Saturday, February 19, 2011

Way To Go Oakland!

I love Oakland.  I really do.  I love the diversity, the nightlife and dining scene, the bars, the vibe, just the whole damn thing.  My days/nights off in Oakland are something I especially cherish.  So many new spots are slated to open in the next 6 to 12 months that I'm very excited about.  And so many new places have already opened...keeping me fed, quenching my thirst, and indulging me in good conversation with new people.  I've heard that the folks behind New York's Death and Company and Mayahuel bars are eyeing Oakland for a new spot, and if that's true, it's exciting news indeed.  And I just learned that Brooklyn bar stars Glenn Kaplan, Chris Foot and Catherine Weatherup will be opening a bar at 1741 Telegraph Avenue in the very near future.  Here's a little run down of everything so far:


  • Commonwealth Pub opened right down the street from me on Telegraph Ave.  Great beers, the best coffee around, some wine on tap, simple yet delicious pub grub morning, noon and night, free Wi-Fi, and a super nice, chill crowd.
  • The Grand Tavern has a new cocktail list and some new food items on the menu.  Check em out.
  • The Boot & Shoe Service is a new arrival on Grand Avenue.  Great cocktail list that changes frequently
  • Emeryville's Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe, which is co-owned by Green Day bassist Mike Dirnt, will be opening up their second location in the long-vacant corner space next to the Fox Theater. They'll bring a diner-style, comfort food menu and possibly a full bar sometime in mid-2011.
  • Disco Volante, the funky new spot on 14th street near Chinatown.  We had some snacks and a drink here the other night before heading over to B Restaurant for dinner and then over to Tamarindo for dessert (and a crema de mezcal).  No cocktail menu out yet, but they've been getting some great bands.  Would be a cool place for a late-night snack, a drink, and to hear some good live music.  
  • Daniel Patterson, the owner/chef of the recently opened Plum, will have a craft cocktail bar next to Plum hopefully by early summer.  Famed Bay Area bartender Scott Beattie will be putting together the cocktail list and bar program.  Bracina--another Patterson restaurant with Scott Beatie as bar consultant--is slated to open across from Bocanova Restaurant in Jack London Square this summer as well.
  • Wine industry vets D.C. Looney and Lisa Costa opened up The Punchdown, a new natural wine bar on the other side of Plum, offering an international selection of wines made with organic or biodynamic grapes, plus a limited menu of simple small plates (with local/sustainable ingredients) in addition to one Farmer's Market special per night.
  • Flora owner Dona Savitski and she confirmed that they would be opening a new 2,000-square foot bar in between Flora and their upcoming Xolo taqueria (the first phase of which should open by March). Details are still sketchy but Savitski did say the bar would be connected to Flora and likely have a little younger/more downscale vibe.
  • Look for Bar Dogwood, a new watering hole coming soon at 1644 Telegraph Ave. from Alexeis Filipello. Formerly a co-owner of The House of Shields in San Francisco, Filipello says Bar Dogwood will offer "good inexpensive bar snacks with great cocktails and independent wines and beers," with a special focus on the meat counter, serving salami, cold seafood, and cheeses. 
  • The Hudson has opened where Garibaldis and Marzano used to share a space.  Interesting cocktails, beautiful decor

3 comments:

revivalbar+kitchen said...

nice work, Jay!

Shawn said...

Nice summary. Have you been to Chop Bar or Bar 355? 2 new places in Emeryville look interesting: Prizefighter and Honor. Checking out Make Westing and Bar Dogwood soon.

JAY CRABB said...

Thanks Shawn,

Prizefighter is a really great bar. Just a really pleasant vibe with a true feeling of community that so many bars lack these days. They certainly know how to make a cocktail, and they have one of the best designed bars I've ever seen (layout of their working space, glassware, hand-cut ice, quality spirits, etc). They have a really fun menu, offer creative non-alcoholic libations, and put care into the drinks. But more than any of that...they are nice people who focus first and foremost on the guest. What a crazy idea! Good service, music, drinks and atmosphere. Very refreshing to see.

Looking forward to Honor Bar opening soon! Chop Bar, the new Plum Bar, 355, Dogwood, Make Westing, Acme in Berkeley, Bocanova, Sidebar...all good places with a cocktail scene. And we can't forget all the great beer and wine spots around town.

Fun times for bars in the East Bay. Cheers!