Did someone neglect to mention to small business entrepreneurs that we’re in a recession? Because in Oakland you’d never guess it by the sheer amount of restaurants and bars opening. What’s most incredible though is that all of these new establishments seem to not only be surviving, but thriving.
Burma Superstar, a sister of the restaurants in San Francisco and Alameda, is getting very close to opening its doors at 4721 Telegraph, where Horseshoe used to be. Another restaurant in Temescal? I think the neighborhood will handle it well as most of the other restaurants have long waits, or in the case of Barlata, will likely soon have long waits. I’ve never been to the other Burma Superstar locations, but I’ve heard good things, and the menu looks delicious.
I’ve heard that the restaurant is opening tonight, but it doesn’t look entirely ready to me. The tables and chairs are set up, and I even saw a vase of flowers in the window. But they still have the HUGE Horseshoe sign up! I understand if they can’t yet afford the cost of a new sign, but no sign is better than a completely incorrect sign. So we’ll have to wait and see if they take it down before opening – if not, I hope it comes down soon after.
You’d probably already heard about Burma Superstar, but last week I stumbled upon a new champagne bar that there hasn’t been as much buzz about. It’s called Mimosa Champagne Lounge and it’s located in the building of the Packard Lofts, at 2355 Broadway. The space is absolutely stunning – I really wish I had snapped some photos. It’s very spacious with long, raised wooden tables and dim lighting.
I was peering inside when the owner walked outside, so I got to ask him about it. He said it should be open by the end of April and that they’d be serving small plates and desserts along side champagne. The restaurant looked completely ready to open from the outside so I’m wondering if they’re just waiting on their liquor license or some other permit.
I’m particularly excited about this spot opening because I think it will be a big help in further connecting downtown Oakland to the new hot spots on Auto Row. Because after Ozumo and Pican, you have to walk several blocks before reaching Shashamane, Mua, and Z Bar. With Mimosa in between, it will be a more pleasant walk and I hope will help create more of the lively, urban feel that now exists in Uptown on Telegraph.
As new restaurants and bars in Oakland continue to defy the recession, I’m wondering how much longer it can last and whether we’ll soon reach saturation. But I’m starting to think that as Oakland becomes a Bay Area destination, instead of just the city across the Bay from San Francisco, this recent growth may only be the beginning. And I couldn’t be much happier about that.