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A Sneak Peek at Chris Pastena's Calavera, Spicing Up Oakland in May

Super-stylish Mexican fare and tequila a-go-go in Uptown.

Calavera, the big, stylish Oakland Mexican restaurant from Chris Pastena, is getting close, and today we have some renderings of what it'll look like when it makes its spring debut. Pastena, who recently divested from Tribune Tavern to focus on his other projects, Chop Bar and Lungomare, is partnering with Michael Iglesias and Jessica Sackler for his newest project, which will feature 150 seats, upscale Mexican food, and a tequila and mezcal selection that's aiming to be the East Bay's largest. It'll be housed in The Hive, a restored Julia Morgan building and mixed-use space at 24th and Broadway in Uptown.

The space is being designed by architecture and interior design firm Arcsine (Duende, Southpaw BBQ), with an emphasis on traditional Mexican tilework and lots of reclaimed light wood. The back bar will be constructed as a series of interlocking boxes, with a motif taken from the Mayan Labna ruins. Big glass doors will lead out to a sizable patio, hung with string lights and heated for chilly nights.

The space is still under construction, and Pastena's still in the process of finding a chef, but if all goes well, expect Calavera (which is Spanish for "skull") to start making its bones in mid-May.