downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Posts from — October 2008

New and old in Old Oakland

October 15, 2008

This week, Old Oakland celebrates the new and the old by closing a block of Washington Street Thursday and Friday evenings. I like to tell people it’s a pedestrian-oriented event, since the street is closed to cars and there’s not much bike parking. The neighborhood is Oakland’s Transcontinental Railroad-era downtown along Broadway and Washington from 7th to 10th.


Last Thursday Night Live party

This summer, The New Old Oakland merchants’ group and Oakland Events have closed a block of Washington every other Thursday. A band and DJs, a beer garden, and the usual establishments combine to draw old and new friends from across the city.

This Thursday brings the series of outdoor parties to an end with a performance by Julio Bravo’s ten-piece salsa band. Skyy Vodka sponsors the “beer” garden from 6p to 9p, and all of Old Oakland’s excellent restaurants and cafes will be open as well.

Thursday Night Live Finale

Featuring Julio Bravo’s Salsa Band

Washington St between 8th and 9th

6p – 9p, Thursday Oct 16


Pacific Coast Brewery Anniversary

As brand-new businesses celebrate their success, Old Oakland’s venerable establishments have no problem finding an excuse for another block party. This Friday the Pacific Coast Brewery celebrates its 20th year selling craft beers and simple California-style pub food (the addition of a deep-fryer a few years ago was a nice addition, too). Bands, a special anniversary beer, and 1988 prices are on tap on Washington this weekend!

Pacific Coast Brewing Company

20th Anniversary Block Party

Washington St between 9th and 10th

5p – 10p Friday Oct 17

Also, celebrate at 906 Washington on Saturday Oct 18


When checking out the old and the new in Old Oakland, have a look down 8th Street to see what will be new in a few months: the Trappist and Tamarindo are both expanding in their Victorian block. As reported earlier, popular Belgian beer temple The Trappist is taking the next storefront, currently unused (but hosting a lovely window display). In new news, critically-acclaimed Mexico City-style restaurant Tamarindo will take over the former New World Vegetarian restaurant, more than doubling its capacity.

Comments Off

First Fridays' Art Murmur continues to expand

October 3, 2008

After three years of always-increasing crowds, not everyone has yet experienced First Fridays in the Uptown area of Oakland. What was once concentrated in the emergent gallery neighborhood around 23rd and Telegraph is now a citywide event or at least downtown-wide night of events, making it difficult to see everything. But with so many options, there’s no excuse to wait another month before checking out what is possible Oakland’s most happening night. Here’s what’s going on in the DTO tonight, First Friday October 3rd.

Art Murmur and Illuminated Corridor in Uptown

The original First Friday art event was conceived at Mama Buzz by a group that included the Rock Paper Scissors Collective and OakBook writer Theo Konrad Auer, and includes the half-dozen galleries right around Telegraph and 23rd Street, one block of which is closed for the evening. The event has now spread past ever-popular Luka’s, with nearby galleries like Industrielle, Mercury 20 and Creative Growth attracting the art-lookers.

This Friday inaugurates two more events in Uptown. The Uptown nightclub on Telegraph below 20th begins a series of no-cover First Friday concerts with popular club band Death Of A Party, while the Illuminated Corridor will present visual and light art along the walls of Kahn’s Alley (the stub of 15th Street between Broadway and City Hall).

Old Oakland Events

Though nowhere near Uptown, Old Oakland’s artsy merchants and happening clubs make a lively First Friday scene, especially now that the Thursday Night Live concerts have finished their seasonal run. Cutting-edge design gallery FIVEten Studio has a party for artist Julia Goodman, and though I don’t know other specific events, last month there was a temporary gallery in a vacant retail space while neighboring Verse had a fashion show. Look for more action in that style on 9th between Broadway and Washington. If all fails, Air, Levende, B Restaurant and Jesso’s are all open for libations at the corner of 9th and Washington.

Comments Off