Tribune Tower. [Photo: Flickr/wallyg]
Construction is about to begin on Tribune Tavern, a new 150-seat restaurant and watering hole on the ground floor of Oakland's landmark Tribune Tower (409 13th St.). The project comes from restaurateurs including Chris Pastena, co-owner of Chop Bar. Pastena says that Tribune Tavern will channel "the essence of Chop Bar" with an emphasis on local ingredients and purveyors and making as much in-house as possible, including cheese, bread, charcuterie, and juices/shrubs/mixers for a full cocktail program. There will also be 12 local wines (many from Oakland) and 12 local beers on tap, including exclusives made by Oakland's Linden Street Brewery, and a full wine list featuring 100 California wines.
The first building of the Tribune Tower was built in 1906, and the tower itself was erected in 1923. Pastena says that the restaurant's interior will pay tribute to this time period and fuse it with the Oakland of today. He's working with local artists such as Romanowski , who is completing the design shift of Katz Bagels as it has morphed into Nectar, to build art installations as well as functional pieces (tables, host stand, etc.) made with antique marble, iron, and other materials in the building.
Pastena and company are currently in the process of interviewing chefs and they have selected a bar manager, though that person's identity remains a secret for now since they'll be leaving another establishment. While the chef will be given freedom to design the menu, it will be guided by a local ethos and in the realm of "comfort food, at an affordable price," says Pastena.
Oaklandish is working on the restaurant's brand identity, the first major design project for the clothing company outside of its own products. The target opening date for Tribune Tavern is mid-March of next year.
• Chop Bar Owner Expanding in Oakland [Diablo]
• All Chris Pastena Coverage [~ ESF ~]