3354 Grand Ave., Oakland
Phone: (510) 629-3944
The Grand Lake neighborhood has a new wine bar, Ordinaire, which comes from grad student-turned-proprietor Bradford Taylor. Taylor, who's still finishing up his dissertation for his Ph.D. in English at UC Berkeley, says opening the shop wasn't easy: "I had no idea what I was getting into. An extensive (and expensive) zoning process that included two major conditional use permits and a variance, months of back-and-forth with the health department, a trademark lawsuit (see below), F.B.I. background checks, a state bureaucrat who goes on a two-week holiday the day before he is supposed to issue my liquor license," he writes of the experience on the departmental website. As if that wasn't enough, he was handed a cease-and-desist for his original name, The Red Whale, from a coffee company of the same name. The new moniker comes from vin ordinaire, the wine drunk by winemakers that's never bottled.
Ordinaire offers primarily small-production California wines, many of them made with natural techniques, and sports eight drafts (most of them reasonably priced, at $6-9) for sampling. Taylor offers cheese and charcuterie, including Point Reyes burrata with fresh tomatoes, Cowgirl Mt. Tam, and speck with pickled shiitakes, and any bottle from the adjoining bottle shop can be enjoyed in-house for an extra $10. In addition to the bar, seating is offered in the mezzanine and at a communal table. Hours are Wednesday-Friday, 12-8 pm; Saturday, 12-9 pm; and Sunday, 12-5 pm.
· Ordinaire Opens in Oakland [Berkeleyside Nosh]
· Ordinaire Wine Shop/Wine Bar Opens [East Bay Dish]
· Ordinaire [Facebook]