[Photos: Patricia Chang]
Longitude, the anxiously awaited Oakland tiki bar project from Suzanne Long, is finally here, opening the doors on its enticing tropical-themed space this evening. Designed with not only Pacific breezes in mind, the interior dazzles with lush greens, animal prints, wall-mounted masks and attentive accents drawn from equatorial regions around the world, from Africa to Papua New Guinea to Brazil and Indonesia.
Long, formerly the bar manager at Alameda's Forbidden Island, is a rum educator and tiki expert, and she's pulled out all the stops at her namesake, which boasts an over-the-top spirits selection with a focus on rums and whiskeys of the world (Tablehopper nabbed the spirits list, and it's a doozy). For those less interested in sampling an Indian whiskey or Mexican rum, there's the cocktail list, which uses classic tiki drinks as a jumping-off point for creations like the Cuba Libre (elevated with St. George California Agricole Rum), Shrunken Skull (grenadine, two rums, cinnamon) and Black Orchid (flambéed rum cordial, Angostura 7 rum and tart citrus, served with an orchid and freshwater pearl).
To keep you on an even keel, Longitude offers a full food menu courtesy of chef Laine Steelman, with around-the-world appetizers like crispy coconut shrimp, vegetable samosas, house-made crab Rangoon, teriyaki beef skewers and fried vegetable spring rolls (if you're hungry, order the pu pu platter, which comes with all of the above). Heartier dishes take on a British bent, with options like bangers and mash, shepherd's pie, and a ploughman's lunch of bread, cheese, pickles and chutney. (Here's the full cocktail and food menu).
The interior of the space, which was designed with the help of Bamboo Ben, goes far in convincing visitors that they've been whisked away on a tropical voyage. Downstairs, an East African thatched hut occupies one corner, and orchids adorn the bar, which is crafted from a Hawaiian monkeypod tree. Upstairs, there's more of an intimate dining area, and a variety of seating options throughout include tables, green leather bar stools, and lounge-style seating.
Starting today, Longitude will be open Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday from 4pm-12 am, and Fridays and Saturdays from 4pm-1:30am (closed on Mondays).
· A Sneak Peek at Longitude, Opening Soon in Oakland [Tablehopper]
· Longitude Bringing a Tiki Bar to the Former Disco Volante [~ ESF ~]