downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — music

Saying adieu to Restaurant Week, and bonjour to new restaurants!

January 27, 2012

This is the last weekend of Oakland Restaurant week sponsored by Visit Oakland, the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Eateries throughout the city, including many downtown, offer prix-fix menus and good deals for diners.

The Chronicle reports that changes are coming to Michelin-recommended Uptown spot Hibiscus (1745 San Pablo). The restaurant, currently being remodeled, will switch to a more “family-friendly” menu intended to complement the successful dance club The New Parish, located in the same building. But fans of chef Sarah Kirnon’s Carribbean-inspired cuisine don’t need to despair – she is opening a new spot, called Miss Ollie’s, downtown this Spring. Downtowners don’t have to wait that long, because she’s hosting a special dinner tomorrow night at the Starline Social Club.

In other restaurant news, Ike’s Place (2204 Broadway), a popular gourmet sandwich spot with many vegan and vegetarian options, has joined the crowded intersection of Grand and Broadway, while next door, Bakesale Betty (2228 Broadway) is reopening its downtown location and plans to begin serving four days a week. And the San Francisco Business Times describes Haven in the context of the business plan for its Jack London Market Building.

Downtown’s favorite funkmeisters Damon and the Heathens are playing tonight at Cafe Van Kleef (1621 Telegraph) and tomorrow night at the Uptown (1928 Telegraph). And the DTO’s favorite dance party, the People Party, returns to The New Parish (579 18th St) tomorrow night. Swan’s Market (907 Washington St) is hosting a party for the Pop-Up Hood this evening from 6 to 9, and the Oakland Symphony performs Carmina Burana at the Paramount Theater (2201 Broadway) tonight.

Enjoy this sunny winter weekend!

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Occupy the Night

November 18, 2011

Downtown Oakland is still going through a rough period but tensions have eased somewhat with the quieting of the Occupy movement. Tonight and the next week offer fun ways to enjoy downtown and support its small retail and entertainment businesses.

Music for all tastes

The Uptown hosts an indie-rock show featuring Mister Loveless, The Hundred Days, Holy Rolling Empire, and Tremor Low.

For different tastes, the San Francisco Funk Fest comes to Oakland with the 45 Sessions at Disco Volante tonight, spinning funk and rare groove at this well-regarded restaurant-cum-nightclub.

And yet another musical direction, hip-hop stars Foreign Legion play with a live backing band at Vitus tonight, 2nd and Broadway.

Art on Saturday

Tomorrow supporters or those interested in the Occupy movement can see an art exhibit featuring works by Occupy protesters in Oakland and SF, with a discussion about the movement and its relationship to the arts. It’s not downtown but Occupy has impacted downtown more than anywhere else, so the reader may be interested. Noon Saturday (Nov 19), at GZ | Soulye Studios, 2615D Magnolia St in West Oakland.

Also Saturday afternoon, six galleries of the Art Murmur open their doors for a curated tour starting at 2pm at Mama Buzz Cafe, 2318 Telegraph.

Though a certain protest movement will try on Saturday to pick a fight in Uptown, many are optimistic that things will have been taken care of by nightfall, and a great way to celebrate peace in the DTO is at the official Goapele record release party at Era Artbar on Saturday night! Pre-sale tickets available at a discount.

Dueling retro gaming tournaments

Next week sees dueling retro gaming nights in the DTO – pick your pleasure, 8-bit video or mechanical pinball! Tuesday, the new Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment hosts its first Fight Night, a tournament of retro fighting arcade games (think StreetFighter).

On Wednesday, Vitus in the Jack London District will host another of its popular, biweekly pinball tournaments. Vitus is fast becoming a regional destination for pinball, with four well-oiled machines and plenty of room to play. Vitus also boasts the most popular pinball machine of all time, Medieval Madness. Scroll down the Bay Area Pinball League’s tournament page to learn more.

Occupy downtown business

Finally, get ready for Oakland’s official holiday Shop Local event in downtown. Recent events have hit downtown businesses hard. Next Friday will be a fun-filled day to celebrate our local merchants and get a start on holiday shopping with local businesses.

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