Last week, a good friend let me know something was up at ~OLIVETO~ in Rockridge, and a couple days later, Nosh broke the news that co-owners Bob Klein and Maggie Blyth Klein have decided to retire after 35 years (although Bob will continue his Community Grains project). Oliveto has been such a seminal part of our local Cal-Italian culinary scene, with so many notable chefs who have come up and out of that kitchen. The Kleins are reportedly planning to go full-tilt until the end of the year, with truffle dinners, a “destination Oceanic Dinner,” and more—they have a huge community of neighborhood regulars, so it’s going to be quite the ongoing send-off. Best wishes to the Kleins for everything they did to make it through the pandemic. Stand by for more announcements and be sure to book a reservation for a farewell meal.
Any of you who follow @tablehopper on Instagram have heard me crowing about the over-the-top delicious fried chicken sandwiches from Will Allen of Oakland-based pop-up Fowl + Fare. When I interviewed him about his sandwiches and business a month ago, I was dismayed to hear about the many constraints and limitations he was dealing with. He mentioned he was on the hunt for a location that he could turn into more of a home base, and after introducing him to Alexeis “Lexi” Wolff Filipello of THE LODGE on Piedmont, they found a fit and he’s going to start cooking out of their kitchen December 1st!
Will is going to be open during the day for takeout (he’s thinking 11am-3pm), and then serving food for bar patrons five or six nights a week, something like 5pm to midnight or so. This will be all fine-tuned in coming weeks, but he’s thinking of launching with his classic citric hot chicken and lemon pepper fried chicken sandwiches, Fowl fries, and will be coming up with some bar bites to start. Delivery will also be added, and, of course, he’ll be offering new specials in no time because he can’t stop, won’t stop (he has 57 international fried chicken combinations, and counting). The Lodge is open Sun-Wed 5pm-12am and Thu-Sat 4pm-2am. 3758 Piedmont Ave. at West MacArthur, Oakland.
He’ll be popping up at Deli Board (1058 Folsom St.) this Thursday November 11th from 6pm-9pm or until sold out, which will happen, so preorder your sandwich here! And then he’s back in Oakland serving his birria tacos (yup, he makes those too) and his sandwiches and more for lunch Sat-Sun 11am-2pm. (His last day of service in Jack London Square will be Sunday November 28th, FYI.)
Will has also been popping up at AltoVino in Russian Hill in SF (here’s the birria fried chicken sandwich he made on a recent appearance) and will be there Tuesday November 16th. Follow his Instagram for menu updates and more, he’s good about posting his whereabouts until he lands permanently at The Lodge.
Meanwhile, Filipello has been busy transforming her other beautiful downtown Oakland bar, DOGWOOD into a new concept and vibe to reflect the changing times. Honk your clown nose, it’s time to meet STINKY’S BAR. Filipello has collected all kinds of clown memorabilia, robots, vintage toys, musical bears, and other quirky and circus-themed items for years, and is excited to trot them out to help create an energetic, engaging, and unique atmosphere at the bar, which we could all use a dose of right now. She wants to foster a “fun queerdo vibe, with no mean people, and no mimes.” Ha!
There will be theme nights with music, variety shows on Sundays, and there’s going to be a 25-seat theater in the back room in early 2022! She and her husband want the Dogwood Theater to be a community space where local filmmakers can screen their work and have viewing parties without having to over-pay a cinema to do so. They will also screen B movies, documentaries, BIPOC- and queer-made films, and more. Guests will be able to enjoy free popcorn while sitting in some amazing vintage green velvet theater chairs with a cocktail, it sounds like a blast.
Stinky’s bar menu will be keeping some Dogwood cocktail classics on there, with seasonal slushies made with fresh fruit and good booze, and tasty grilled cheese and other sandwiches. Stinky’s should be opening around Thanksgiving, follow their Instagram for updates and hours. 1644 Telegraph Ave. at 17th St., Oakland.
Oliveto’s sign. Photo via Oliveto.