An intriguing new bar called Hello Stranger is almost ready to make its debut on the Uptown Oakland nightlife scene. The space at 1724 Broadway (right above 19th Street BART), comes to life next month with an elegant cocktail bar, a stage for DJs and performances, and a dance floor, plus several booths for lounging and an upper mezzanine area with big windows for catching late afternoon rays on the sunny side of the street.
Despite the name, Hello Stranger comes from a trio of partners — Summer-Jane Bell, Josh Trabulsi, and Bill Stephens — who are no strangers to Oakland and the Bay Area bar scene. Bell started her career making drinks at local Oakland dive Radio in 2003, and has since risen to prominent roles, serving as president of the local US Bartenders Guild chapter before joining the USBG’s national team as general secretary. Bell’s husband, Stephens, is a fourth-generation Oakland resident. And Trabulsi is a familiar face in local hospitality, most recently of San Francisco’s Burritt Room — now Mystic Room after a sale by the Charlie Palmer group.
At Hello Stranger, Bell pictures “great drinks and fun service in a sexy nightclub environment:” 18 taps will pour beer, wine, and cocktails on draft, and groups can snag horseshoe booths for large format cocktails or bottles to share. As a brand ambassador traveling the world through the USBG, Bell has been teaching at cocktail seminars and conferences, “picking up the best aspects of bar programs around the world that I enjoyed, bring it back home to Oakland,” so stay tuned for a promising cocktail menu.