downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

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Town Business

June 17, 2011

This week’s big business news was the Intial Public (stock) Offering of Pandora, an internet music service headquartered in Uptown. Now valued at over a billion dollars, Pandora has the potential to become a very large employer and help drive the continuing revitalization of downtown. Civic boosters and Mayor Quan believe that Pandora will help attract more Internet-based companies to Oakland, a possibility explored in today’s Trib (“Shining Star”) and San Francisco Business Times (“Pandora Effect”).

Pandora may be a “shining star” right now, but it’s certainly not the only business downtown. This month the East Bay Express gives you the opportunity to vote for your favorite downtown business for their annual Best Of issue. Vote online and help highlight the DTO’s thriving economy! Some examples of DTO-based businesses and appropriate categories are below.

Fill out the survey at EastBayExpress.com. You need to vote in at least 25 categories for it to count. You can save and come back later by registering a username. The deadline for submission is June 30.

  • Best Annual Event – Art & Soul Festival
  • Best Band – Damon & The Heathens
  • Best Music Venue – The New Parish
  • Best Bike Shop – Bay Area Bikes
  • Best Farmers’ Market – Old Oakland
  • Best Flea Market – Laney College
  • Best Games – Endgame
  • Best Sex Shop – Feelmore510
  • Best Tattoo Shop – Diving Swallow
  • Best T-Shirts – Oaklandish (who are opening a DTO store soon)
  • Best Women’s Clothing – A Diva’s Closet
  • Best Appropriated Public Space – the empty lot at 19th and Telegraph that will soon become a sculpture garden instead of parking, thanks to local activists.
  • Best Completely Reimagined Neighborhood – Uptown
  • Best grassroots political movement: Walk Oakland Bike Oakland
  • Best Mixed-Use Building – Fox Theater
  • Best Neighborhood – THE DTO!
  • Best Place to do Two Things At Once – Disco Volante (eat a gourmet meal and listen to a concert)
  • Best bar – Bar 355 (355 19th St)
  • Best Breakfast – Plum
  • Best Mobile Food Cart – El Taco Bike
  • Best Mexican Restaurant – Tamarindo
  • Best New Bar – Bar 355
  • Best New Restaurant – Disco Volante
  • Best Take Out Food – La Borinquena
  • Best Vegetarian Restaurant – Encuentro
  • Best Bike Tour – East Bay Bike Party

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DTO reading file: waiting for the Fox

January 23, 2009

Oscar Grant’s death at the hands of a BART police officer, violent protests downtown, and OPD controversies hog the headlines, but there is much more to learn from the news this week. With so much recent discussion about public safety strategies, Oaklanders are increasingly aware of today’s tactics. But Oaklander Online gives us a glimpse of policing in the past, gleaned from her great-grandfather’s diary of walking the beat in 1918′s DTO.

Though transportation giant American President Lines is shipping hundreds of jobs from downtown Oakland to Mesa AZ, Shorenstein paused construction on 601 City Center, and several struggling construction projects finally went into default, other forms of investment are finding the DTO hospitable. Levende East secured permission to serve alcohol with a limited menu at a new cafe in Old Oakland, and it was only one of three such hearings at the Planning Commission Wednesday night (the other permits were granted for restaurants in the Laurel and Eastlake Districts).

Souley Vegan has left 13th St because of code compliance issues, but the owner tells me that she’s hoping to reopen in a better-equipped space downtown this summer. Around the corner, the Trib’s Night Owl reminds us of continuing developments at DeLauer’s Super Newsstand.

Folks continue to discover the DTO’s new restaurants, and even Montclarions are vowing to come down here moreOakland Goods reviews Ozumo, BixChix visit Miss Pearl’s, Living in the O reviews Dazz Thai and other Thai outlets, and the Single Guy Chef likes the Red Door Cafe.

There are only 12 days until the Fox explodes onto Telegraph, but the week’s news shows there’s much more to the DTO’s growing vibrancy.

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