Some cool haps in Oakland: according to Scoop, James Syhabout (Commis, Hawker Fare) is going to be taking over Somerset on College Avenue: “He’s still ironing out the details in terms of the exact concept, but says it will be casual, with a full bar—‘something fun.’ ” He’s partnering with Alan Carlson of Italian Colors in Montclair, and the chef is Benjamin Coe (he’s been at Commis for two years as chef de partie and was also opening sous at Morimoto Napa). There will be 70 seats, plus 30 on the outdoor patio; look for an opening in 2013. 5912 College Ave. at Chabot, Oakland.
Meanwhile, according to permits, Somerset owner Gary Rizzo will be opening a project called DESTINO in the former La Taza de Cafe/Taste of Joy BBQ space. Stand by for more. 3909 Grand Ave. at Sunnyslope, Oakland.
Diablo Mag notes Chris Pastena (Chop Bar) has a new project in Oakland’s Tribune Tower, TRIBUNE TAVERN. Eater shares the 150-seat restaurant and bar will feature American food with local ingredients, housemade items (cheese, bread), and local beers (with some exclusive brews by Linden Street Brewery) and California wines. Romanowski (who recently redid the Lower Haight’s Nectar) is contributing to the design. Mid-March 2013 is the current opening plan. 409 13th St. at Franklin, Oakland.
Looks like there’s a new sports bar called HALFTIME SPORTS BAR, with a couple Yelpers excited about the flat-screen TVs, booze, and Kobe beef meatball sub. The spot is owned by James Dailey, and according to his daughter, Jasmine Dailey, they’ve got a pretty classic sports bar menu going on, with a chicken Parmesan sandwich, buffalo wings, and crispy fries. Everything is freshly made in-house (they don’t even have a freezer), and there are a total of 14 TVs, so you can catch pretty much any sporting event you might be interested in. There’s also a room upstairs for fight nights or large groups. Hours are Mon-Thu 11am-12am, Fri 11am-1am, Sat 10am-1am, and Sun 10am-12am. The kitchen generally stays open until 10pm or so, depending on how busy they are. 316 14th St. at Webster, Oakland, 510-836-4400.
Lastly, next Sunday October 7th, NICK’S PIZZA is hosting their second seasonal community meal, offering free pizza, salad, and beverages from 5pm-7pm (for the last one, chef-owner Nick Yapor-Cox made almost 40 pizzas). More details here. 6211 Shattuck Ave. at 62nd St., Oakland, 510-658-3903.
A drink on the patio at the former Somerset. Yelp photo by Joshua E.