After four years on the Michelin Bib Gourmand list for best value restaurants, Michel Bistro in Oakland’s Grand Lake District will close its doors at 3343 Lakeshore Avenue. That news may be difficult to swallow for habitués of the restaurant’s lamb burger and pommes dauphine — but don’t get too mushy, because after it closes, the space will come back to life as Bardo Lounge & Supper Club.
Germain Michel and Samie Didda opened Michel Bistro in 2014, but sold it to Seth and Jenni Bregman in 2017, who retained its chefs Anthony Salguero and Brian Starkey. They’re all onboard for Bardo, named for the Tibetan Buddhist concept of a state between death and rebirth. When the business is itself reborn, 3343 Lakeshore will have a “mid-century living room” feel, and true to the lounge of its name, feature live music and DJs.
A new focus at Bardo will be cocktails: Seth Bregman has tended bar at Stookey’s Club Moderne in SF, a cocktail history nerd paradise in a 1940s style, and he’s apparently been doing cocktail catering under the moniker Bardo Cocktails. At Bardo Lounge & Supper Club, some of the vintage glassware he’s collected will even be for sale.
As for the supper club aspect, Salguero and Starkey will change gears from French to American cooking, and imagine a menu inspired by a dinner party, with shrimp cocktails, deviled eggs, and meatloaf sliders. Above the first-floor lounge space, an upstairs area will serve as a full dining room.
Before it’s gone, a farewell menu of Michel Bistro favorites will be available during a limbo period from March 22nd to April 13. A final party on April 14 will be open to the public.
Stay tuned for more as Michel Bistro awaits its next state of existence.