3000 Broadway

22 Feb

One of the reasons my wife and I moved to our neighborhood was because of the promise of Broadway auto row. There were tons of vacant storefronts and whether the Broadway-Valdez planning process moved forward or not, we were confident that more and more of these vacant spaces would fill up with bars, restaurants and retail.

We knew we were in it for the long haul and this process could take years so when I saw this sign on a storefront just two blocks from our house back in October (in the midst of super stressful campaign season) I literally jumped up and down:

There are many places to get drinks near my house, all a relatively brief walk away. But the only restaurant or bar of any kind within 5 blocks of my house is the Drunken Fish sushi restaurant. It’s an excellent restaurant and we eat there a lot, but we’ve been hoping for a new spot to open that we could walk to within a couple minutes. This bar or whatever it was going to be, no matter how great or mediocre, would fulfill this desire.

Every time I passed 30th and Broadway, I checked to see if any progress had been made, but in November and December it still looked the same:

In January real progress was being made. The paper and graffiti came off the windows, construction was going on inside, and lights were put up. I started asking friends who work for the City if they knew anything about the time line but nobody knew when they would open. I looked online to see if there was a website or Yelp page, but found nothing.

In early February (or maybe late January?), they put their sign up, and I felt both excited and annoyed. Excited because it was clear they’d be open soon, annoyed because of the total lack of creativity of their name:

Are restaurant and bar owners so uncreative that they can’t come up with names for their businesses? 2022, Bar 355, and now 3000 Broadway. Ugh, I hope this trend ends soon.

But even though the name annoyed me, I still checked in almost daily on their progress, soon seeing bottles behind the bar and workers milling about inside. I checked again with friends at the City – still, no word on the opening date.

Yesterday, on my way back from Rockridge I hopped off the bus and saw someone walk in to 3000 Broadway. I then noticed an open sign. This time I didn’t jump up and down, but I was very excited. I needed to get home so I didn’t go inside but I’ll be sure to check it out this week. Finally, another super local place to grab a drink and a bite to eat. Plus, evidence that Broadway will continue to develop on its own, whether the specific plan moves ahead or not.

23 Responses to “3000 Broadway”

  1. artemis February 22, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    Ha, I’m glad that someone else is as bugged by that name as I am! We’ve obviously been watching this one closely too; they seemed to have a soft opening of some sort in mid-January, but it’s been really quiet ever since then. Very curious to see what they have in mind. I’m also hoping that little stretch of Broadway will get more attention from potential businesses as the new Kaiser campus gets closer to opening—it’s so close, and there are so many vacant storefronts with potential! We’ll see…

    • Becks February 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

      I’m very hopeful. It will be a while, but it’s coming…

  2. susannah February 22, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    Don’t forget Room 389 on Grand Ave (where the Golden Bear used to be). The problem with these names, besides the blatant lack of creativity, is that they’re really hard to remember! So, when I want to tell someone about the great new bar on 19th and Webster and someone asks me the name, all I can say is, “I don’t remember — it’s a number”. Numbers mean nothing. Words mean a lot.

    • Becks February 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

      Yes, that is the major problem! It took me weeks to remember 355’s name so it was hard to have people meet me there.

      • Andy K February 25, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

        And the worst – SR24.

        • Becks February 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

          OMG, yes! That’s definitely the worst, but I still eat there frequently.

    • Hometown grrl February 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

      I disagree – not that it means much. I can easily tell you where to find 2022 or 3000 Broadway, but Mua on Webster if you get to 27th Street you have gone too far. A big argument against the name is growth, relocation, expansion. If you open a 2nd Location 3000 Broadway doesn’t work on MacArthur. There is also 21 Grand, which we know is not on Grand.

  3. Nick February 22, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    I forgot you live so close to me! I’m just around the corner from 3000 Broadway….but only for a few more weeks. The lure of greatly reduced rent is pulling my wife and I to an apartment managing job in Alameda.

    But I’ll still be following this (and my other favorite Oakland) blogs.

    • Becks February 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

      Sad that you’re moving, but I understand why. For now though, enjoy 3000 Broadway.

  4. Billy Mumford February 22, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    I just read that the Parkway Theater is considering re-opening in the old Audi dealership at 2345 Broadway. I’m not sure how they could turn that space into a theater, but it would be great for the neighborhood.

  5. Spencer February 22, 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    What do you expect? The new restaurant owners have never been in this business before, and took almost a year to get open. Limited parking, generic interior. Will be closed before Christmas. What promise were you referring to regarding Broadway Auto Row? The City’s vision is unrealistic and flawed. Specific plan for what? Many of the buildings are former auto dealerships with sizes 15,000sf and up, and limited parking. What retailers are in the market for those? The City lost Target to Emeryville when they should have bought the dealership and used car lots between 30th & Hawthorne and placed them there. At least it would draw from the hills. Now Oakland gets the traffic and Emeryville gets the retail sales taxes…of I forgot, 10% of the new Target is on Oakland land. Big deal. Emeryville still gets the cross shopping.

    • Becks February 22, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

      They did not take a year to open. Even if they had, I know many successful Oakland businesses that took a year (or even longer) to open. It takes a long time to get permits, especially with a full liquor license.

      Enjoy being so pessimistic. I’m going to go check them out, support them, and hope there’s more to come.

    • artemis February 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

      Umm, Oakland and Emeryville actually split those taxes—East Bay Bridge is a joint venture. (And the bigger chunk of sales tax goes to the county anyway, if you want to get particular about it.) I am all for supporting (and not directly competing with) Emeryville businesses, though, since attracting businesses and residents there indirectly benefits West and North Oakland (and Southwest Berkeley too, for that matter).

      And as for businesses looking for large spaces…well, leaving aside for the moment the fairly obvious solution of subdividing some of those spaces up (go check out Z Bar, Mua, or Nex), I think the potential Parkway location and the 25th Street Collective are great examples of ventures that can *only* consider large spaces, and have found them incredibly few and far between in transit-friendly parts of the city. If you’d been to any of the Specific Plan meetings, you’d know that the potential and constraints of the existing spaces has been pretty thoroughly covered.

      • Spencer February 23, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

        Artemis – you’re right about EB Bridge; my point was directed at the Target store itself and their addition to that center + Bay Street, Powell Street Plaza and the Marketplace. Emeryville’s retail component is a huge draw. I have been to all the specific plan meetings and know why the city has taken two steps back with the process. Lets wait and see what they come forward with…a new architect is now involved. It’s not just filling or subdividing larger spaces, it also has to do with redeveloping underutilized properties like the Masri ownerships throughout the Valdez District, the old Biff’s/Chevron “island”, the parking lots and former dealership between 30th & Hawthorne. Many of the property owners have shown total disinterest. Nothing I would like to see more than Upper Broadway/Valdez become vibrant and alive.

  6. chris February 24, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    I am a local business owner in the proximity of this new restaurant/bar and am very happy to see someone put the time, effort, and investment into the neighborhood. A new business is always a risky venture, but the success of these less established neighborhoods is dependent upon them. Rather than picking on elements that you disagree with, why not drop in, have drink, and chat with the operators? Let them know your opinions. New businesses always have an evolution process that can be greatly aided by its patrons. I have been to 3000 Broadway and it is a great new spot to grab a drink and a bite to eat. The space was previously a car dealership that has been converted to a full service food and drink establishment. Of course that took a while to complete. All I can say is that I wish them the best, and love the neighborhood and the potential that it has and is beginning to show. I commend those who take the chances on improving up and coming neighborhoods, whether you agree with their aesthetics and taste, or not, they are doing something positive for the community.

    • Becks February 24, 2011 at 8:00 am #

      Well said. Though I still do not like the name, I plan to stop in soon (hopefully tonight) and am very happy to have them in the neighborhood.

      Bad names aren’t reason enough not to like or support a business. I’m a regular at Bar 355, even though I wish they had a more creative name.

  7. chris February 24, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    That’s great. As far as I could tell, they are having a “soft” opening, and have yet to finalize the menus.

  8. qtn February 24, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    I live in the neighborhood, too, and, just want to whine/wonder: isn’t it annoying that living in this neighborhood has been a big long WAIT for something to happen! Yes, sure, why don’t I go out there and start something! Well, I’ve been. And, it’s tiring :/ Now wondering, what are the benefits again, of moving into such a ‘promising’ area?

    • Becks February 24, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

      Oh, come on, it’s not that bad. Sure, there’s not a lot happening in the very immediate neighborhood, but there’s plenty within walking distance on Piedmont and on Broadway closer to Uptown. I wish there was more within a few blocks, and I’m sure there will be within the next couple of years, but am also very happy with what I can walk to or bus to right now.

    • Andy K February 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

      Don’t you always hear “Oakland has so much potential”?

      It should be our motto.

      After living here 15 years, I feel like it is starting to show some of that potential. And it is GREAT!

  9. Kelly A February 26, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    I live reasonably close and have been watching the goings on at 3000 Broadway for the past couple of months. Tonight I was walking my dog past the place and there is a sign “Grand Opening”. Lots of cars on BWay, too. I live closer to Commonwealth and it was months waiting for that one. Then they couldn’t open with beer and had to wait another several weeks before they could serve alcohol – all because ONE person protested their alcohol license. I’m happy to have another eatery within walking distance.

  10. Hometown grrl February 27, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    I drove by 3000 Broadway today. Are those black curtains temporary of a permanent uninviting window dressing?

  11. JayBee June 16, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    funny…but after agreeing to meet here with a few friends for happy hour..I was telling one of my friends how convenient it is when bars names are the address…You don’t have to remember the address and it makes it easier to remember the name (to me) unlike someone here saying it makes it more difficult.. lol

    to each his/her own I guess 🙂

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