Like many East Bay cafes, there were a fair number of people there to work on their computers while nursing a coffee drink. But it's not just a coffee-and-pastries place. They also serve beer and wine and have decent-sized food menus for lunch, brunch and evening. Not surprisingly with the name "commonwealth", the food, beer and decor have a decidedly British flavor, with football (soccer) showing on the telly. There was a whole different crowd there to watch football and down a pint or two.
Over at City Homestead, they're big fans of the scones (served with whipped Devonshire cream & jam) and the shepherd's pie (which seems to have migrated from the specials menu to a regular item since they reviewed it.) And they're delighted to have a coffee shop 6 blocks from their house.
If the football on the telly, good food and beer weren't enough for me to like the place, they also feature local beers (e.g., Linden Street, Drake's, 21st Amendment) and wines (e.g., Urban Legend and Periscope Cellars). There's also ample bike parking outside which was in heavy use for bikes and dogs when I was there.
But wait, there's more! It's also currently featuring a great Oakland photo exhibit by Valerie Cochran called last. oakland. Sadly, this will be her last photo exhibit here, as she's moving back to Missouri. So check out the photo exhibit before it ends in May.