Oakland, Berkeley, And East Bay News, Events, Restaurants, Music, & Arts
p.s. the name "rockridge improvement club" is intended to be ironic. it's actually the original name for the space, which was initially occupied by a pro-prohibition group when it was built in 1912.
Someone who moves in a working class area from an outside neighborhood with a pocket full of cash and no ties to the current community, is contributing to gentrification. Scott Ayers is not. The owners of "Ye Olde Hut" weren't pushed out - they wanted to sell. The appearance of the bar hasn't changed at all other than him having literally two weeks to replace all the floors, by law, because they were ROTTING - he would not have been allowed to open if he didn't do it. For anyone who actually went to the Hut recently, the Ping Pong table was actually taken out before they closed - I don't know if this is true, but I heard it required a cabaret license, which the bar does not have. He sells craft cocktails that, while not usually my thing, are extremely tasty and created by local Oakland bartenders who have been around forever. They're not doing anything that they weren't already doing at other spots in Oakland. You can also get a Miller High Life + a shot for $5, as well as Zachary's Pizza, which already exists around the corner. Scott has been working in the service industry, literally across the street from this bar since 1994, and living from paycheck to paycheck for the past 15 years! Knowing how tough things have been for him with recent unemployment, and the struggle to survive in the bay area in general, as a friend, I'm extremely proud of him for opening this bar!
If it's true, Peggy should fire ETC and make an apology. That's just poor work.
We had been married for a while and things were OK, I was in love with her, she was crazy about me, but later on everything changed and by complicated exterior circumstances which did not have to do with us, we decided to pause for a while, but still remain friends. But in the end, she started getting cold: she treated me as if she did not know me, she acted too immature to the point where she did not even say hi to me when we bumped into each other (we had the same circle of friends). Of course, it hurt so badly, I wanted to kill her. Then out of nowhere she disappeared. I wrote her for her birthday and she replied little. Some of my “friends” saw she had left and started going cold with me too, as if it was my fault that she had left. The few that were still my close friends and still hers, told me she had moved on, that it was best not to make contact with her. Then out of the blue some months later she reappeared, but still acting like a douche. I was suffering emotionally of course, because we had never even had a divorce, it was just supposed to be a pause, so I did not know how to react, what to feel, what to do… anyway, she kept coming over and over on the weekends, and I had to deal with my “friends” who the moment they saw her, immediately left me and went over to her. Eventually, I decided to give up trying to restore anything with her as she was showing no signs of wanting me back, and started healing. Around four months after we had ended our relationship, I find out she is with another guy! That’s when I knew I had not gotten over her, because I cried, I was mad, it was just a feeling of “oh, poor me”. I could not stand losing her to some other guy, I decided to go diabolical (i.e. via spell). I got involved with a lot of fraudulent so-called spell casters on the internet who ripped me off my money without getting a result as to what I wanted. I almost lost my sanity. Just as I almost was giving up, one faithful morning, I received a mail from one of the spell castes I had applied for spell with but never got a reply all along. He made me to understand that he could not attend to all his costumers then because it was that time of the year for his annual fellowship with his ancestors for the renewal of his spiritual and supernatural gift. I told him not to worry about the spell anymore, that I was done with all of them fake spell casters. He assured me of his 100% genuine work of this gift which he possessed. I decided to give it a try. After spending about 2500 USD (which was due to my inability to provide a whole lot of materials which he needed for the spell process), I am happy to announce to the world that I have gotten back my wife and we are expecting our first baby. All thanks to Dr. Kene Dilli. All you out there tired of all these fraudsters that call themselves spell casters (seeking to rip were they have not sown) and you require legitimate spell for whatsoever purpose, contact Dr. Kene Dilli on his email address; kenedillitemples AT yahoo DOT com.RE-WRITE THE EMAIL ADDRESS IN IT’S STANDARD FORM.
I AM TRULY EXHAUSTED FROM ALL THE STRESS AND ANXIETY FROM THE PAIN OF THIS DIAGNOSIS AND DISEASE THAT I HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH FYBROMYALGIA NEUROPATHY AND GASTEOPERIS .I AM IN PAIN EVERYDAY. I REALLY NEED THIS LAW TO GET LEGALIZED HERE IN NEW ORLEANS LOUISIANA ASAP.
Fun article! Great idea on the part of Vargas and Berdugo. I'm glad the East Bay Express is keeping us (the public) up to date on what is going on in this exciting new world of art and tech, combined. Thanks.
Let's turn down the thermostat a notch, people. The G word - gentrification - is so incendiary it's difficult to talk about it with anything resembling our inside voices.
I get it. It's tough. Would you prefer a vacant storefront to an artisanal cheese shop in your neighborhood? What about the Dollar Store next to your favorite Asian fusion restaurant? The answer is not easy, which is why I only pose the question.
Me, I hold out for those pockets of Oakland where unicorns still exist, where, say, a long standing shoe repair shop, or donut place, or mom ‘n’ pop hardware store, can exist cheek-by-jowl with a cocktail bar or exclusive clothing boutique. I know the pressure of increasing rents and a shifting demographic are driving these unicorns away, but those neighborhood pockets are still out there. Let’s cherish them.
The G-world also begs the chicken and egg question: are the newer, cleaner hip places being opened to cater to the more affluent crowd that can afford Oakland's ridiculous rents (average two bedroom apartment $3244), or are the affluent crowds following the leads of new bar owners and upscale entrepreneurs? Again, I only put the question, not the answer, out there, because the issues are maddeningly complex and nuanced.
But I am certain about one thing: this article made me actually feel proud about the dismal (charming?) state of our bathrooms. Alfredo, Ruby Room and Radio Bar.
To enlighten those who don't know...
Ramar Foods is the company that pirated the Magnolia logo and brand of ice cream from the Philippines.
Most Filipinos in the United States assume that the "Magnolia" products they see are related to what they grew up with in the Philippines. NOPE... And don't believe the canard that Ramar Foods is a licensed distributor. They are neither licensed nor a distributor.
The "Magnolia" products in the USA with the familiar oval logo is NOT of the Philippines. Niloloko lang ng Ramar Foods at ng Quesada family tayong mga tunay na Pinoy. Huwag kayong mapada-leh.
Tingnan ninyo ang label. It has no San Miguel.
PJ Quesada registered the "Filipino Food Movement" as a non-profit (disgraceful tactic) in order to shield his family's company from criticism for their brand piracy and trademark squatting. This company Ramar built itself based on the theft of Philippine intellectual property. Not just Magnolia, but the Pampanga's Best name as well.
Research it. Be informed consumers. Don't be hoodwinked by this Savor Filipino group -- imagine, pati ang AlDub Nation dinamay pa nila dito. Kesho ang mga Pilipinong sumusuporta sa ADN ay wala daw karapatang to talk about Filipino food. Eh, sila? Ni Tagalog ni Cebuano ni Kapampangan o anupamang wika sa Pilipinas, hindi sila makapagsalita ni katiting.
Nagpapanggap lang sina PJ Quesada na Pilipino daw sila para kuwartahan ang mga tunay na Pinoy na walang kamuang-muang sa pinaggawa ng Ramar.
Huwag tangkilikin ang produkto ng mga nagnakaw sa Pilipinas!!
Calling the kettle Black?
The racial and social injustice folks are the people making and enforcing the laws! We've all heard the saying "guns don't kill people, it's the people using guns"! Well this scenario is NO different, lawmakers made marijuana laws many years ago based on racist and corporate interest. To keep Mexican immigrants from coming to America, to keep African Americans and long haired white hippies down and from thinking freely. To keep hemp and cannabis from competing with oil, plastic, timber and big Pharma and agriculture businesses. So to turn around and blame the exact same entities that create and enforce the laws by voting in an even more racist and social biased new one (Prop. 64) is ludicrous and completely insane. As long as the same people (government & enforcement) are behind the new gun (law) pulling the same trigger then social and racial injustice will continue to be a predominant part of our society. Don't let them fool you with false rederrick and lies, the only way we can change the outcome is to either take away the gun (NO 64) and replace (vote out) the itchy trigger finger people behind the gun! Just wait and see the courtrooms and jail cells fill with more and more people (black, white & Latino, etc) when "drugged driving charges" and 18-20 year olds "possession of use" cases become the systems new cannabis cash cow! Patientslivesmatter 2
No one has anything to say? Shock and awe? When the truth hurts you can hear a pin drop!
Don't forget King's X turned Kona Club.
Gary Patton, It's easy to judge from an outsiders perspective and have irrational anger. You make it sound like the city spent 2 years tirelessly on this case. I imagine it was only a few hours worth of work spread over a two year time frame. Cool your jets, relax, have a beer, dont have a heart attack.
To donate to the Kickstarter campaign, go to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/j9macbeth/readincolor?token=6b6c8a48
Oakland's "community" has long had a very good idea of what's needed in terms of police reform including what a new chief needs to do.
The current "outreach" effort is pure PR. City hall should know perfectly well what's needed in Oakland. Oakland's diverse communities have been speaking very directly and loudly to city hall for well over a decade about ethical policing, reducing crime in heavy crime areas, more jobs for the poor, getting away from the madness of the war on drugs, justice system reform and on and on.
The deaf ears in city hall continue. And the incompetence regarding a better future for Oakland's current citizenry will continue.
Even a single star is too high a rating for yet another rally by Prop. 64's paid cheerleaders, Panzer, Norris, and Downs. How can you have "open & frank" presentation when you didn't invite anyone who opposes Prop. 64? Not a rhetorical question, BTW.
That last line is the the crux of it all: If the city cannot get money from you, they don't care what you do. But they will pinch every penny from whomever they can. I deal with the city everyday for my work and the incompetency, phantom charges and outdated infrastructure is a true reflection of who's at the helm. No one cares except when it comes to their pensions.
Hey Pilar, this is Kolin, former owner of Easy Lounge / The New Easy. First of all, I wanted to commend you on what I generally think is a fair article.
That said, I'm hoping that I can give you and your readers an outsiders perspective on the changing bar scene in Oakland. I moved to Portland a few years ago, and since I have no vested interest in the "scene" in Oakland anymore, I hope this can be more objective than had I still been involved in the industry there.
Ruby Room and Radio should be given credit where credit is due. Prior to these bars arrivals, Oakland was strictly a blue collar kind of drinking town, whether in the Caucasian (McNally's) or African American (Serenader) vein. Of course, there was cross pollination, but one way or the other bars catered to an older kind of crowd. Radio & Ruby seized on the opportunity of more and more young creative people looking for breathing room across the Bay. They truly were the first wave of evolution.
The next series of bars to change things up were created by people who frequented Ruby & Radio. I include Easy in this, and there were many others... Kitty's (who, if memory serves, opened up a few months before us in the space that is now Prizefighter), Van Kleef, The Layover, 355, Somar, just to name a few. We weren't bound by location, but the thing we had in common was that we were generally bootstrapping it but trying to do a little more, whether that was fancier drinks or dj music. Most bars in this wave made a good faith effort to honor Oakland as a multicultural place. We were gentrifying, but we tried to do it the "right way" (if there is such a thing). It was not an easy process, and we got lots of push-back (Kitty's closed partially due to a large fight, and Easy came close on numerous occasions to a similar disaster, for example), but at the end of the day we were able to show folks that it is possible to have black and white, rich and poor, young and old enjoy the same establishment.
The wave that followed, unfortunately, didn't see it that way. Perhaps we didn't do a good enough job educating people about the history of Oakland, but it seems to me that many of the same people that were attracted to what was created by people like Peter Van Kleef also decided that they really wanted something a little more sanitized, a little fancier, and yes a little (now a lot) whiter than what already existed.
Simultaneously, the City of Oakland and the State of California decided to ratchet up the level of regulatory complexity in our industry, which forced most establishments caught in the middle to increase the cost of their product, and justify this by elevating the superficial parts of the bar experience. In other words, it didn't pay to be a neighborhood joint, do nice cocktails, and play by the rules. I guarantee you that there is not a single establishment in Oakland that doesn't at the very least bend the rules in order to make ends meet.
What you see today is the sad result of these two factors.
Frankly, Easy was just as much of an offender as we transitioned to the New Easy. Without boring your readers with the details, in our case we were very conscious of the change and decided in the end we had to do get rid of the DJ booth and elevate the experience, since the neighborhood we were in had changed and a business like ours was not going to be welcome very much longer.
I left Oakland partially because I grew tired of the constant struggle, trying to create a simple life in the face of crime, cost, and regulation, and I wanted my child to grow up in a more bucolic environment. But, in retrospect, while Oakland is not the place for me anymore, I realize now that the struggle is what makes Oakland different and special.
It would be a shame to extinguish the vestiges of this struggle in the name of elevating the bar/restaurant experience.
I'll have to check out the new Hut space. I stopped going there when they replaced most of the pool tables with ping pong.
That ship has sailed, my friend. Decades ago.
If I recall from the original report, the new fence made walking along that area more restricted as it encroached more on the public right of way. So, while some former city employees like to slam the civil servants this is not a solid case.
Why would anyone take it upon themselves to just build a fence on city property?? It really is not that difficult to contact one's council person for more information about issues like this.
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