downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — nightlife

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!

Comments Off

Bad luck or good spirits?

January 13, 2012

Some say Friday the 13th brings bad luck, but every Friday downtown brings good times. And on this star-crossed day, we definitely have good luck - in the form of a performance (held every Friday the 13th) by Damon and the Heathens at Cafe Van Kleef (1621 Telegraph). The band, which includes a few proprietors of downtown establishments, mixes horns-driven funk with subtle commentary on some of Oakland’s challenges. The Heathens’ performance is postponed until the end of the month. Acclaimed LA-based Spanish-language band Very Be Careful is playing at Vitus (201 Broadway), though.

Last night was Jack London’s 136th birthday, and literary enthusiasts toasted his work at his favorite watering hole, the gloriously distressed Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon (48 Webster). As Andy K. asked on Twitter, shouldn’t Jack London’s birthday be celebrated on a larger scale?

The East Bay Bike Party is leaving from Snow Park this month; its ski-themed social ride around Central Oakland begins at 7:30.

The Oakland Running Festival has also decamped from Frank Ogawa Plaza to Snow Park, announcing its route which has been carefully coordinated with AC Transit to avoid the traffic snarls that paralyzed the city last year. Check out OaklandMarathon.com for the course and to register.

The Wall Street Journal published a nice video on the suprising success of Old Oakland’s Pop Up Hood. Check it out!

Just outside of downtown, the Oakland Peace Center opens tomorrow at 29th off Broadway with a weekend of tree-planting, workshops on tolerance, children’s activities, and discussion. Check out the Facebook event for a full list of programs.

Enjoy your DTO weekend! I’ll see you in Uptown.

Comments Off