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Inside Vitus, Oakland's New "Gastroclub," Open Now

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Photos: Molly DeCoudreaux

Over the weekend, Damon & the Heathens punk frontman, Damon Gallagher, opened Vitus, a "gourmet gastropub" in Jack London Square. His partner in crime just so happens to be Jesse Branstetter, the former Chop Bar chef last seen unceremoniously leaving 1015 Clay. The duo owners met at Disco Volante, which Gallagher co-owns, and they've decided to unleash a formula of live music, pinball machines, food and debauchery for consumption-minded locals. The name's inspiration, Saint Vitus, patron saint of insomniacs and entertainers, says a lot. Gallagher is hard at work getting bands like Rebirth Brass Band and High on Fire on the calendar for 2012.

Just before opening, the owners made the executive decisions to offer $9 sandwiches all day until midnight, in lieu of your usual lunch, dinner service set-up. A "Crunchy Club" with buttermilk fried chicken and bacon, and a vegan French fry poor boy, with tomato jam appear to be the early attention-getters of the menu. Local brews from the likes of Drake's and Bear Republic round out a fully loaded bar.

The space, formerly the jazz bar Duke's, is already set for performances with a stage, high-ceilings, and a green room appropriately gussied up with nude oil paintings and leather couches. Branstetter will also be curating new art work every first Friday for Art Murmur. For a listing of upcoming acts and the full menu, make your way to the website. Apparently Vitus is the official host of the Eat Real after party, so you may just end up there this weekend.

· All Eater Inside Coverage [~ ESF ~]


201 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607 (510) 452-1620