Some exclusive news for you: MOCKINGBIRD is reopening at the end of March in their new (and expanded) location in downtown Oakland (they originally opened on San Pablo Avenue in 2013, and closed in 2016). Melissa Axelrod and William Johnson are confirmed for an opening by late March. The bistro format will continue, serving sophisticated yet approachable seasonal cuisine (think Nopa and Zuni Café). Menu items include duck liver mousse with local strawberry rhubarb jam and grilled Firebrand bread; fried Brussels sprouts with lemon-garlic confit aioli, blue cheese, and saba; and slow-cooked pork sugo with manchego cheese and crispy rosemary polenta.
There’s a full liquor license, so they will focus on classic craft cocktails and local beers and wines (with an emphasis in Oakland producers). While dinner will feature table service, lunch will also offer quick counter service for those who are on the go. The 4,200-square-foot space features a 20-seat bar, booths, round tables, and a mezzanine that can accommodate large parties. Note the original exposed red brick walls and refinished antique Douglas fir floors.
They are starting with lunch first, Mon-Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, then happy hour and dinner service will be added. It will be an ideal spot for a quick drink or bite at the bar before a show at the Fox Theater. Breakfast and brunch will be coming later. 416 13th St. at Broadway, Oakland, 510-290-0331.
West Oakland has a new café and restaurant, DRIP LINE, which opened in a renovated and light-filled warehouse which was previously a cookie factory. The project is from architects Carrie Shores and Josh Larson (their firm, Larson/Shores Architecture and Interiors, sits above the restaurant) and chef Nora Dunning, who is highlighting her Singaporean roots with dishes like housemade sambal shrimp and coconut grits, congee with bird’s-eye chile kosho, and rendang (Indonesian-spiced slow-braised beef)—look for hyperlocal ingredient sourcing. She also has some serious baking skills, making housemade breads and pastries, and she was most recently head kitchen manager and culinary operations manager for Blue Bottle Coffee. Breakfast, coffee service from Four Barrel Coffee, and lunch are served Mon-Fri 7am-5pm. 1940 Union Street #21 at 21st St., Oakland, 510-612-6952.
Also in West Oakland, the former Dock has finished its transformation into OLD KAN BEER & CO., a brewery and beer garden from Linden Street Brewery founder Adam Lamoreaux and chef James Syhabout. There’s a 35-seat dining room, a 60-seat patio, and a private dining room that fits 48. The first three beers are Old Kan Original, Old Kan Dark, and Old Kan Light, which are currently being produced in San Jose until they get their license. There will also be guest beers on tap, serving 10 beers in all. The pub-style menu includes a burger, meatball sandwich, and salads, plus buttered noodles and more. And if you like fun facts, the name is an anagram of Oakland. Open Wed-Fri 4pm-9pm, Sat 12pm-9pm, Sun 12pm-6pm. 95 Linden St. at 3rd St., Oakland.
Short ribs at Mockingbird. Photo courtesy of Mockingbird.