The public relations team representing three young Oakland-grown chefs sent a press release about the trio’s plans for an eatery called Town Revival, in Downtown Oakland’s Tribune Tower. Considering the number of restaurants that closed because of shelter-in-place policies to cope with The Pandemic, it seems completely wild that someone’s announcing opening a restaurant, right? Looking at Town Revival’s website and its photos of mask-less patrons, not to mention the chefs, I could only congratulate them for their optimism.
Well, upon closer read, the plan is for Town Revival to open this spring. And with signs pointing to a return to some degree of normalcy by then, Town Revival just might be the place for a giant party that takes up 13th and Franklin.
Here’s hoping its as much fun as when the former Tribune Tower Bar played host to The Oakland Chamber of Commerce’s Warriors Watch Party four years ago. (Oakland needs an NBA team!):
Here’s the press release, and this vlog update:
Oakland, CA — December 9, 2020 — From OJD Group Inc., the team behind Town Revival, is excited to announce their latest project, Tribune in downtown Oakland’s historic Tribune building. Partners include co-Chefs Omri Aflalo and John Cahill with Darrin Ballon leading the front of house and beverage program. A new American brasserie, Tribune will pull influences from Aflalo and Cahill’s French culinary training while embracing the year-round seasonal bounty of the Bay Area. Tribune is slated to open in early Spring 2021 with outdoor dining and take away menu to support current safety measures.
Excited for the opportunity to showcase their food and approach to service, the team hopes to create a destination in downtown Oakland for years to come. The menu will rotate seasonally, leaning on craveable brasserie favorites. Anchored by few favorites such as the Tribune Chopped Salad with local chicories, avocado, radish and creamy Roquefort dressing; a Bone-In Pork Chop served with fingerling potatoes, charred heirloom cabbage, and charcuterie sauce – a favorite of Cahill’s. The sauce is built with white wine vinegar, cornichons, and whole grain mustard which provides a rich, bright sauce – a beautiful counterpoint to the chop, and a nod to how Cahill and Aflalo build their flavors. A pièce de résistance, the Tribune Burger will be a 6 oz. patty with little gem lettuces, house bread and butter pickles, and a red onion schmear, nestled atop a Firebrand sweet bun. Hoping to strike a balance between rustic and refined, Cahill and Aflalo have created a menu that offers guests options allowing them to return again and again.
Ballon is behind the beverage menu and he is excited to feature local, up-and-coming winemakers alongside old world producers. The wine list will feature a robust offering of bottles and half bottle offerings, alongside six wines on tap. The cocktail list will include plays on classics like the Elder Statesmen, a modern twist on a martini, with gin, Kina l’Aero, St. Germain, and orange bitters and the Broadway Cocktail, a spin on a Manhattan with rye, Punt e Mes, Luxardo maraschino, and cherry bark vanilla bitters.
For Aflalo and Ballon, both raised in Oakland, the Tribune building holds a special place in their heart. “Growing up in Oakland, the Tribune building was always a beacon, an anchor in downtown,” explains Aflalo. “We are excited to turn Tribune into the spot, a destination for Oakland diners and travelers alike.” They along with Cahill are excited to breathe new life into the restaurant space.
Working with designer Jon De La Cruz, who is known for his work at Che Fico, Leo’s Oyster Bar, and The Cavalier. The interiors of Tribune are meant to evoke the casual elegance of the original 1923 Tribune Tower but with a modern eye. “We stripped away layers of previous renovations, bringing back some of the amazing architectural details like the beautifully ornate plaster crown moldings and wonderfully worn tile floors,” explains De La Cruz. They expanded the ceilings back to their original height to create more light and vertical space within the restaurant. Warmth has been added throughout the restaurant by combining antique mirrors with burnished brass to a palate of moody grays inviting guests to tuck into the tufted leather banquettes for a cocktail and a snack. The exterior is meant to stand out and be noticed. The lacquered outdoor facade is painted a whimsical creme de menthe as a call to the European sense of casual chic while still fitting with the neighborhood’s architectural style. Designer Emily Shoop created the digital design aesthetic, including a hand drawn iteration of the Tribune’s iconic logo.
Tribune is located at 401 13th St, Oakland between Broadway and Franklin Streets. Follow along on social media at TribuneOakland on Instagram and on Facebook, sign up for updates on their website, www.tribuneoakland.com.
Stay tuned. This is going to be exciting. But between now and then, be safe. Wear your mask.
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