts that want a good pour. Nearly 40 beers are offered up.
And then there’s the fish.
On Friday evenings during the summer the restaurant offers up fried catfish in a fun and friendly party atmosphere that has made even people from outside of the area staunch converts to the restaurants unique charm.
On the popular restaurant and business rating site Yelp, Shively’s got a five star review from an Emeryville resident who finally had the chance to stop in on one of the Catfish Fridays and found the beer selection to be “epic.”
“More than anything, this feels like Central California,” he wrote.
That kind of stuff is just icing on the cake.
The bar already has a steady customer base in local residents that frequent the joint, and traffic during both the summer and winter months help add a boost to the overall bottom-line.
But there are no neon signs. There are no attempts 10 miles away to get people to stop in and try their food.
It is what it is, and so far reputation alone has been able to carry Shively’s.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.