downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

April Ful’s for April Fools

April 1, 2011

It’s downtown’s semi-official monthly festival, First Friday! There’s no shortage of art and novelty in the DTO today.

Downtown celebrates two new watering holes tonight – although both have been here already. Bar Dogwood hosts an official opening party after a few weeks serving cocktails alongside cured meats, while the former Merchants’ Saloon becomes McGinty’s Roadside Roadhouse, “a family place.” Grab an Express taste magazine for a drink special with McGinty’s ad.

The Art Murmur boasts an ever-expanding lineup of galleries and clubs. A highlight is the new Starline Social Club’s opening benefit – tickets are available at the Hatch Gallery, at 492 23rd St.

Era Artbar presents calligraphy and graffiti alongside live music and DJs, and, as usual, Giant Burger at 22nd and Telegraph will host a vintage car show.

Sticks & Stones Gallery is a new entrant to Old Oakland at 815 Broadway, while the nearby, new-ish Chapparal City Gallery (515 9th St) shows abstract, architectural collages. Chef Edwards BBQ has a beverage license in an Old Oakland window – will the neighborhood soon see a new restaurant?

To continue Uptown’s growth, the City of Oakland has launched a Specific Plan to make over Auto Row as a new urban retail center. A group of environmental, labor and affordable housing advocates host an Open House about the future of the area next Thursday, April 7 at 2735 Broadway, from 5:30 – 7:00.

The Oakland Museum continues its Oakland Standard events with April Ful’s Night, “ a communal meal and conversation centered on Egypt’s revolution.” And since today is April Fool’s Day, don’t forget to check out ABetterOakland.com, which upholds its tradition of parody sites to commemorate the date!

With warm weather, new bars and endless choices for artistic exploration, this First Friday is a chance to shrug off the winter and enjoy a new season of art and entertainment. See you downtown!