The beautiful specimen you see pictured above is Tribune Tavern, the newest project from very busy Oakland restaurateur Chris Pastena (Chop Bar), who just opened Lungomare in Jack London Square a couple of months back. He's teamed up with Temoor Noor (Grand Tavern) and Tom Henderson, who owns the Tribune building, for this most recent effort, housed in the former "local room" of the Oakland Tribune. The space was designed by Jim Maxwell of Architects II, who restored the original columns, marble, and moldings and added turn-of-the-century design elements like stained glass and a communal table constructed from old wheelbarrels, all crafted by Oakland artists.
At the helm of the 150-seat project is Huw Thornton, who's logged time at A16 and SPQR. His menu is heavy on British pub-style fare, including shepherd's pie, stout-braised short ribs, Welsh rarebit, and steaks with colcannon potatoes and creamed kale. There's also housemade charcuterie; some lighter, more seasonal dishes, like rock cod with butter beans and a kale salad with roasted cauliflower; and the now-standard fried chicken and burger. Prices are reasonable, with nothing topping $19 save for the steaks and the $75 sausage platter: with six spicy pork sausages, mashed potatoes, English peas, trotter gravy, and a pitcher of your preferred beer, it'll easily serve 5-6 folks. Check out the full menu here.
On the drinks side, Paul Christensen (Haven, Plum Bar) will offer an ambitious menu of classic cocktails updated with modern methods, including a special kitchen just for the bar program. Barrel-aging, housemade sodas on tap, infusions, and carbonated cocktails are all promised. The beer list features eight California craft beers from the likes of Ballast Point, Calicraft, and Marin Brewing Co., as well as two special cask beers delivered directly from nearby Linden Street. There's also a strong selection of Belgian and Belgian-style beers by the bottle. On the wine side, they'll have 10 draft wines, all made in Oakland or with Oakland ties, and 60 bottles focusing on small-production California wines. Here's the full drinks menu.
Opening hours are 5-10:30 pm Sunday-Thursday, and 5-11 pm Friday and Saturday. They'll also open up for happy hour from 3-6 pm daily.
· Tribune Tavern Opening April 10 [~ ESF ~]
· Tribune Tavern Moves Into Oakland Landmark [~ ESF ~]
· Tribune Tavern [Official website]