downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — business

Oakland Restaurants set The Standard

January 20, 2012

A little much-needed rain can’t dampen the DTO’s spirits! This weekend brings art and culture to the forefront – both visual and delicious.

The Oakland Convention and Vistors Bureau, freshly energized by the city’s #5 ranking in the New York Times’ worldwide must-visit list, is hosting the third annual Restaurant Week to celebrate local cultural entrepreneurship of the tasty variety. Participating restaurants are offering price-fixe menus showcasing their specialties, and downtown establishments make up about a third of all the offerings. Go to VisitOakland.com for all the details. Restaurant week runs from today until next Sunday.

The Paramount Theate’s wildly popular classic movie showings kick off for the year with a screening of populist political classic Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. Come early to enjoy a cocktail in one of America’s finest Art Deco treasures! 8pm, 2025 Broadway.

The Asian Resource Gallery in Chinatown is in the final week of its exhibit exploring the concept of Home from artistic and narrative viewpoints. Considering there was undertones of identity-based debates in the recent hearing on rezoning Chinatown, this exhibit may be an opportunity to ponder the question, would a Chinois gate help create a better sense of place? 310 8th St.

The Oakland Museum’s innovative Oakland Standard program continues tomorrow with a demonstration of mural painting set to DJ’d tunes, entitled Living Concrete. And of course offerings from a local restaurant. For more about this series of cultural celebrations, check out the recent East Bay Express article, Setting the Standard. Saturday, 11am-5pm, 1000 Oak St.

See you at a downtown restaurant!

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The First Friday of 2012

January 6, 2012

It’s the First Friday of January, & the first First Friday of 2012. Shaking off the bad spirits of the past and embracing a hopeful vision of the future is an annual tradition, and the Art Murmur offers ways to enjoy the best of Oakland – our humble city which was just named a top five international travel destination by the New York Times. As long as few of the resulting hordes of tourists stay at America’s second-dirtiest hotel, new visitors will help invigorate the local economy and help Oakland turn the page on a year of disappointments.

January’s First Friday is usually the most mellow of the year, and with a few months to go before the crowds swell to kind of ridiculous levels, it’s a good time to check out some art! The official Art Murmur site has a comprehensive rundown of gallery exhibitions from their members (galleries in Greater Uptown) – check it out at OaklandArtMurmur.com. Watercolors seem to be the medium of the moment.

Outside of the official Art Murmur, the bars, restaurants and pop-up shops giving the DTO so much buzz will be slinging specialty cocktails, serving creative fare, or selling exciting works by local artisans. Check out the Oaklandish store and Oakcollective at 14th and Broadway, each open late tonight, and Oakcollectiv hosts the launch of a style blog. Though the holiday shopping season is over, the Pop Up Hood continues, so don’t forget to stop by 9th and Washington to enjoy what is perhaps the most elegant shopping district in the East Bay – certainly so if there were more shopping!

New restaurants for the new year

Speaking of Old Oakland, the former Levende East has a new tenant set to open a restaurant this Spring, and the arrival of a winery tasting room in Swan’s Market is eagerly awaited. In the last week Faz opened in the former Verbena space, and while I will mis the old Verbena crew, I’m glad that the DTO’s powerlunchers again have a place to occupy. If you stop by to enjoy the Persian-inflected Meditteranean cuisine that downtown denizens and Diablo Magazine are praising highly, don’t forget to check out the new outdoor patio.

Enjoy this lovely January day with art and hope for the future! See you in Uptown!

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