December 3, 2013

December 3, 2013
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A look at the raw space and future home of Drexel. Photo courtesy of Deech Chapin-Rienzo.

A new bar is opening in early 2014 in Uptown a couple of blocks from The Fox and near the Flora/Duende corner: ~DREXL~, which is all about becoming a neighborhood hangout. I spoke with partner Demetrius “Deech” Chapin-Rienzo (a partner in Vintage 415), and he is opening the bar with a friend from their days at Berkeley High School, Adi Taylor, who has lived in Oakland for a long time.

The 1,500-square-foot space (it previously housed a deli, Belly Roll Ben’s, which closed a couple of years ago) is currently under construction. Sam Strand, who did some spatial and interior design for nearby Duende, is designing Drexl. The high-ceilinged space is split in the middle by some pillars, so to the left will be the darker/edgier bar side, and to the right will be a more easygoing and lit area with booths, cocktail tables, and banquette seating. There will actually be two doors into the bar, so take your pick. In the back is a mezzanine, which will have Skee-Ball; shuffleboard is also being discussed. There is also talk of having some special DJ nights, but more on the loungy tip. Cocktails will be straightforward but good, and there are also plans for some food, too, which is TBD at the moment. They are aiming for a February opening; I’ll keep you updated. 382 19th St. at Franklin, Oakland.

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All the bubbles! The scene at Arlequin’s Champagne tasting 2012. Photo from Facebook.

On Wednesday December 4th, catch a bubbly tasting at ~WILLIAM CROSS WINE MERCHANTS~, featuring pours from Billecart-Salmon and some other winners, like Ettore Germano. The tasting is from 6pm-9pm, and flights include five pours. Cost is $20 per flight.

Then, on Thursday December 5th, head to ~ARLEQUIN WINE MERCHANT~ for its annual holiday Champagne tasting. This fabulous event offer pours from more than 30 Champagne producers, and is always a great way to discover some new bottles to enjoy over the holiday season. We’ve been fans for years; check out our coverage from last year. Entry is $75 per person at the door. 6pm.