downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — music

A new season brings new beginnings

April 8, 2011

The area north of Uptown, controversially called Upper Broadway, is set for a major makeover into a hoped-for retail district. A coalition of advocates for livability, affordable housing, labor rights and the environment outlined their vision for A Better Broadway in Upper Uptown last night. City planners announced to the large crowd that the stalled Broadway Specific Plan would be restarted this month, with a public meeting to unveil new alternatives for the future of Auto Row (after the last round of alternatives met with support from basically nobody).

One of the establishments looking to open in Uptown this Spring is spin-off of Brooklyn scenester lounge Death & Company. Check out their website for a preview of what is coming to 1741 Telegraph.

Hotspot Disco Volante is featured in the Chronicle’s Bar Bites. Come for the food, stay for the live music and a film screening by one of Oakland’s best-known rap groups, Foreign Legion.

Era Artbar celebrates its anniversary with a bash on Saturday night. The beautifully-built arts-inspired dance club has become a touchstone for social functions, civic fundraisers, and Art Murmur after-partying. Saturday’s party features a hosted Ketel One bar and music by DJ Hector.

Art will come to Uptown outside of a gallery or nightclub in the next year. The temporary sculpture garden across the street from the Fox Theater is a go, and will be installed and open to the public in the Fall. Meanwhile, Oakland’s cultural department has planned an artsy makeover of BART’s dingy alley between Broadway and Telegraph near 17th St, and expects its completion next year.

With recently-opened establishments succeeding and new ones on the way, the DTO continues its trajectory toward a revitalization anchored by culture.

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February First Friday fetes Fox, the sequel

February 4, 2011

Today’s First Friday roundup includes an expanded Art Murmur, another party for the Fox, and cross-town competition. Here’s what you need to know to enjoy tonight’s artsy festivities:

The Art Murmur has included galleries below Grand on their map, and rumors have spread of an enhanced collaboration with the Midtown Arts District. Midtown highlights include the upstairs Branch Gallery’s photography show (475 17th St, Ste. 301), and an installation at ProArts that’s “a quiet critique of urban transitional space.”

The Fox Theater celebrates its second anniversary of reopening with tours and a party from 5 to 8pm.

On the other side of downtown from the Art Murmur, the Oakland Museum has chosen First Friday as their day to launch The Oakland Standard, a new arts-oriented website. Talks by local luminaries like Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City, and a DJ set by Mia Moretti, an Oakland native the museum says is a fashion industry favorite.

If you don’t want to miss the Art Murmur for the museum, The Uptown nightclub will host a free show featuring local inde-rock acts Grass Widow, Human Baggage, Death Sentence, Panda, and Bam!Bam!

14th Street’s new eatery-cum-nightclub Disco Volante opened for dinner this week, and is getting rave reviews. Read more at Eater and Inside Scoop. Look for punk-rock pianists during happy hour, and a cocktail menu debuting next week.

The Business Times reports on the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation’s plans to build affordable housing on the DTO-West Oakland border, the currently blighted strip of San Pablo known as Ghost Town.

Old Oakland’s Levende East brings back Sunday brunch, beginning this weekend, with DJs spinning soul and a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar. According to Facebook, menu items will include “our signature Crab Cake Benedict, Stuffed French Toast, Pulled Pork Omelet and Cajun Ham Scramble.”

Tomorrow, the last survivor of Old Oakland’s boutique-y heyday will close for good. Studio510 (831 Broadway) will go out in style, with a party featuring electro acts, dance DJs, art installations and Linden Street brews. The event begins at 6pm on Saturday.

Have an artsy, fun weekend! And look forward to even more fun spots opening in Uptown this year.

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