downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Friday the 13th isn’t bad luck, downtown

May 13, 2011

It’s Friday the 13th but the DTO, if anything, is lucky. Though the Swig Company’s bid for a high-rise Lawrence Berkeley Lab didn’t make the cut, the Oakland Indie Awards tonight remind us of the many growing businesses downtown and throughout the city. Restaurant openings and new potential in a key DTO district are something to look forward to.

Oakland’s only Michelin-starred chef will open his mod-Thai casual eatery, Hawker Fare, at Webster and 23rd in Uptown next week.

Xolo Taqueria opened next-door to Flora and is enjoying a great welcome from Uptowners.

Plum is now serving brunch from 10a-2p Saturday and Sunday, with menus based on farmers’ market products.

Downtown’s Art & Soul Festival got a nice mention in the East Bay Express’s summer guide.

East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, the largest landlord in Old Oakland, has hired retail consultants to revitalize the moribund Swan’s Market. A cafe opened by a Chez Panisse alum is a taste of what is (hopefully) to come.

Also in Old Oakland, the Cock-A-Doodle Cafe is now open for dinner Thursdays through Saturdays, with a Cuban menu, while B Restaurant has restored lunch service.

What makes today lucky for some is that local favorite downtown-based band, horns-driven funksters Damon & The Heathens, are playing at Cafe Van Kleef tonight – as they do every Friday the 13th. What better way to reclaim bad luck then with a musical surprise?

Next week: Where is the DTO, redux