downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Town Business

June 17, 2011

This week’s big business news was the Intial Public (stock) Offering of Pandora, an internet music service headquartered in Uptown. Now valued at over a billion dollars, Pandora has the potential to become a very large employer and help drive the continuing revitalization of downtown. Civic boosters and Mayor Quan believe that Pandora will help attract more Internet-based companies to Oakland, a possibility explored in today’s Trib (“Shining Star”) and San Francisco Business Times (“Pandora Effect”).

Pandora may be a “shining star” right now, but it’s certainly not the only business downtown. This month the East Bay Express gives you the opportunity to vote for your favorite downtown business for their annual Best Of issue. Vote online and help highlight the DTO’s thriving economy! Some examples of DTO-based businesses and appropriate categories are below.

Fill out the survey at You need to vote in at least 25 categories for it to count. You can save and come back later by registering a username. The deadline for submission is June 30.

  • Best Annual Event – Art & Soul Festival
  • Best Band – Damon & The Heathens
  • Best Music Venue – The New Parish
  • Best Bike Shop – Bay Area Bikes
  • Best Farmers’ Market – Old Oakland
  • Best Flea Market – Laney College
  • Best Games – Endgame
  • Best Sex Shop – Feelmore510
  • Best Tattoo Shop – Diving Swallow
  • Best T-Shirts – Oaklandish (who are opening a DTO store soon)
  • Best Women’s Clothing – A Diva’s Closet
  • Best Appropriated Public Space – the empty lot at 19th and Telegraph that will soon become a sculpture garden instead of parking, thanks to local activists.
  • Best Completely Reimagined Neighborhood – Uptown
  • Best grassroots political movement: Walk Oakland Bike Oakland
  • Best Mixed-Use Building – Fox Theater
  • Best Neighborhood – THE DTO!
  • Best Place to do Two Things At Once – Disco Volante (eat a gourmet meal and listen to a concert)
  • Best bar – Bar 355 (355 19th St)
  • Best Breakfast – Plum
  • Best Mobile Food Cart – El Taco Bike
  • Best Mexican Restaurant – Tamarindo
  • Best New Bar – Bar 355
  • Best New Restaurant – Disco Volante
  • Best Take Out Food – La Borinquena
  • Best Vegetarian Restaurant – Encuentro
  • Best Bike Tour – East Bay Bike Party