Last year, Diablo Dish noted that BAR DOGWOOD in Oakland was going to be expanding into the space next door (which is along 17th Street and also around the corner, on Broadway), and now we have some details to share. Owner Alexeis Filipello is going to be calling it DARLING’S, an homage to the space’s former existence as Darling’s Pharmacy in the 1920s (Filipello found this out after some research at the Hall of Records—most recently it was a jewelry store). The look will definitely be riffing on the pharmacy theme—Filipello plans to reuse some of the old pharmacy cabinets she found in the basement, as well as integrating tile, marble, and lots of wood. She is also having special brass lights made, and the bar is going to be custom made (look for some ornate metalwork and hand-cut glass).
Darling’s will primarily be used as a space for private events and overflow (there’s room for about 60), and will be open as a bar Thu-Sat. There will be housemade phosphates, lactarts, and other old-school soda jerk-inspired adult drinks. It will also have its own seasonal cocktail list. The spirits options are going to be a bit more limited than your usual bar lineup, although there will be a large selection of small-batch whiskeys, tequilas, and mezcals.
In order to create a walkway in between the bars, Dogwood’s meat counter is going to be ripped up and relocated to Darling’s. The menu will include even more house-cured meats, sandwiches, and more cold items, like salads and a new offering of crudos.
Filipello mentioned that once Darling’s is open, she plans to make both bars a technology-free zone and ban phone use. She says, “I’m tired of people not interacting. I want to have an atmosphere conducive to socializing. Sure, if you need to send a quick text, okay, but no more of people just staring at their phones.” To that, I say amen. Look for an opening in November or thereabouts. The entrance is at 1635 Broadway at 17th St., Oakland.