Head to Jack London Square to shop, eat, and drink
Oakland’s Jack London Square has gone through a bit of a renaissance in recent years. Named after writer and socialist Jack London, the waterfront neighborhood had never really lived up to its potential … until now. Loads of new, hip living spaces and a bevy of new eateries have opened up, with more in the pipeline. Bocanova, Haven, Forge, and the newest addition, Italian eatery Lungomare, offer waterfront views, and the Sunday farmers market and annual Eat Real festival add even more food cred to the ’hood. The summertime Waterfront Flicks film series and Open Studios in Market Hall the first two weekends of June add a touch of culture. The revitalization spreads for blocks around and includes retail spots, cafes, wine bars, and more. If you haven’t been lately, it’s time to take another look at JLS.
Loakal | This pop-up store and gallery is a collaborative between the East Bay Express and fiftyseven-thirtythree clothiers and carries all sorts of locally made goodies, from apparel to household accessories, from more than 60 designers. Come here to pick up some Hecho En Oakland T-shirts, Steampunk-themed jewelry from Marin-based Compass Rose Designs, or a variety of prints featuring Oakland landmarks for $30 each. Adjoining the retail space is an art gallery that hosts monthly events, from art openings to movie screenings. Get updates via the Loakal website.
Loakal, 550 Second St., 510-842-3474, www.ebxloakal.com, open 11:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Tue.-Sun.
Public Bikes | This friendly bike shop is the East Bay outpost of San Francisco’s way hip European-style bike manufacturer. Just across the street from the train station, the retail shop offers an array of sample bikes in chic colors—bright orange, silver, and forest green. Take one for a spin around the neighborhood. It’s the perfect flat terrain for even the least bicycle-savvy riders. The bikes themselves are meant for fun riding—tooling around town, running errands, biking off to a picnic in the park. And the accessories are pretty stylish, too, from a variety of hand-woven baskets to hip panniers in a graphic black-and-white flower print.
Public Bikes, 205 Alice St., 510-251-1581, www. publicbikes.com, open 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Thu.–Sun.
Chop Bar | The tastiness at neighborhood favorite Chop Bar starts each morning with an outdoor coffee stand that opens at 7 a.m. The restaurant is eco-conscious in both its culinary offerings and its décor: The eating spot is filled with local art and constructed from reclaimed materials, and the food comes from local vendors, including the Cheese Board Collective, Fatted Calf Charcuterie, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, and Acme Bread Company. Ordering hint: Everyone raves about the burgers, and check out the wine on tap.
Chop Bar, 247 Fourth St., 510-834-2467, www.oaklandchopbar.com, open for breakfast 7 a.m.–11 a.m. Mon.–Fri.; lunch 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Mon.–Fri.; brunch 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat.–Sun.; dinner 5:30 –10 p.m. Sun.–Thu., 5:30–11 p.m. Fri. and Sat.; happy hour and “between” menu served 3–5:30 p.m. every day.
Everett & Jones | Drop by this 40-year-old barbecue institution for good eats and good music. The beef links and brisket are especially tasty—only order spicy if you really like it hot. While you’re enjoying the grub, peruse the interesting art and memorabilia on the walls, including huge poster-sized photographs of the owner, Dorothy Everett, with President Obama. And all this barbecue goes down excellently well with some Saucey Sistah Ale. The joint gets really hopping on weekend nights, so expect lines for a table, though getting your food to go is also a good option. Attached to the back of the restaurant are Dotha’s Juke Joint and Q’s Lounge, two adjoining live music venues featuring blues, neo-soul, and jazz to round out your Friday night.
Everett & Jones, 126 Broadway, 510-663-2350, www.eandjbbq.com, open 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Mon.–Thu., 11 a.m.–midnight Fri., noon–midnight Sat., noon–10 p.m. Sun. f
Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon | The most world-famous drinking hole in Oakland, Heinold’s first opened in 1883 and was built from the remnants of an actual whaling ship. The shack-like bar building today looks much like it did when it first opened, including a slightly disorienting sloping floor and original gas lamps. On sunny days, drinkers tend to sit outside and enjoy the weather. The spot was a favorite haunt of the neighborhood’s namesake, writer Jack London, and other luminaries, including Robert Louis Stevenson, Joaquin Miller, and President William Howard Taft, who have stopped by over the past hundred-plus years to tipple and talk. Drop by to grab a brew and soak up some local history.
Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon, 48 Webster St., 510-839-6761, www.heinolds.com, open 3 p.m.–12:30 a.m. Mon. and noon–12:30 a.m. Tue.–Sun.
Cerutti Cellars Tasting Room | No need to spend all day driving up to Napa to taste some delicious California wine. Just drop by the Cerutti Cellars Tasting Room during weekend tasting hours. Run by the Tudal family, whose winery is located in the quaint Napa Valley town of St. Helena, the tasting room launched just around the corner from the neighborhood’s century-old Produce Market. On offer for tasting are three wine series, featuring nine different varietals. And if you want to continue the tasting at home, choose from one of four Tudal Winery Wine Club options, which all come with invites to private events.
Cerutti Cellars Tasting Room, 100 Webster St., 510-550-2900, www.cerruticellars.com, open 12:30–5:30 p.m. Sat. and Sun., and by appointment.