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What’s New In Oakland, Fall 2019

September 13, 2019 Visit California No Comments Email Email

Chef Jen Biesty Competes on Food Network’s Chopped, Airing September 17

Shakewell’s chef and co-owner, Jen Biesty, will compete to be Food Network’s Chopped champion on September 17 in an episode titled “Weird, Wacky, and Wild!.” As described from the network, “the chefs will face baskets filled with some of the most bizarre ingredients imaginable.”

Oakland Restaurants Featured in Food Network UK Show, “Tom Kerridge’s USA”

Food Network’s Tom Kerridge will be touring some of Oakland’s favorite restaurants on the newest season of “Tom Kerridge’s USA.” Kerridge visited Oakland’s Shandog Noodles, Tom’s Bakery Fortune Cookie, and Brown Sugar Kitchen. This will be featured on the second episode of the upcoming season on September 19 at 9:30pm.

Oakland’s Chef Rashad Armstead Wins Latest Season of Chopped

Oakland chef and restauranteur Rashad Armstead was recently featured on Food Network’s “Chopped” and ultimately won the competition. The chef is the owner of North Oakland restaurant, Grammie’s Down-Home Chicken & Seafood and recently had the Crave BBQ pop-up in Oakland. Fans can visit Grammie’s Down-Home Chicken & Seafood to see what made him the “Chopped” champion.

Red Bay Coffee Moves to New Headquarters In Fruitvale

One of the few black-owned specialty coffee companies in the US, Red Bay Coffee, is moving into a new headquarters in Fruitvale. Red Bay’s new headquarters features a three-story, 11,000 square foot former bank that was constructed in 1930. The new headquarters will include a cupping lab for coffee tasting, a design studio for Red Bay’s growing team and the bank vault itself will be repurposed into a space for community story exchange.

MAMA Oakland Brings New Italian Favorites to Lake Merritt

MAMA, the team behind Bay Grape, is bringing Italian favorites to Lake Merritt. MAMA will feature an Italian menu with fixed pricing at $29.99.

Horn Barbecue Opens Permanent Space in West Oakland

The fan-favorite barbecue pop-up, Horn Barbecue, now has a permanent residence at Brown Sugar Kitchen’s former space in West Oakland. Over the last decade, Horn Barbecue has been a famous pop-up in Oakland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles and finally has a brick and mortar location.

Artichoke Basille Pizza Now Open in Temescal

New York-based pizza chain has opened a new location in Temescal. Artichoke Basille Pizza, famous for its spinach, cream and artichoke pizza, is now available for Oakland residents 5pm- 12am every day.

Kono Food Alley Bringing Food Trucks to Telegraph Avenue

The KONO Food Alley is the newest food addition to Telegraph Avenue. It features a collection of food stands and food trucks that appear at the outdoor space in front of 3188 Telegraph Avenue, every Monday through Thursday from 11am to 2pm until October 10. Featured vendors include Tacos y Chelas, Javi’s Cooking, Curbside Kitchen, Dripdash and LaVidaBoba.

Donut Farm Opening New Location in Jack London Square

North Oakland vegan café, Donut Farm, is moving to Jack London Square in August. In the new space, Donut Farm will have a similar format to its North Oakland location. They will serve breakfast, lunch and brunch, and their signature vegan donuts.

Porque No? Tacos Brick and Mortor Now Open in Rockridge

Formerly a pop-up, Porque No? Tacos recently opened a brick and mortar location in Rockridge. They offer breakfast favorites like chilaquiles, huevos rancheros, and breakfast burritos, as well as a full lunch menu with tacos, burritos, sandwiches, and quesadillas.

Doña Tomás Moves from Temescal to Piedmont Avenue

Doña Tomás, a famed Mexican restaurant in Temescal for over 20 years, is moving to Piedmont under a new name “Doña” in mid-September. Doña will serve some of Doña Tomá’s most popular dishes, as well as brunch, weekday breakfast, and an expanded bar menu.

Oakland’s Boot and Shoe Service Rebranding to “Sister”

Same location, different name. Sister will have all the favorites from Boot and Shoe Service and more. Sister will be open for breakfast from 8:30am-2pm and will reopen for dinner at 5:30pm from Sunday-Thursday.

The Damel Brings New Afro-Brazilian Flavor to Uptown

The casual, counter-service food spot currently has a permanent pop-up inside 35th Street Taproom. The Damel’s menu reflects the experience of Chef Diouf, a Senegal-born chef that moved to Brazil, where he received influence. Serving empanadas for dinner every day from 5pm-10pm and on Fridays and Saturdays until 2am.

Oakland Cocktail Week Returns This Month, From September 20-29

Celebrating Oakland’s unique cocktail heritage and community from its loyal patrons to business owners to bartenders and newcomers alike.​ Oakland Cocktail Week celebrates the rich cocktail culture past and present within Oakland’s local distilleries, restaurants, and cocktail bars. They aim to bottle up that spirit and celebrate the creativity and craftsmanship that makes Oakland a place we love to call home.

Friends and Family Bar Opening in Uptown This Thanksgiving

The female-owned and operated team has plans to open their chic bar, Friends and Family, in Uptown. Industry vets, Blake Cole (Hopscotch, Hot House pop-up) and Kimberly Rosselle (Trick Dog, Bon Voyage) partnered to create Friends and Family with kitchen help from Christa Chase (Tartine Manufactory). The bar plans to open it’s doors at 468 25th Street to the public with a target opening date of Thanksgiving

90’s Experience Announces Extention in Jack London Square Space

Jack London Square’s favorite blast from the past is now extended until the end of the year. Guests will transport back to the ’90s with this fun-filled exhibit with photo opportunities with all of the 90’s best music, pop culture, and fashion.

“No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man” Exhibit Coming to OMCA

This exhibit will feature spectacular artwork and large-scale installations from one of the most widely-celebrated cultural events in the world at the Oakland Museum of California. The immersive and multi-sensory experience will extend beyond the gallery walls into the Museum’s public spaces—including an OMCA-commissioned 40-foot-tall outdoor temple by internationally-acclaimed sculptor David Best. No Spectators will also feature commissioned works, jewelry, gifts, costumes, “mutant” vehicles, sculptures, photography, ephemera, paintings, artifacts, and other items. The exhibition will be on view from October 12, 2019, to February 16, 2020, with associated programming running throughout the Fall & Winter.

New Fine Arts Gallery Open in East Oakland

Curators Daniel Peters and Brenda Luckin open a new professional fine arts gallery in one of the oldest artist live-work buildings in America, at West Coast Macaroni Factory. The MAC fine Arts Gallery will display all types of work from Bay Area artists.

Henry J Kaiser Auditorium Renovation Breaks Ground

The Henry J Kaiser Auditorium is working on improvements to the venue. The project is expected to be finished by Fall 2021. The goal with the reopening is to allow local artists within the community to use the building as it was once intended before the close. It will open its doors as a restored theater, office, retail, restaurant space, and a terrace overlooking the lake.

Kaiser Permanente Announces New Headquarters Coming to Oakland

Kaiser Permanente has announced plans to construct a new headquarters in Oakland, called The Kaiser Permanente Thrive Center. It will bring together staff currently in multiple locations, reducing annual operating costs, and benefitting the city that has been its home since 1945. The announcement is the latest step in the organization’s ongoing effort to deliver more affordable care and coverage while continuing its commitment to the city of Oakland. The new building, at 2100 Telegraph Avenue, is scheduled to break ground in 2020.

Oakland International Airport Announces New, Local Concessions

Oakland International airport will have 17 new food and drink vendors to open between Terminals one and two. The new vendors will include Brown Sugar Kitchen, Drake’s Brewing, Red Bay Coffee, Oakland A’s Club House, Tay Ho Oakland, Luka’s Taproom and Lounge, Calavera, Southie, A16, Peet’s Coffee, Farley’s, Oaklandish Coffee Collective and more. The vendors will be opening throughout 2020.

Southwest to Expand Hawaii Service at Oakland International Airport

Southwest Airlines has announced that beginning January 2020, the airline will add two new long-haul destinations at Oakland International Airport (OAK) – Lihue, Kauai Island and Kona on the Island of Hawaii. Service to Kona (KOA) will operate four times weekly on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Service to Lihue (LIH) is scheduled to operate three times weekly, on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Southwest Airlines first operated Hawaii service on March 17, 2019, from Oakland to Honolulu.

New Ferry Route and Shuttle From Oakland to SFO

San Francisco Bay Ferry and San Francisco International Airport have teamed up to offer a new, convenient and comfortable way to get from the East Bay to SFO, by taking the ferry and a free shuttle bus. SFO is providing free shuttle bus rides from the South San Francisco Ferry Terminal to the airport. The SFO Ferry Connector Bus will meet each weekday morning at the ferry arrival in South San Francisco and transport passengers to the International Terminal at SFO in less than a half-hour. The shuttle bus will also take passengers on inbound flights from the International Terminal to meet afternoon and evening ferry departures back to Alameda and Oakland.

Oakland Welcomes Professional Soccer Team, Oakland Roots Sports Club

Oakland now has a professional soccer team, Oakland Roots Sports Club. This brand-new third-division soccer team is now playing at the Laney College Football Field. Oakland Roots Sports Club seeks to harness the magic of Oakland and the beautiful game of soccer as a force for social good. Tickets are available for purchase.

Oakland Cocktail Week Special Events


2019 Kick-Off Party x Hennessy VSOP3rd Thursdays at Latham Square

15th & Broadway: Downtown Oakland



Oakland Cocktail Week kicks off festivities with Oakland Central and Hennessy at 3rd Thursdays at Latham Square. Enjoy local bites and $7 craft cocktails by Hennessy VSOP in collaboration with Uptown bars in the Oakland Indie Alliance. Featuring Bay area supergroup Collectivity with special performances by Pamela Parker’s Fantastic Machine and Emcee UnLearn the World.


OCW x AMP Oakland Live Music Series

Downtown Oakland


Sip cocktails and groove to live musical performances on the streets and at select venues throughout the week. Check out the online calendar for details at AMP Oakland, organized by Oakland Central, curates weekly street performances in public spaces throughout Downtown Oakland from May to October, keeping Oakland’s performing arts alive and thriving.


All Good in the Neighborhoods: A Bartender’s Tour

Alameda, Uptown Oakland, Downtown Oakland

$63/person Early Bird or $68/person Regular


Follow local bartenders to explore their favorite neighborhood and the watering holes that make it great. Each night will spotlight a different part of town from Uptown and Downtown Oakland to the neighboring island, Alameda. At every stop meet the folks behind the spirits and bars, plus sip on cocktails made just for the tour. Tickets available at A portion of ticket sales benefit the Oakland Indie Alliance.


Drunken Film Fest x Local Spirits Fiesta

Nido’s BackYard, 104 Oak St, Oakland: Jack London Square

Free to the public

Screenings at 7pm-9pm

A Toast to the town with an outdoor screening of one-of-a-kind short films created by Oakland filmmakers. Craft cocktails feature local spirits such as Homebase Spirits, Spirit Works, Oakland Spirits Co., and Mosswood. Participants will enjoy lawn games and good food all at Nido’s BackYard. A portion of all cocktail sales benefit the Oakland Indie Alliance.


SHOWGA™  + Oakland Cocktail Week, Presented by Amaro Montenegro

Starline Social Club, 2236 MLK Jr Way, Oakland: West Oakland

$25 SHOWGA™, $50 SHOWGA™ + Brunch


Offering an energizing morning of SHOWGA™, a creative and healing gathering that will leave guests feeling inspired, energized, and connected to self and community. This special Oakland Cocktail Week edition features live music by members of Oakland band Whiskerman, yoga, aromatherapy, lights, and boozy brunch. Following the concert, participants can go downstairs for a soulful brunch paired with cocktails mixed with Amaro Montenegro. Tickets available at A portion of ticket sales benefit the Oakland Indie Alliance.

Tropic Magic: Remixing Tropical Cocktail Classics, Presented by Spiribam + Four Roses

The Kon Tiki, 347 14th St #3906, Oakland: Downtown Oakland

$35 Early Bird / $40 Regular

5:30 – 7:30 pm

Jam at The Kon Tiki as Spiribam and Four Roses lead a cocktail class on using bourbon and agricole rhums to stir up unexpected twists in a tropical cocktail. Participants will learn all the ways to shake up your island dreams and take your parties to tiki paradise.


Town Throwdown 2019 Cocktail Competition, Presented by Hennessy

770 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland



Join us as some of East Bay’s young guns and OGs of the bar world go head-to-head in a good ol’ fashion cocktail competition. Competitors will be asked to serve up their best creations to impress the audience and judges.  Bartender with most “People’s Choice” votes and judges votes will be crowned champion. With unique bites provided by Oakland chefs, entertainment by local DJs and more.

Little Saigon Moon Festival / Night Market: September 14 | Clinton Square Park

This event will celebrate tradition and culture at the Little Saigon Moon Festival/ Night Market. Organized by native Oaklanders, last year’s event was the first time in ten years since the park had been used for beloved residents. Held in Little Saigon District in Oakland with fun for kids, a traditional fashion show, free giveaways, food, music and more.

US National AeroPress Championships: September 21 | The Crown Coffee Lab & Tasting Room

The Crown Coffee Lab & Tasting Room will host the Regional AeroPress champions, with participants from all over the country competing for the coveted title of US AeroPress Champion. The event is free and includes food, prizes, a sneak-peek at the Fellow’s top-secret new product and of course the competition.

Black Restaurant Week, Bay Area: September 29-October 6

Black Restaurant Week presents its second annual culinary series in the greater Bay Area. Celebrate the flavors of African-American, African, and Caribbean cuisines all week long from September 29 to October 6.

Drunken Film Fest: October 4-12

Drunken Film Fest Oakland is a weeklong film festival screening the best new short films from around the world. They got their name not because the films have anything to do with drinking or alcohol, but because each night’s screenings are held at a different bar, showcasing many of Oakland’s distinct businesses and neighborhoods, all free and open to the public.

12th Annual Oaktoberfest in the Dimond: October 5-6 | Dimond District

Oaktoberfest celebrates the history, the flavors, and the people of the Bay Area. Oakland’s Dimond District hosts this one-of-a-kind Fall Festival (combining Oktoberfest with Oakland), welcoming thousands with craft beer & food, entertainment, arts, and ecology. The Dimond continues a tradition as an entertainment destination, begun in the early 1900s when Beer Gardens and German vacation resorts lined the boulevard. Oaktoberfest will bring world-class beer to the tented beer hall, serving steins of traditional German flavors and regional brewpub favorites.

Black Cowboy Parade & Heritage Festival: October 5 | DeFremery Park

​The Oakland Black Cowboy Association, a not-for-profit organization, has spent four decades enlightening children and adults with the contributions of people of color in the settling of the West. This vision continues today with its annual parade and festival. People from all walks of life attend this one of a kind parade and festival which features nationwide cowboys, trick riders, schools community organizations, and local businesses.

Local Food Adventures “Oakland Sweets, Spirits and The Beyond” Cemetery Food Tour: October 5- 27

Just in time for Halloween! Participants will enjoy a spooktacular historical tour filled with cupcakes, cocktails and a guided walk through two spectacular cemeteries (Mountain View Cemetery and The Chapel of Chimes), one listed on the National Register of Historic PlacesOpens a New Window. This 90-minute cemetery tour highlights some of Piedmont Avenue’s hidden gems including the final resting places of the Bay Area’s most famous and infamous residents. In true pumpkin spice latte spirit, this tour is seasonal and only offered on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in October.

50th Anniversary Free Breakfast for School Children Program

October is Black Panther Party History Month, and this year marks the 50th Anniversary of when the Black Panther Party started the Free Breakfast for School Children program. Celebrate history with multiple events in the birthplace of the Black Panther Party.

October 1

Opening of Breakfast Program photo exhibit @ Main Library (Downtown Oakland)

Opening of Photo Exhibit @ the Fillmore Heritage Center

October 12

Free breakfast program @ Bobby Hutton Park (De Fremeary Park): 10am-6pm

“Meet and greet” and “BPP photo exhibit, a panel discussion”@ West Oakland Library: 12pm-5pm

BPP Community Awards @ Geoffrey’s Inner Circle: 7pm

Life is Living: October 12 | DeFremery Park

Life is Living Festival is an annual, admission-free festival dedicated to celebrating and contributing to the sustainability of life in Oakland for its artists, dreamers, families, and next generation of leaders. The festival is a celebration of creative expression, public art & art-making, environmental action, and intergenerational wellness – with live performances, dance zones, theater and much more.

Autumn Lights Festival: October 17-19 | Lake Merritt
The festive evenings blend live music, illuminated art, fire dancers, food, and libations to make one unforgettable experience. The Autumn Lights Festival, which has become a unique Oakland tradition, is a festive three-night, community event held in the seven-acre oasis of the themed gardens nestled in Lakeside Park, surrounding Lake Merritt. Guests will be immersed in acres of the lush gardens illuminated with mesmerizing art, and lighting installations created by Bay Area artists.

25th Annual El Día de Los Muertos Community Celebration: October 19-20 | OMCA

This October, Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) will mark the 25th anniversary of its beloved El Día de Los Muertos celebration with a powerful new exhibition opening October 16, ¡El Movimiento Vivo! Chicano Roots of El Día de Los Muertosand a special two-day community celebration from October 19-20. The event will feature demonstrations of traditional Mesoamerican arts and cooking, live music, dancing and merchandise by local artisans for your home altar.

Jack o’Lantern Jamboree: October 26-27 | Children’s Fairyland

Children’s Fairyland will have fun for both the little and big kids, including crafts, entertainment, costume parades, rides, giveaways, and more. Check out the schedule of the events for the fun-filled two-day event.

Boo at the Zoo: October 26-27 | Oakland Zoo

Guests will enjoy a stroll through the Zoo in costume and following the clues on a program to fill a Trick or Treat bag full of yummy treats. The event also offers a ride on the spooky boo train, face painting, making treats with the animals, and hands-on Halloween themed activities. Kids in costumes receive a free ticket. The event is from October 26-27, from 10am-3pm.

Dia de Los Muertos: November 2 | Fruitvale Avenue

The annual Día de Los Muertos festival is right around the corner on November 2nd, 2019. Now in its 24th year, this family-friendly event has a lot in store for all who attend. Including hundreds of vendors selling traditional Latin American crafts and art, a carnival pop-up with kids games and rides, and 25 traditional altars on display, this year’s festival will feature:

  • The festival is on a SATURDAY! In a break from tradition, this year’s festival will take place on SATURDAY, November 2nd, the real Day of the Dead.
  • Moved to International Blvd – the Festival is back on International Blvd. and will extend from Fruitvale Ave. all the way to 40th Ave.
  • Three stages with music from Bay Area radio stations and Oakland DJs.
  • Census 2020 and Get Out The Vote activities, and vendors will be on hand to answer questions and spread awareness for these important 2020 events.

Learn more at and use #FruitvaleDia to share your thoughts, photos, and more.

Afrotech 2019: November 7 | Oakland Convention Center

This is a groundbreaking, revolutionary experience for Black techies, startups and entrepreneurs returns. Over 5,000 fellow founders, entrepreneurs and engineers will take a 360-degree look at how culture and tech run the world.

 Hip Hop Nutcracker: November 19 | Paramount Theatre

A holiday mash-up for the whole family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker re-imagines Tchaikovsky’s classic score through explosive hip hop choreography. A dozen all-star dancers, an on-stage DJ, and an electric violinist bring the traditional Nutcracker story to life. This evening show celebrates love, community and the magic of the holiday season.

The Soiled Dove: September 20-December 7 | Downtown Oakland

From The Vau de Vire Society, co-creators of the world-renowned Edwardian Ball, Lagunitas Beer Circus, Phantasm Halloween, New Bohemia NYE and a decade of The Bay Area’s most creatively outrageous nightlife events, comes an immersive, circus-infused, scandalous and historic dinner-theater experience that will titillate your every sense. For 2019, The Soiled Dove graces Downtown Oakland from September 20th, with shows every Friday and Saturday evening, through December 7th under Vau de Vire’s massive 12,000 square foot circus tent, the Tortona Big Top.

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