downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Downtown nightlife expands, so do family-friendly events

February 12, 2010

“Art bar” and nightclub Era arrived with a splash last Friday; the Oakland Tribune reports that 700 people enjoyed the 5000 square-foot, two-story lounge on its opening night. Tomorrow evening Era hosts its first dance party, featuring DJ fflood. A few blocks away, at 2022 Telegraph, Saturday sees a V-Day “Pleasure Tasting” party, featuring neo-soul music and custom-created appetizers, for a $10 cover charge. Though Uptown is increasingly sexy, it’s also the site of the city’s most depressing Valentine’s window display.

Proving itself no slouch, newly-christened Midtown continues to excite the center of downtown with art and fun. The Joyce Gordon Gallery features a show of woman-created art opening with a reception tonight, while the Layover hosts a DJ tribute to late hip-hop producer J-Dilla this evening, behind newly-installed bike racks. Further downtown, Beer Revolution is bringing amusingly-named suds to Third Street near Jack London Square, not far from the Linden Street Brewery, Pacific Coast brewpub, and The Trappist temple of beer.

But not everything downtown is adults-only or even nightlife. Tomorrow the African American Museum and Library in Old Oakland hosts a screening of African-Italian film Inside Buffalo, about a segregated WWII combat unit. The Oakland Ice Center is offering free curling classes to kids, for Canadian expatriates in our diverse, multicultural city. Farley’s East next to Era has been called one of the most family-friendly coffeshops in the Bay Area. Though other parts of Oaktown host everything from fashion to art parties this weekend, the DTO offers everything in a few square miles.


1 KO { 02.14.10 at 11:39 am }

Hey J, thanks for the roundup. It’s important to have in most things, _balance_ and I see uptown (as much as i like it sometimes) only a drink n jive haven that happens to have a sears and that’s mostly it. I know there’s more here, but it’s not a true neighborhood yet by any means. And i’m not sure how it will get there without a lot more evidence of a productive economy, and more diverse commerce.

Once that happens, and renters have lived here longer than 1-2 years, maybe. But the area is still pocked by HUGE HUGE avenues of car lanes.

2 Ken Lupoff { 04.07.10 at 8:42 pm }

The Friends of Oakland Parks and Recreation (FOPR), will host its 7th annual Taste of Spring fundraiser, on Thursday, May 6th from 5:30 – 8:00 pm at the Rotunda Building, located at 300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland. Proceeds from the benefit will be used to fund swimming, boating, and camp scholarships, grants, and special projects designed to support the City’s parks and recreation centers.

“This is our most important fundraising event of the year, and everyone attending will have a wonderful time,” said Paula Ramsey, executive director of FOPR. “The money raised from the Taste of Spring will enable us to help children from all across the city to participate in Oakland’s many recreational programs and to provide funding for capital improvement projects for our parks and recreational facilities.”

Tickets are $50 in advance or $65 at the door and may be purchased in advance online at:, or by phone at 510.465.1850.