Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Old Oakland

Dinner and a movie at Breads of India

By awoodall

The monthly two-for-one at Oakland’s Breads of India on Clay Street begins August 25.

A little mughlai biryani or fish tikka, maybe a cocktail from the bar and a light comedy flick from India? This month’s four-course menu features old Delhi dishes and the movie Cheeni Kum (“Less Sugar”). $40 per person. 7 p.m.

Posted on Thursday, August 11th, 2011
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Oakland nightlife, Old Oakland, Uncategorized | No Comments »
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Tuesday at the Trappist

By awoodall

This Tuesday the 9th at 7pm at The Trappistthe trappist on tap, a convergence of massive proportions, The West Coast Debut of Evil Twin Brewing, Official Wet Dream US release, Taco Tuesday & The Official Trappist Patio Opening! We will be pouring beer on the Patio (not actually on the patio itself but into your glass). Bottles of pretty much everything will also be available for here or “to go”

Posted on Monday, August 8th, 2011
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Oakland nightlife, Old Oakland | No Comments »
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Mezcal madness in Old Oakland

By awoodall

Swan’s Market usually closes at 6 p.m. but Cosecha Cafe is having a Mezcal dinner Aug. 20 beginning 7:30 p.m. Here’s the basics from the press release: The tasting dinner includes three mezcal varities from Oaxacan artisan producer Pierde Almas and a   discussion about the history and techniques of production in the region. Chef Dominica Salomon will offer a tasting menu that compliments the vegetal, floral notes of the mezcal.

  • Tamales de Guajalote con Mole Negro (turkey and black mole tamales wrapped in banana leaves)
  • Mixed heirloom tomato and avocado salad with a green coriander vinaigrette
  • Summer squash with herbs and garlic
  • Side of frijoles and arroz
  • Flan de canela

Pierde Almas produces small-batch mezcal from agave distilled in clay pots.   They produce four varieties derived from species of the lily family: Espadín, Do-ba-daán, 100% wild Tobalá and 100% wild Tobaziche. Details Magazine rates Pierde Almas as one of the five best mezcals, “favored by Mexico’s top restaurateurs.” There are few tickets left at $45 per person (not including beer/wine and gratuity). info@cosechacafe.com

Posted on Monday, August 1st, 2011
Under: Night Owl, Old Oakland | No Comments »
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More on Swan’s produce stand

By awoodall

This from the OON network: Isaac Cronin and Julia Fry, the consultants EBALDC hired to recruit new businesses for Swan’s Market, want to try again with a produce stand — but with more neighbor input first.
You can contact them at icpr1@sbcglobal.net or 415-717-4455.
They will also be at the Aug. 24 Old Oakland Neighbors
meeting, 7pm at Old Town Square. 
More about Isaac Cronin Public Relations at

Posted on Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
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Old Oakland produce stand closes

By awoodall

Barely a month after it opened, the organic produce stand at Swan’s Market in Old Oakland is closing.
At first the news surprised me.  I can’t remember how many times I begged for a market within walking distance of my old place on Ninth Street.  I would be cursing the lack of stores as I drove several miles out of the way for some milk at night or something on Sunday.  So why wouldn’t the stand be successful?
Well, for one, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, July 15th, 2011
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A new scene in Old Oakland

By awoodall

Considering the address — Old Oakland — Chris Klein could have picked a better name than Oaksterdam Tattoo. If he had put the tattoo parlor in Oaksterdam territory there might not have been much fuss. But putting it on Washington Street next to Ratto’s guaranteed neighbors would raise an eyebrow. And they did, according to Klein. That is to be expected when you slap the name Oaksterdam on anything, especially on a tattoo parlor. He said he still gets stray calls by people looking for the green stuff, and I don’t mean ink. But the critics have eased off.
Klein  opened Dec. 18, a couple weeks after the bitchy chatter on Internet sites (“First a tattoo parlor. What’s next? A brothel?” and “Are we that desperate for businesses?”) died down. You could easily mistake the parlor for a gallery except for the sign on the window written in the A’s signature green and white swish, which does not really reflect what is behind the storefront.  A Victorian-era ceiling soars above tattoo stations where “Priest” sat steadily transforming a man’s back into a riot of  multicolored flora and fauna. Paintings by the tattoo artists hang on the startk white walls. There are no drunken sailors or brazen hussies, at least not this afternoon. The sidewalk was filled instead Caffe 817 patrons soaking up the wan winter sun.
Klein, a musician and artist, has kept the front area open for people waiting to turn their skin into a human canvas, as well as for entertainment on Frist Fridays.  Nothing big.  At least nothing like in New Orleans, which is where he moved from.  Further on but not far are two more new (and evidently less controversial ) additions to the neighborhood. The white-walled Collect gallery on Broadway opened Jan. 2 with a screening of film shorts (Oh thank you great culture muse in the sky). Next up is Jan. 12.
Collect gallery on Broadway, OaklandCollect is the second storefront being filled by Leila Banijamali and Lauren Geremia. The duo’s other gallery around the corner on Ninth bears the latter’s name, Geremia Design. Together with pioneer FIVEten Studio (oh please don’t go!) the galleries and parlor create a sort of four-cornered Old Oakland art scene. Banijamali and Geremia call themselves San Francisco designers and entrepreneurs. Perhaps. But even if that is their pedigree why do they named the Web site CollectArtSF if both of their “well-appointed galleries” are in Oakland. Was CollectArtOakland taken? You might say I’m being unfair because it is the URL we’re talking about. But: Oaksterdam might be a poor choice of names for the neighborhood but at least the name reflects the city it’s in.

Posted on Monday, January 4th, 2010
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, oakland a's, Old Oakland, Uncategorized | No Comments »
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Uptown-Waterfront shuttle plans

By awoodall

Lately I have been enjoying the dissonance at Jack London Square between watching tanned boaters aboard their crafts at the water’s edge and pop music from the temporary ice rink under the palms at the end of Broadway. Most Sundays I walk from near downtown to the square and back again, a return journey that deflates my mood because the highway overpass at Fifth Street, which pedestrians and motorists can’t avoid (in most directions). The walkway is ugly, dirty and noisy. It doesn’t really do anything to lure people to the waterfront, either. I have often thought how great it would be to at least have a shuttle, especially at night.  I even thought about launching a Mexican Bus style of transportation. Now comes good news that Oakland is launching a free shuttle that will run about 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays between the Uptown District and Jack London Square. The route: Amtrak station along Broadway to West Grand loop around the Uptown via Telegraph Avenue. The days and hours might expand later if there is more money. The shuttle is geared toward getting downtown workers to other neighborhoods and encouraging people to use the ferry. I guess that’s how they got the $1 million grant to fund it. But restaurants and bars are going to be disappointed to hear that it’s not a nighttime service. I know I am even though I am glad for even limited service. I don’t want to sound ungrateful. But Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, October 16th, 2009
Under: Night Owl, Oakland nightlife, Old Oakland, Uncategorized, Uptown | 1 Comment »
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CityTeam shelter a cafe for a day (sort of)

By awoodall

I was startled to find the CityTeam shelter transformed Sunday by colorful cafe tables and chairs, umbrellas and a “CAFE” sign over the door. “I just walked past here Friday night and it was not like this!” I told my boyfriend. Turns out, it was all a fantasy — a VW car commercial being filmed on Washington Street between Seventh and Ninth streets.
In fact, a fight was threatening to break out between two men over a bed on the Friday night I passed by, which was balmy and (otherwise) dreamy – notwithstanding the fact that I had just come from a trying evening of frustrating press announcements at OPD on Seventh after the arrest of Hasanni Campbell’s foster parents. (Looking at Glenn Dyer jail on Seventh, where the foster father was being held, from my rooftop patio I kept thinking about how strange it is that two realities could be so different yet within eyesight of each other.) 
It’s amazing the Old Oakland neighborhood is as peaceful as it is with OPD, the courthouse, Glenn Dyer jail, the men’s shelter, a women’s shelter, several SROs and some kind of halfway house all within three blocks of chic hangouts, nail salon, realtor, etc. and three upscale condo/apartment buildings. I kind of like the mix (aside from a man – not a CityTeam resident – who occasionally performs normally private acts upon himself in front of Kai’s) but have wondered for about 10 years how long the shelters will last.

Posted on Tuesday, September 1st, 2009
Under: Night Owl, Old Oakland | No Comments »
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Old Oakland and Chinatown this weekend

By awoodall

I hear the Grand Oaks Grill on 8th and Washington has reopened as a sports bar with a new manager, fresh interior and spruced up menu. But I haven’t seen it for myself. The place is an Old Oakland pioneer from the first wave of nice-ification.  They only seemed to open for big private parties and the rest of the time the dining room was empty. Can’t say whether the bar was every busy because it’s set back behind the dining room.  Perhaps I’ll have more cause to frequent the classic bar since they have a new drink menu (pomegranate martini, peach martini, draft beers…).  And they are supposed to host game nights, including Cal.

Meanwhile across the street, Kai’s seems to be open – hardly ever. I think the building is for sale, which might explain why they are closed nights. In the meantime, the Friends of the Library Bookmark Bookstore (on Washington in between 7 & 8th Streets) has expanded it’s hours to include Sundays. The bookstore will now be open Sundays from 11AM-2:30PM, in addition to regular hours of Monday-Friday 10:30AM-5:30PM & Saturday 10:30AM-3:30PM. 
And a note: this Saturday is the last chance to visit the Night Market, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., in the courtyard of the Pacific Renaissance Plaza — 9th Street between Franklin and Webster.




Posted on Thursday, July 23rd, 2009
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Old Oakland | No Comments »
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Kuwa, new digs in Old Oakland

By awoodall

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.

Posted on Tuesday, June 9th, 2009
Under: Fun Stuff to do in Oakland, Night Owl, Old Oakland | 7 Comments »
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