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What’s New in Oakland, Spring 2019

March 7, 2019 Destination California No Comments Email Email

Second Inaugural Oakland Art Month Spotlights Artists This May

Oakland Art Month will be back for its second year this May 2019!The entire month will be dedicated to promoting events, performances and shows that highlight the diversity of artists and work created in Oakland. The Town has long been home to innovators, creatives and artists and Visit Oakland invites visitors and locals alike to explore new types of art or revisit old favorites. Oakland Art Month will be promoting the theme of BELONGING this year. As it was written in the City of Oakland’s Cultural Development Plan, “People’s sense of belonging is tied to their ability to lead meaningful lives, to be connected to the place they live in and the people they live among, and to feel a part of something larger than themselves.” For more information, visit

Bandcamp Opens Flagship Location in Uptown Oakland

Bandcamp, the online music company, has opened its first brick and mortar location in Uptown Oakland. The creative lab doubles as a vinyl shop (complete with listening stations) and a performance venue. The space will feature a curated selection of LP’s that will showcase the diversity and design of the five million plus albums available on the artist-friendly platform. Bandcamp’s spokesperson said they chose Oakland as their flagship location because the company “wanted to be connected to a local music company on a neighborhood level.” For more information, visit

The-Beat-Generation-Exhibition Opens in Jack London Square

The-Beat-Generation-Exhibition will feature the Oakland artist, Arthur Monroe, portfolio for Smithsonian Archives of American Art. Marking the culmination of Black History Month, the Live-Work Artist Studio features the life-work portfolio of Arthur Monroe and will share a space with sculptures, photography, drawings, and paintings. The works in The-Beat-Generation-Exhibition will depict the life journey of Arthur Monroe as a lifetime achievement celebration in preparation for his induction to the Smithsonian Archives of American Art. The guest artists supporting the opening include Evangeline EJ Montgomery, Mary “Lovelace” O’Neal, Raymond Holbert, Lewis Watts, Edward Brooks, and Amarah Hicks, whom have been recognized as prominent African American Artist and Collectors. The-Beat-Generation-Exhibition will host multiple artists throughout the engagement and is curated by Arthur Monroe’s son, Alistair Monroe. Located at 54 Washington Street in Jack London Square, the exhibit will be open Wednesdays through Sundays from 11am to 6pm and is free to the public. For more information, visit

“Queer California: Untold Stories” Exhibit Opening at Oakland Museum of California

This Spring the Oakland Museum of California will present a major exhibition exploring California’s LGBTQ+ history and culture. “Queer California: Untold Stories” will deepen and expand our understanding of this history through a multifaceted exhibition. Experience powerful examples of social activism through contemporary artwork and historical materials and view rarely-seen artifacts, archival documents, photographs, costumes and ephemera such as zines, stickers and flyers. The exhibition aligns important milestones in LGBTQ+ culture with lesser-known stories, focusing on a diversity of queer identities, civil rights and resistance to oppression. For more information, visit

The Crucible Celebrates 20 Years With a Fire & Light Soiree

The Crucible, an Oakland based industrial arts school, has been a staple in the Bay Area for 20 years and on April 6 they’ll celebrate this milestone with a Fire & Light Soiree. The party will feature an exceptional live art auction, signature cocktails, a delicious catered dinner, a Crucible-led performance pour and the unveiling of a forged iron piece-a collaboration between artists and the community. The Crucible promotes creative expression, reuse of materials, innovative design, while serving as an accessible arts venue for the general public in the Bay Area. Known for one-of-a-kind industrial arts education programs this celebration is an opportunity to witness the Crucible and all of its amazing contributions to the art world. For more information, visit

Chef Tanya Holland Opens Second Restaurant Location in Uptown Oakland

Renowned chef Tanya Holland has opened her new Uptown location of Brown Sugar Kitchen. They’ll be serving breakfast and lunch six days a week and will be adding dinner. The soul cuisine will continue and you can count on her famous chicken and waffles to be a staple at the new location. For more information, visit

Ale Industries Launches Oakland Zoo Brew “Bay Cats”

Oakland’s oldest brewery has partnered with the Oakland Zoo to create a new beer called “Bay Cat”. Proceeds will go toward conservative efforts geared toward saving Bay Area Mountain Lions caught in human-wildlife conflict. For more information, visit

Redfield Cider Bar and Bottle Shop Debuts in Rockridge

Oakland’s first bar dedicated to cider has opened in Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood. The bar and bottle shop will stock 150 ciders sourced from all over the world and will be available to go, while 16 will be on tap. The bar will also serve beer, wine and bar bites. For more information, visit

North Light Café Bar and Bookstore Opens in Temescal

This all day café and bar serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the early morning North Light operates as a café filled with the sounds of smooth jazz. The energy in the evening shifts to flickering candles with rock ’n’ roll. Stop by anytime to browse their drawers of vinyl, magazine wall or 300 literary titles. For more information, visit

Lake Merritt Bakery Reopening

Oakland’s historic bakery, that originally opened in 1954, has found a new home on Lakeshore Drive. It’s original location closed in 2016, but this spring Lake Merritt Bakery will be opening a new location that’ll revive some old favorites like their chicken and waffles. For more information, visit

Crooked City Cider Officially Opens in Jack London District

Crooked City Cider has been on tap at Oakland bars and restaurants since 2014. Their gluten-free ciders are now available on Broadway along with 25 others on tap and 10 beers to round out the menu. The bar features a dog-friendly patio, dart boards and pinball machines. For more information, visit

Gussie’s Southern Table and Bar Making Comeback in Uptown

The duo who brought Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles to Oakland in the 90’s is returning to Oakland. Gussie’s beloved chicken and waffle restaurant will be opening this May in Uptown. Gussie’s will act as a restaurant and lounge with room downstairs for live music.

Emporium Arcade Bar Livens Uptown

Popular arcade bar, Emporium, has opened a second Bay Area location in Uptown Oakland. The addition adds a new kind of entertainment to Uptown’s already booming nightlife. It’ll feature 30 games and an extensive menu of alcoholic beverages.For more information, visit

Jack London Brewing District Releases New Brewery Map

The four breweries in Jack London District have created a redeemable map program that’s now available for redemption. Federation Brewing, Oakland United, Original Pattern and Independent Brewing Company have teamed up with the Jack London Improvement District for the project. Patrons will need to get their map stamped at every location and redeem it for a free pint. Maps are available at the breweries and in the Visit Oakland Visitor Center.

Oakland United Beerworks Opens Taproom

This taproom is planning to open at the end of March, in Jack London District, and features four core beers brewed in-house, year-round, with seasonal options also available. For more information, visit


New Spa, Vetiver, Opens in Laurel District

Vetiver Spa describes itself as, “a safe place to receive healing and therapeutic bodywork, a place to receive creative, results-driven treatments, performed by experienced therapists who enjoy their craft”. The founders plan to bring art and wellness together by featuring an art gallery and retail space in the front that’ll feature local artists with the spa retreat space being in the back. For more information, visit

Moxy Hotel by Marriott Breaking Ground in Uptown 

Moxy Hotel, a new hotel branch from Marriott International, is expected to break ground in May 2019, the 173-room hotel is set to open in 2021 and will be marketed to millennial travelers. The hotel will be located at West Grand and Telegraph Avenue near Lake Merritt and Fox Theatre.

Oakland International Airport Welcomes New Service to Alberta, Canada

Canadian carrier, Swoop, has launched a new service from Oakland International Airport to Edmonton, Alberta. The low cost carrier, using a single class configuration, will carry 189 passengers to and from Alberta’s capital. Flights will carry passengers three times weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sunday starting May 26, 2019. For more information, visit

West Elm Hotel Breaks Ground in Uptown

A four star hotel will break ground in Oakland this Spring. The West Elm Hotel is the first on the West Coast from the brand who recently decided to diversify their business and this adds to their five other branded hotels popping up around the country. The 168-room hotel will include 72 residential units and about 18,000 square feet of retail space on Broadway. The hotel is expected to open by the first quarter of 2021.

Waterfront Hotel Completes Extensive Renovations

Jack London Square’s Waterfront Hotel will be completing an extensive remodel this March. The renovation is focusing on upgrading the lobby, public spaces and will also enhance meeting spaces, 145 guest rooms and suites. The property will feature custom printed wallcovering and abstract art. The lobby enhancements also feature a cozy living room inspired collective space with a fire place and multiple areas for socializing and relaxing.

Spring Hill Suites Opening in the Airport District

A new hotel is opening in Oakland’s Airport District this April. The 140-room all-suite hotel will also feature a complimentary breakfast buffet, Wi-Fi throughout, stylish West Elm décor, wet-bars, mini-fridge and microwaves. There is also a fitness center and pool on site.  For more information, visit

Black Vines – A Toast to Black Wineries: February

Black Vines is California’s preeminent curator of Black wine experiences and special events. The organization was founded by Bay Area native, Fern A Stroud, and recently held an event in Oakland celebrating Black History Month. Partnering with the Black Joy Parade the event brought out black wineries, vintners, artists and musicians in celebration. For more information, visit

SoBlack, Black History Month Event: February

The third annual SoBlack celebration returned this year and paid homage to the Black Panther Party with an all black dress code. The event featured a fashion show that showcased black designers, business vending, and performances from local talent. For more information, visit

Black Joy Parade: February

Black Joy Parade is a hyper-positive, family-friendly turn up that celebrates the Black experience in our community’s contribution to cultures past, present and future. People of all ethnicities are invited to be present, creative, open and free. This year marks the second annual celebration. For more information, visit

Ayesha Curry Opens Homemade Pop Up Shop: February

Ayesha Curry has opened a temporary brick and mortar store in Jack London Square. The shop, named Homemade, will carry home decor items from Curry’s retail line. Homemade opened in early February and will run through March 31. For more information, visit

Taste of Temescal: March 19

Temescal’s annual culinary crawl will be back for the tenth time. This event is a great opportunity for friends and families to spend time together exploring local eateries along Telegraph Avenue, one of Oakland’s hottest neighborhoods. For more information, visit

Oakland Marathon: March 24

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Oakland Running Festival. This nationally recognized marathon will trek across the Bay Bridge and experience all of the beauty that Oakland has to offer. Registration is open until March 22. For more information, visit

The Crucible Spring Open House: March 30

This hands-on open house will feature classes like indigo dyeing, leather working, stone working and ceramics that are all free and open to the public. The event will also feature two live fire demonstrations, curated art gallery from Crucible artists and delicious food and drinks. The event is free to the public and open to all ages. For more information, visit

Oakland First Fridays: April 5

Oakland’s cultural street fair, First Friday, will extend the Black History Month celebration into April. The theme is Black Expression and focuses on the contributions Black Culture has made to Oakland. For more information, visit

Women Sound Off Festival: April 5-7

Women Sound Off Festival is a three-day event filled with interactive discussions and events about brand-building, climbing the ranks, wellness, representation, chasing dreams and everything else the modern business woman can think of. Paired with music, performances, cocktails and special experiences, this is an event you’ll want to be a part of. For more information, visit

Oakland Greek Festival: May

The 47th Annual Oakland Greek Festival will take place on the grounds of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Ascension in the Oakland Hills. It’s a family-friendly event where you’ll get to experience authentic Greek food, costumes and entertainment. For more information, visit

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