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Oakland’s Historic Tribune Tower Will Serve Food Once Again

The original chef-owner is getting a second chance at his vision


Fraud, misappropriated funds, and a lawsuit ultimately shuttered Tribune Tavern in 2017, but the restaurant — located at the base of Oakland’s Tribune Tower — will get a second life this year.

Tribune Tavern was once the project of chef and restauranteur Chris Pastena (Chop Bar, Calavera, Lungomare) and building owner Tom Henderson. It opened in 2013, and about a year later, the two parted ways over what they described at the time as creative differences.

But the East Bay Express later uncovered that Henderson was facing allegations of defrauding hundreds of investors and misappropriating funds to purchase the Tribune Tower. And Pastena sued Henderson in 2014, accusing Henderson of hiding financial information — and taking enough free meals to force the restaurant to operate at a loss. Amid all of this trouble, Tribune Tavern closed to the public in 2017.

The latest: Yesterday, Pastena announced on Facebook that Harvest Properties, an Emeryville-based real estate investment firm, has bought the Tribune Tower and has tapped him to reopen the restaurant.

‘“They saw and understood the creative and artistic vision we had for the original Tribune Tavern,” Pastena wrote. That original vision included a gorgeously designed restaurant with turn-of-the-century details, 150 seats, modern cocktails, and a comfort food-heavy menu dotted with British pub fare.

Pastena expects his retooled, refinanced Tribune Tavern to open this fall. Stay tuned for more as the opening nears.

Update: A previous version of this story stated Tribune Tower was owned by Harvest Partners. It’s actually owned by Harvest Properties.

Tribune Tavern

401 13th St, Oakland, CA 94612 510 452 8742 Visit Website