downtown oakland
Downtown Oakland circa 1910

Category — dining

The Last Days of a Delicacy

June 29, 2012

It’s the end of June, marking the waning of the earth’s daylight cycle and the end of the first half of the year. In California, it’s also the time that many legislative acts come into effect – none more controversially this year than the foie gras ban. In what folks are calling #foiemaggedon, restaurants and delicatessens are forbidden from selling the traditional European delicacy, starting Sunday.

Fortunately, you can find your foie fix in Uptown at new San Pablo Ave spot Hopscotch as well as Flora, though be warned – foie gras sales have risen so much in the last few months that restaurants are running out at a rapid clip. There are also a few restaurants serving foie some BART stops away, for the truly desperate.

Speaking of running out, tomorrow night is the deadline to vote for your favorite downtown establishment in the East Bay Express’ Best Of the East Bay awards.

And in the spirit of a new season and, for some, a chance to start over, here is all the news you missed while I neglected to post here. But don’t worry, your friendly neighborhood chronicler is back!

Summer Events

Food News

Retail and Business Happenings

Enjoy your pre-Independence Day weekend! I’ll see you while dodging vegan protesters in Uptown.

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Old Oakland is New Again, Again

June 1, 2012

Old Oakland, of course, is the original downtown for the burgeoning city that grew up around the terminus of the Transcontinental Railroad (still extant, though horribly maligned, at 7th and Washington). The compact commercial area centered on Washington Street has been a bellwether for downtown’s retail fortunes, from the first farm-to-table restaurants during the dot-bomb, to fashion-forward denim and vintage furniture shopping during the real estate boom. Now the long-term leased boutiques and galleries of the Pop Up Hood define a new period of growth, while stalwart B Restaurant closed its doors.

Though B closed at 9th and Washington, District opened across the street. And this week, we learned of new leases signed at this key intersection. B’s lovely storefront won’t be closed long, because a restauranteur and foods businessman have bought the kitchen. Perhaps giving the neighborhood at shot at some Guide Michelin love, Sarah Kirnon, formerly chef at Hibiscus, has taken possession of the corner space at Swan’s Market, last home to Jesso’s (which has since moved to 14th and Harrison).

But you don’t have to wait for new restaurants to open to enjoy Old Oakland’s many charms. The area is now officially part of the Art Murmur, and on this First Friday the streets will be full. Manifesto Bicycles has departed the neighborhood to expand in its Temescal location, but this evening they will be bringing a stereo on wheels to make a bike party out of Ninth Street.

And there are some happenings far Uptown, tonight, too. Check out Diablo Magazine for a non-artsy guide to 23rd and Telegraph area.

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite DTO establishment in the East Bay Express’ annual Best of the East Bay issue! Voting started today and concludes at the end of the month.

Have a great First Friday, whether you’re far Uptown or down in Old Town!