Uptown Oakland isn't exactly a neighborhood that's hurting for bars, but that hasn't deterred the duo of Demetrius "Deech" Chapin-Rienzo and Adi Taylor, who met in high school in Berkeley and now plan to open Drexel in the former Belly Roll Ben's deli a couple of blocks from the Fox Theater. As Tablehopper reports, Drexel is aiming to have a dual personality, making one half of its pillared room a well-lit, easygoing spot with tables and banquettes, and the other half a darker and edgier bar area. A back mezzanine will offer Skee-Ball and potentially shuffleboard.
The plan is for the cocktails to be straightforward but well-executed, and there will also be some sort of food component, though that's still in the works. The 1,500-square-foot space will be designed by Sam Strand, who was also involved in the design of nearby Duende. Special DJ nights, with an emphasis on lounge music, may also be in the mix. The current plan is for Drexel to open in February.
· New Bar Coming to Uptown Oakland: Drexel [Tablehopper]