A bittersweet morning in Oakland

19 Mar

I woke up this morning feeling good. Maybe a bit fuzzy from all of that bourbon tasting, but I was still reveling in Pican’s grand opening party that I attended last night (thanks dto510 for inviting me!). Pican is  gorgeous, large, and comforting, yet elegant. I think it will soon become a destination restaurant.

But then I checked my email and read that the Parkway will be closing its doors this Sunday night. My heart sunk. I started feeling guilty, since I haven’t been there in several months. And then I started feeling hurt, since I don’t think I’ll make it there again before they close.

The Parkway is such an important part of Oakland, in fact, so important that I’ve included it on my list of essential Oakland experiences. There’s nothing else like it. I guess the small silver lining is that the Parkway’s sister theater, the Cerrito (in El Cerrito), will remain open, but that theater never held the same charm for me.

But the larger silver lining here is that even as some of our treasured Oakland businesses shut down in the face of this deepening recession, new places are opening up that are likely to become important parts of the Oakland community. We now have the chance to create new memories at two new bars in Uptown – Ave and Somar. And next week we’ll be able to enjoy the comforts of Southern food with a California twist at Pican while sipping on one of the 80 bourbons the restaurant features.

So goes the bizzaro results of this recession in Oakland. Somehow many new businesses thrive as old ones crumble. And I’m afraid there will be much more of this to come…

(Check out City Homestead for a sweet write up on the Parkway, complete with some pictures and the full email the owners sent out this morning.)

10 Responses to “A bittersweet morning in Oakland”

  1. SA March 19, 2009 at 10:43 am #

    It’s just sad that the Parkway, which was such an *affordable* place to go for dinner and a movie, is the one going away in these tough times. It seems like a lot of the new places opening are more high-end.

    • Becks March 19, 2009 at 10:53 am #

      That’s a very good point that I hadn’t thought about much. Similarly, my favorite breakfast spot, Horseshoe, that was very affordable, closed down and then Barlata, a higher end restaurant opened a block away.

  2. Mike Caton March 19, 2009 at 1:24 pm #

    Where can I get a good mint julep in Oakland?

    • Becks March 19, 2009 at 1:38 pm #

      At Pican, when it opens next Monday. The mint julep I had last night there was delicious.

  3. Jim Trenkle March 19, 2009 at 1:58 pm #

    alas, and so goes Drift (clothing store in Old Oakland)…it’s closing, too. It shutters it’s doors tomorrow, so plenty of time to still grab some closing sales steals

  4. Andy March 19, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    I too will really miss the Parkway. What a shame. Easily my favorite place for a movie.

  5. Lye March 19, 2009 at 3:34 pm #

    Man, what a bummer…I love movies, and this cinema keeps me going! the Cerrito Speakeasy just doesn’t have the same vibe (too new….and Cerrito-ey?). I wonder why they waited till the last minute to announce they were closing?? I would have gone to a $20 ticket fundraiser if that would have kept ’em going on through summer!!!
    I think I am going to be watching a movie here every night for the next 2 days…

    • Andy March 20, 2009 at 11:07 am #

      I agree Lye – more notice might have helped a little. I’m still waiting for the rest of the story.

    • Becks March 20, 2009 at 11:09 am #

      Yeah, they could have certainly held a fundraiser and kept the Parkway going if they really wanted to, but who knows what the owners were going through. Hopefully new management will take over and reopen the Parkway.

  6. Angela March 25, 2009 at 8:02 am #

    Here is a Parkway update: http://www.ibabuzz.com/outtakes/2009/03/25/parkway-update

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