[Photos: Molly Decoudreaux]
Take a first look at downtown Oakland's Make Westing, the result of a life-long friendship between co-owners, Glenn Kaplan and Chris Foott and their shared affection for booze and bocce. After traveling to faraway lands, Brooklyn and Oxford, the pals have returned to "build something rad" in "beautiful and badass" Oakland. Enter non-Olympic sport bocce and an accessible cocktail menu inside an industrial steampunk man cave.
To transform the major square footage of this former jewelry store, Kaplan and Foott brought in a pair of New York City hipsters: Matthew Maddy, owner of Fort Greene's No.7 bar and sandwich offshoot at the Ace Hotel and John Kole, from design firm Hecho. Besides curating the art and finding the right shades of black (raw steel and ebony) for the mahogany walls, they also built the heavy tables made of reclaimed steel found at Berkeley's Urban Ore. Caroline Pagel of Berkeley's Sea Salt helped with the cocktails: items like a reinvented The Last Word rendition with fizz, gin and elderflower called the Penultimate. Rounding things out are "creative snacks" and "awesome sandwiches" developed by a chef friend also from New York, who prefers to stay anonymous. The bar's literary reference is the finishing touch. Make Westing is the title of a Jack London sea tale about friends making their way back to California from Cape Horn. If that's not enough to lure the post-Fox and post-work crowd, perhaps the tequila gathering they've got coming in the next few weeks will do the trick. In any event, early reports, here.
· Previous Make Westing Coverage [~ ESF ~]