Oakland couple opens Bay Area’s first listening bar dedicated to vinyl records

OAKLAND (KPIX) — An Oakland couple walked away from jobs in the tech industry to open the Bay Area’s first HiFi listening bar dedicated to playing full-length vinyl records — Bar Shiru.

“For us here, it’s really about giving in to the experience of the album,” says co-owner Daniel Gahr.

Gahr co-owns Bar Shiru, which borrows its name from his wife Shirin’s childhood nickname. Shirin, who worked as a lawyer for YouTube, says the bar offers a sense of connection and community that, frankly, was often lacking in their lives in the tech industry.

“I think nothing can truly replicate human connection and personal interaction,” says co-owner Shirin Raza.

Raza says the bar has its own culture and unofficial code of conduct that revolves around respecting music and not interfering with other people’s experience of it. Customers are asked to speak quietly enough so their voices don’t compete with the playlist curated by Daniel.

“It feels like it envelops you—almost like you’re in a live music environment,” says Shirin.

Daniel and Shirin opened Bar Shiru in Oakland in 2019. Previously, Daniel worked for Pandora and Shirin for Youtube. And while they value their work in technology – popularizing digital music and streaming services – Bar Shiru was by design a decidedly analogue affair.

“We want to create meaningful and lasting experiences with real people in a real space as opposed to our previous life in tech,” says Daniel.

The bar survived the pandemic and Daniel and Shirin look forward to more and more people feeling comfortable enjoying the music and each other in person.

“Honestly, I could entertain every single day if you asked me to,” says Shirin.

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