Old Kan Beer & Co., the restaurant and brewery from chef James Syhabout and former Linden Street brewer Adam Lamoreaux, is now open, harkening back to simpler times with a menu of seriously chill comfort food and limited selection of brews.
The space was previously home to Linden Street Brewery, co-founded by Lamoreaux, and Syhabout’s restaurant The Dock. Now the two have partnered to create a beer that they hope will become Oakland’s hometown drink, and a restaurant to match. The layout has been only slightly reconfigured, with a 48-seat private room, dining room, bar area, and patio, and the beer garden formerly known as The Shed, where live music will happen.
The menu at the 35-seat restaurant will be a super family-friendly, approachable selection of pub favorites, like moules frites, jerk wings, and a burger. “There’s nothing wrong with stuff that’s been done before,” Syhabout told Eater. “It’s just tasty food.” And with Syhabout and former Commis chefs Hoang Le and Bilal Ali in the kitchen, a simple menu of “tasty food” should not disappoint. And for the smaller, pickier eaters, Syhabout is even including buttered noodles with grana cheese. Check out the full menu below.
As for the beer, Lamoreaux says that the goal of Old Kan (an anagram of Oakland) is to create a sense of place in the same way that Old Style is a Chicago Beer, or National Bohemian is from Baltimore. “Beer used to rep where you’re from” said Lamoreaux. “We want to be a brand that people can be comfortable with.”
That includes three beers as the main lineup: Old Kan Original (fuller bodied), Old Kan Light, and Old Kan Dark, both of which will be sessionable at around 4.5% ABV. There’ll be no Old Kan IPA, says Lamoreaux, though there are at least six taps for guest beers at any given time, plus a “quarterly offering” beer to mix things up. “We want to stay in our lane, not follow any trends,” said Lamoreaux. “We want to take the preciousness out of craft beer.” Along those lines, A’s fans will notice the presence of Old Kan at the opening of the A’s season, cementing its position as an all-American day drinking kind of beer.
It’s all part of Syhabout and Lamoreaux’s plan to preserve the rapidly changing soul of Oakland. Community outreach will also be a large part of the plan, supporting non-profits and giving back to the community. “I don’t think we’ve capitalized on what beer can mean [to the community],” said Lamoreaux. “Or what the urban brewer can mean.”
“You go local places and you can't recognize things. I’m walking around telling people what used to be,” said Syhabout. “I want to preserve that part of Oakland.”
Hours are Wednesday through Friday from 4 p.m.- 9 p.m., Saturday 12 p.m.-9 p.m., Sunday noon-6 p.m.