The grumbling over the Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill is bound to grow louder now that San Francisco restauranteurs instead of home-grown talent have been tapped to run the restored beauty across the street from the Scottish Rite Temple. The restaurant going into the century-old Lake Merritt Boat House will be opening in late July if you believe the Web site, August or September if you believe the Chron. At the helm will be Beach Chalet and Park Chalet operators
Lara and Gar Trupelli and One Market’s chef Jarad Gallagher.
I meant to post this invitation a bit earlier from Cock-A-Doodle Cafe, which has some very enticing happy hour specials. but got held up all day at the courthouse where no phone or lapop or any electronic device is allowed. Then all hell broke loose with voters trying to cast their ballots for the Iranian election.
When I opened Imbibe and saw a Q&A about the right ice for cocktails I was rolling my eyes like I do about people who buy custom-made beds and dishes for their dogs. Then the Atlantic Monthly devoted an entire article to ice. So I did the only thing that made any sense and wrote the Night Owl column about the frosty trend. It was a dark journey that I still haven’t recovered from. Behold the swizzle Flora bartender Troy Bayless prepared to demonstrate the importance of good ice. He is the Obi-Wan Kenobi of the frozen.
What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word headbanger? The trio of Oakland-based jewelry designers who call their business Headbanger Accessories is getting big-time attention. I saw their headbanger earrings the other night at Verse and heard that they are hot, hot, hot. It’s another way to wear Oakland.
It was during a staff meeting the other day that someone pointed out few residents of other cities actively wear their city’s name on T-shirts like people in Oakland do. In other words, we like to wear our Oakland pride. I think that’s because we are a real city, not an image of one made for tourists. Growing up in North Beach I wouldn’t have been caught dead with a I love San Francisco T-shirt. But I have three or more Oakland Ts and I love these hats I saw Thursday night at Pro Arts. Fruitvale taco trucks, the A’s coliseum, Jingletown… (The “No Bush Whine” hree is another story but I love it too.)
Got a problem with potholes, sewers, graffiti or sidewalks? The Public Works Dept. has a new online public works customer call center. Users can fill out an online form at http://www.oaklandpw.com/Page71.aspx or call 510-615-5566 to report problems. I heard that it worked well but maybe the comment was planted by a City Works employee (just kidding…I hope!).
A new Caribbean soul food restaurant — KUWA — could be moving into the neighborhood on Clay Street between 10th and 11th Street, near Le Cheval etc. The owners want to move into the space last occupied by Umi Tochi, the short-lived Japanese restaurant. They’re applying for a cabaret permit, which seems to have the support of neighbors. The permit hearing is Thursday. The block west (I think acc to my geographically challenged brain) of Washington Street needs more action. Another place that would offer music and nightlife, which I assume it will given that restaurants usually don’t stay open until 2 am or need a cabaret license otherwise, would help bring traction to the block, to Arsimona and down the block to Penelope, a wine bar that has a ways to go before it’s ready to open, judging by the peek I snuck the other day from the street.
Hmmm. Jesso’s shut down its 901 Washington Street restaurant suddenly in May. They posted a piece of paper in the window saying they were closed due to a heater repair…and never opened again. Now the logo has been scraped away and Jesso’s is closed, over a rent dispute with the landlords. Jesso’s owner owed more than $20,000, according to legal documents, as the dispute made its way through the court and was finally resolved last week. Meanwhile, postcards are flying around downtown advertising “Jes Fest” Tuesday at Jesso’s Midtown, the long-awaited venue that was supposed to open in the 420 14th Street location months ago. It appears he is operating a restaurant and the Midtown Ballroom. Anyway, the Tuesday event begins 6 p.m.
Damon and the Heathens were rockin out tonight at the Uptown lounge. Molto baritone sax and trombone. Wunderbar. The neighborhood was slow waking up tonight compared to First Friday night. The street was crawling with people. But I was an early bird tonight. The night owls were just waking up when I had to leave. Sounds like glam rockers Sir Lord Von Raven were a no-show but didn’t understand why…
Vic Bergeron concocted the original Mai Tai recipe in Oakland in 1944 at Trader Vic’s. The Conga Lounge on College Avenue is continuing that tradition and one-upping the Tiki madness sweeping our city like a hula girl in a grass skirt: “Right now, Conga Lounge co-owners Mano and Michael Thanos and our PR guy Will the Thrill are in direct talks with Andre Jones, chief of staff for Oakland council member Rebecca Kaplan, regarding a formal (and long overdue!) civic proclamation recognizing the Mai Tai as Oakland’s official cocktail! So far, so good…stay tuned! Meantime, enjoy an original Mai Tai or the Conga Lounge’s popular “remix” right here – both recipes invented right here in Oakland, Home of the Mai Tai, not just the Drive-By! Sign up for the Conga Lounge newsletter at top of page for updates, including the Mai Tai Victory Party! Cheers and Aloha!”