downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — events

A diversity of destinations, downtown

March 16, 2012

Oakland’s burgeoning and increasingly famous nightlife scene gets a new addition tonight, the Night Light in Jack London at 311 Broadway. The former Clancy’s Taqueria has been transformed into a nautically-themed, bordello-inspired lounge. Wood panelling (salvaged from ships), sailing lamps, and even a pirate-y chandelier surround leather couches, a DJ booth, and an elegant bar. The spot promises to become another hip Jack London District destination – and is just steps from a Broadway Shuttle stop!

Speaking of easy transportation, the City of Alameda announced that its Estuary Crossing Shuttle, which has exceeded ridership expectations, will operate for at least another year with funding from the Air District.

In more good news for the downtown waterfront, Miss Pearl’s (once Jam House) has reopened, after a long closure, and according to the Express, it’s better than ever. Check it out at Jack London Square’s Waterfront Hotel (1 Broadway).

Despite the rain, downtown events are going strong this weekend. Tonight is the final installment of Tina Tamale’s pop-up stand at Swan’s Market (907 Washington), during which the mexican foods maven will be joined by Little Shop Artisan Box and Boucherie Artisinal Meats. Check out the facebook invite for the details, and stop by between 5 and 9pm tonight.

It’s the two-year anniversary of The Skillet, the Layover’s (1517 Franklin) monthly dance party that combines DJing with live music. Tonight will be an all-vinyl affair, according to resident DJ Crimson.

Though there’s no shortage of hip events downtown this weekend, fans of classical music and jazz can party in Uptown too. Tonight the Oakland Symphony presents Spots on the Orient Express, playing Baroque, Romantic and Modernist pieces with guest violinist John Sords. At the Paramount (Broadway) at 8pm. And on Saturday, the Piedmont Piano Company (1728 San Pablo) hosts a performance by jazz vocalist Daria.

Hip-hop, island music, symphony and jazz – isn’t that what Oakland’s diversity is all about? Enjoy it this weekend, and don’t forget to bring an umbrella!

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From comic books to Soul Train, the DTO celebrates this weekend

February 24, 2012

It seems that Spring has permanently sprung here in perpetually sunny Oakland. With First Friday just around the corner, there is no shortage of exciting events and new happenings in our downtown.

After WonderCon decided to decamp from the Oakland Convention Center (at the City Center Marriott, on 10th St) to larger digs in Anaheim, a group of community-loving comics creators decided to hold a gathering here in the DTO. Starting today, the Image Comics Expo runs through the weekend. Tonight, the Uptown (1928 Telegraph) hosts a welcome party, and fundraiser for the Comic Books Legal Defense Fund, starting at 8pm.

Diablo Magazine’s new issue rounds up all the latest restaurant news in downtown. The opening of Bittersweet Cafe on Broadway and the expansion of Beer Revolution are two highlights have haven’t been mentioned in this space before – but seeing everything lined up in one place is quite heartening. Quick update to the list – as of today, Le Cheval is operating from their original, remodeled space at 10th and Clay Streets.

Unmentioned in the magazine is the Night Light, which will open this Spring in the former Clancy’s space at 311 Broadway. The decor is beautiful, following a subtle nautical theme.

After the death of music and cultural hero Don Cornelius, a large Soul Train line formed in Times Square to celebrate his legacy. Inspired by that effort, a local group is asking for music fans to come to Henry Kaiser Park (19th off Telegraph) to mount what they’re hoping will be the world’s largest Soul Train line, on Saturday at noon. Hear from the organizers on their Facebook invite.

Uptown’s charming Entrez housewares boutique (1645 Telegraph) has moved to Walnut Creek, but its spirit will be celebrated this Sunday with a party benefiting the soon-to-open Urban Montessori School. A fundraising raffle will be accompanied by music, wine tasting by Periscope Cellars, and kid-friendly and craft activities. An after-party at Somar follows. Check out the details on Facebook.

Vitus (201 Broadway) and the Bay Area Pinball Blog welcome the debut of a new pinball machine with a tournament and party next Wednesday, Feb 29. The AC/DC machine will be greeted with a performance by the Dolomites. The tournament costs $5, starts at 5pm, and the deadline for registration is 8pm. Vitus’s four other machines, which include all-time best-seller Medieval Madness, will be available for non-tournament play.

See you on the pins!

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