Bar 355 is named for its address: 355 19th Street. The new owners are busy removing layers of history from the lounge. Not the storied decades as Mr. B’s Restaurant & Lounge or Softnotes or other incarnations. The original signs from two of those incarnations still stand on the roof, high above the facade made from rocks.
They have been scraping away at the residue left behind by food, bourbon, whiskey, beer and smoke. They have a way to go but already the walls are new — royal blue with a gold fleur-de-lys stencil. The bar is long, stretching nearly to the end of the rectangular room.
I happened by yesterday on my way back from a run around Lake Merritt. (I was thinking that the lake has developed an even more serious problem with waste: aviary. To be blunt, the bird s— is layers thick in some spots, including near the Lake Chalet.) The door was open so I peeked inside.
I can tell already that it’s a new era at 355 19th Street.
It’s back again: The Thursday Nite Live summer music series begins tonight with Josh Jones at 5:30 p.m. Mazacote on June 17, followed by other performers every two weeks — the first and third Thursdays — until October. No cover. 9th and Broadway. From 12st Street BART, just follow the music . You’ll know it by the people dancing in the street.
Surprisingly, I spotted several openings in the works to keep on an eye on:
530 Lakeside Drive: a cuban joint
1644 Telegraph: a nightclub near Cafe Van Kleef’s
2000 MacArthur Blvd: the Bay Laurel Restraurant
3000 Broadway: restaurant it appears
1803 Webster: another restaurant
Meanwhile, A Cote is still trying to clear the last hurdles with neighbors and ABC to open a second restaurant in the old Compadres Bar & Grill space on Park Blvd. Sounds like they’ll be on the way soon.