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What’s Up in Uptown

Check out what's new in Oakland.


We’ve been telling you about Oakland for years, and now the rest of the country is finally catching on. No less an authority than the New York Times ranked the “biggity O” fifth in the world on its list of places to visit in 2012—one spot below London (overrated) and just ahead of Tokyo (kiss it, Japan). The epicenter of Oakland’s renaissance is indisputably the Uptown neighborhood, where cool bars, galleries, and restaurants seem to pop up overnight. Here’s what’s new.



Ike’s Lair:
Think of Ike’s as Bakesale Betty’s mischievous little brother: There are more than 80 custom sandwiches on the listed menu and 200 on the “hidden menu,” and for an extra $2.92, you can add fried mozzarella sticks or jalapeño poppers to any of them. ikeslair.com.

Xolo Taqueria:
You’ll have to wait in line for your danger dog (bacon-wrapped hot dog), vampiro (al pastor taco), or chile relleno burrito at this popular taqueria from the owners of Flora. xolotaqueria.com.

Stag’s Lunchette:
Set to open March 18 on 17th Street, this “sustainable lunch counter” is all about DIY, featuring house-made meats, pickles, kraut, mustards, dressings, and hot sauces.

Coming soon:
A new project of former Oliveto executive chef Paul Canales is scheduled to open in early fall while popular upscale burger chain Umami will debut later this year.



Make westing:
Work on your bocce game at one of the two indoor courts at this Brooklyn-esque new bar across from the Fox Theater. makewesting.com.

Plum Bar:
You can see the foodie influence in cocktails like the celery stalker (celery juice with gin and lemon) at restaurateur Daniel Patterson’s lyrical new watering hole, where the walls are literally covered with poetry. plumoakland.com.

The cocktails are artisanal but not too artisanal, and the charcuterie station is just plain awesome. The grilled cheese sandwich with whiskey-bacon chutney might be the best bar bite around. bardogwood.com.

Coming soon:
Flora’s bar expansion is set to be finished by the end of the year, and another watering hole, Feezy, is planning an August opening on Telegraph Avenue.  



25th Street Collective:
This year-old collective serves as a business incubator and storefront for homegrown, sustainable artisans and designers. Enjoy a glass of red at the Two Mile Wines wine bar up front. 25thstreetcollective.com.

Classic Cars West:
Scope out the rotating collection of modern art as you admire this vintage auto dealership’s gorgeous stable of restored classic cars. classiccarswest.com.

Saturday Stroll:
Avoid the crazy First Friday crowds by exploring the eclectic cluster of art galleries between 23rd and 26th streets the next day. Fifteen are now open every Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. oaklandartmurmur.org.

Coming Soon:
The New Parkway, a reinvention of Oakland’s beloved food-friendly indie movie house, is set to open in September.



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