2007, copyright Devil Doll

The Serenader Bar was a long-time bar 504 Lake Park Avenue. The location is now the Heart and Dagger Saloon. It had a long line of owners, but probably the best remembered and the longest time owner was Bernice Silveira, who owned it with her husband beginning in 1974 and managed it until her retirement in 2004.

Louis' Rendezvous & Chateau Rendezvous

The bar first opened as Louis' Rendezvous about 1935. In October 1939, it was briefly owned by Jack Joell, who changed the name to Chateau Rendezvous. His ownership didn't last long; by November, ads showed it managed by "Big Tony"and "Little Tony" and owned by Harry Sherman. But Harry's ownership didn't last long either.

1935 ad for "smot pipple"
Oakland Tribune 1October 1939 ad
November 1939 ad

The Serenader

1940 adIn July 1940, Joe Luke and Jimmie Morehouse re-opened it as The Serenader. 2 Continuing the tradition, it seems like they didn't own it long, either. A 1942 crime article describes a break-in, and lists Fred W. Cook as the proprietor. 3

A serious fire in 1948 destroyed the upstairs rooms and the roof. The article lists Cliff Coakley of 551 Valle Vista Ave. and Thomas Huohy of Orinda as the owners. 4

Around 1952, brothers Charles Cradduck 8 and Herbert Cradduck owned it. Unfortunately, Charles died suddenly in May 1952, at age 39. 5 (One of Herb Cradduck's sons started Colonial Donuts in 1959.)

1956 brought another fire, this time apparently started from the water heater. It did an estimated $5,000 damage to rooms at the rear of the building. 6

From 1959 until 1966, it was owned by a Mr. Jones, whose child attended Our Lady of Lourdes School. (ref)

1940 picture

The Silveira Years

In 1974, Bernice Silveira, her husband Richard “Dick” Silveira, and Bernice's father bought the Serenader. They ran it together until 1986, when her husband died. Bernice was the only child of Esthyr “Honey” Stanislaus and James “Jimmie” Stanislaus, one of Oakland’s first black firefighters. 7

Bernice continued to run it until her retirement in 2004.

Modern Day

old sign lives on in beer garden
CC SA-BY Our Oakland
In 2004, it was purchased by the owners of the adjacent Kwik Way Drive-In, Alex and Charles Hahn, in order to expand the footprint of a proposed mixed-used development. The development was subsequently canceled. It grew somewhat run-down, and closed in 2009. In 2010, it was sold to Erik and Allison Sagauskas, who remodeled it and re-opened it as Heart and Dagger Saloon.

Links and References

  1. New Cocktail Lounge to Open Oakland Tribune October 13, 1939
  2. On Second Thought by Alan Ward Oakland Tribune July 18, 1940
  3. Boys Hold Up Two 2 Liquor Stores Oakland Tribune March 28, 1942
  4. Cocktail Bar Fire Probed Oakland Tribune February 24, 1948
  5. Tavern Owner Dies in His Sleep Oakland Tribune May 10, 1952
  6. 3 Blazes Oakland Tribune May 18, 1956
  7. Owner of Oakland’s Serenader bar dies at age 77 Oakland Tribune February 12, 2009
  8. Unwelcome Guests Dine, Take Records and $200 Oakland Tribune April 24, 1952