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Diablo Dish: Oakland International Airport’s Dining Scene Gets a Face-Lift

A new beer hall opens in Oakland; buy some sweets and help some kids; Wente Vineyards rolls out a weekend special menu for winter; soup for the soul at Bear’s Lair Tavern; and more Dish.


Christina Mitchell // Tamale from Calavera

Revamped Dining at Oakland International Airport

We all have our preflight rituals: that margarita at Andalé or a glass of white at Vino Volo. But they all will change by the end of 2019. The reason? The entire food and beverage service at the airport will undergo a massive makeover next year, with a new emphasis on local operators.

For example, instead of Starbucks, there will be Peet’s. Instead of Andalé, there will be Calavera. Pizza will come from the highly regarded A16, and The Hangar will house Drake’s Brewing Company, Brown Sugar Kitchen Counter, and Red Bay Coffee.

The project begins in January and will continue throughout the year, so there will likely be fewer options—and certainly more construction—during the process, but the flavor (pun intended) of the airport will be different and much more local when the dust finally settles.


Get Your German on at Oakland’s New Bierhaus

And we’re not just talking beer—though there are plenty of German beers to try—as the Bierhaus menu is definitely based on Deutschland’s cuisine. You can get buttered spätzle, pork schnitzel, and, of course, plenty of wurst on 40th Street. Prost!


Kiwanis International Sells See’s Candies for Christmas

Though the See’s Candies pop-ups are a small part of the $60,000 that Kiwanis Club (an international organization dedicated to improving the lives of children one community at a time) raises and spends in Lamorinda, the candy sales do play a big role. So head down to the Rheem Valley Shopping Center or the Moraga Center for your holiday sweets and help out our local charities.


The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards

The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards Adds a Weekend Special

We don’t need a reason to enjoy The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards, but all through December, a special lunch offer makes it even more tempting.

For $65, diners will get a three-course, prix-fixe meal (with multiple options), plus wine pairings. Not only that, but it’s available on Fridays if you want to get a head start on your weekend. This special lasts until the calendar flips to 2019. 



Bear’s Lair and Berkeley Art Studio Combine in Holiday Benefit

As the weather cools, there’s nothing like a bowl of hot soup to warm the belly, and, in this case, the soul as well.

The Bear’s Lair Tavern (on Bancroft Way on the UC campus) will be hosting an Empty Bowls fundraiser with soup, bread, and wine on Wednesday, December 12, from 7 to 9 p.m. for $50, with the proceeds going to the Alameda County Community Food Bank. Participants will also receive a one-of-a-kind, artist-made bowl from the Berkeley Art Studio.


Oakland’s alaMar Goes Dominican on Sunday

We’re guessing you haven’t tried a Dominican holiday feast—we sure haven’t—but you’ll get your chance Sunday, December 16, at Oakland’s alaMar Kitchen and Bar.

There will be a Christmas buffet with slow-roasted Dominican pork shoulder, a salt cod stew, roasted yucca and sweet plantains, and other delights for $48 from 3 to 9 p.m.


Sourced Craft Cocktails

Host a Cocktail Party with Sourced

So you’d like to have a cocktail party with actual cocktails? Rather than providing your guests with pre-mixed drinks or supplying the party with your own limited repertoire of favorites, enlist the help of Sourced Craft Cocktails to make sure your get-together is happenin’.

The idea is simple: For, say, $32.50 per person (your mileage will vary depending on your choices), you get a Sourced mixologist (there’s no such thing as a bartender any more), all the mix-ins and fixin’s, barware, and hand-cut ice. A possible drink order includes the Whoa, Black Betty—crafted with homemade blackberry syrup, fresh-squeezed lemon juice, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and Topo Chico mineral water—though there are many options.

Generally, each guest will get two or three drinks, and the bartender, er, mixologist, will stay for the whole event. Sourced also offers classes and cocktail subscriptions, which deliver ready-made cocktails to your door.

Got Dish? Send an email to dish@maildiablo.com. Or follow me on Twitter @DiabloDish.

Happy Hour Bar & Bites at
The Cooperage

Monday through Friday
3pm – 5:30pm


This isn’t your typical happy hour. This quintessential neighborhood spot offers high-quality craft cocktails on tap and tasty bites. Menu features: $10 cocktails on tap, $5 select beer & wine, $1 oysters, $7 bacon cheeseburger sliders, $7 crispy beer battered shrimp sliders, $9 sashimi-grade ahi tuna tartare. 

32 Lafayette Circle, Lafayette
​Reservations: www.thecooperagelafayette.com or 925.298.5915

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