Bites: Athletic Club Oakland brings posh sports bar to Uptown, Roam Artisan Burgers opens Friday

Roam Artisan Burgers. Photo: Roam Artisan Burgers

ROAM IF YOU WANT TO Last October, Bay Area-based Roam Artisan Burgers first announced it was opening a new location in Uptown Oakland. Well, that spot is finally opening on Friday, May 11. As its name suggests, Roam offers gourmet burgers, sides, salads and drinks featuring locally and sustainably sourced, often organic ingredients from vendors like Diestel Family Turkey Ranch, Straus Family Creamery and Pacific Coast Baking Company. Patties come in a variety of protein choices, including grass-fed beef, free-range turkey, housemade veggie or the more unusual bison and elk. Sodas are made in-house, and come in uncommon flavors like prickly pear and caramelized pineapple. The Oakland location is Roam’s fifth restaurant, joining other locations in San Francisco, San Mateo and Lafayette. Roam Artisan Burgers will be at 1951 Telegraph Ave. (between William and 20th St), Oakland

Miles Palliser and Ezra Berman, co-owners of The Athletic Club Oakland. Photo: Jordan Wise

MORE DETAILS ON OAKLAND’S HIGH-END SPORTS BAR Last week, we learned a few more details about the new posh sports club taking over the former Izzy’s Steak and Chop House in Uptown. The Athletic Club Oakland, from owners Ezra Berman and Miles Palliser (San Francisco Athletic Club, Lord George), is going to be a pretty fancy place to cheer on your favorite athletes.

Parisa O’Connell Interior Design helped transform the sports bar using reclaimed bleacher wood, basketball court floor, trophy cases and other sports accouterment to create an upscale “classic meets contemporary boxing club vibe.” It will feature 40 meticulously placed screens (to ensure good viewing in every seat in the bar) and 20 “sound zones” (to allow for multiple athletic events to be shown at once, without the sound from one game interfering another). The bar offers a variety of seating for both large and small groups, but for those who want to go all out, there are reservable leather booths or private skyboxes on the bar’s upper level. There’s also a “Rivalry Room,” where fans can sit on their team’s side and face their opposing fans, and bar games, like pool and shuffleboard.

Nachos at The Athletic Club Oakland. Photo: Jordan Wise

The bar menu — developed by Matty McGee (Prizefighter, Flora) — will feature a dozen draft beers (and more in cans/bottles), eight draft wines and a changing selection of 10 cocktails, including a boozy “Slushie du Jour.” For eats, SFAC chef Matt Rosson designed a menu of comforting bar bites, like burgers, sandwiches, salads, nachos and chicken wings. But unlike many sports bars, Athletic Club has a few options for vegan and gluten-free eaters.


The Athletic Club Oakland plans to open on the first day of the NBA’s Western Conference finals (Monday, May 14). It will be open 11 a.m. to midnight, Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Friday; 9 am-2 a.m., Saturday. The Athletic Club Oakland, 59 Grand Ave. (at Webster), Oakland 

Try three courses of beautifully composed dishes on biodegradable surfaces at Fine Dining on Paper, a new dinner pop-up at The Gastropig in Oakland. Photo: Loren Goodwin

GOOD ON PAPER When Duchess in Oakland closed in January, the restaurant’s executive chef Andrew Greene and sous chef Duncan Kwitkor decided they want to try something new. The chefs — best friends who’ve worked together in various kitchens over the years — are both former visual artists; they met in 2004 on orientation day at San Francisco Art Institute. After Duchess, they were looking for a new creative cooking project that would speak to their interest in art, challenge their culinary skills and try to make people think about food in a different way.

The resulting project is Fine Dining on Paper, a new pop-up dinner series they launched on April 21 at The Gastropig in Downtown Oakland, where they also run a casual dinner service (from 5-9 p.m.) on Fridays and Saturdays. The concept is to serve a three-course fine dining meal without using formal dinnerware, set in a fun, casual space. For the first dinner, Greene and Kwitkor plated on parchment paper and compostable plates. Greene told Nosh that by taking away plateware, the emphasis has to be on the food itself.

Another reason for the concept was to cut down on waste. Greene said, “We were spending tons of money on plates, servers, dishwashers, everything. We’ve nullified those costs and stress while creating something that’s biodiverse and not super wasteful.” For the next Fine Dining on Paper, (6:30-9:30 p.m., Saturday, May 19), they’re exploring ways to cut down waste further, including using the table itself as a canvas to present the food. Greene said to expect surprises and an interactive dining experience.

Whatever surfaces the meal comes on, courses for the next Fine Dining on Paper event will highlight Greene’s love for Japanese flavors. There’ll be saba (mackerel) with charred pineapple, negi rice and smoked ponzu; hirame (flatfish) with purple asparagus, candied kumquat and yuzu curd; and venison with hedgehog mushroom, celtuce puree, wild berries and bacon jam. The dinner is $35 and drinks are BYOB. Greene said they’ll be doing more Fine Dining on Paper events every 3 weeks or so. Fine Dining on Paper takes place at The Gastropig, 2123 Franklin St. (between 21st and 22nd), Oakland

Food trucks converge for Temescal Nights on Monday evenings at Kasper’s Plaza. Photo: Temescal TBID/Facebook

THE RETURN OF TEMESCAL NIGHTS As of this week, a convoy of food trucks can once again be found at Kasper’s Plaza on Monday evenings in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood. The summertime Temescal Nights program  — a collaborative effort from Food Truck Culture and the Temescal Telegraph Business Improvement District — has returned, bringing rotating food trucks, family-friendly activities and music to the triangle surrounding the defunct Kasper’s hot dog building. The fun takes place 5-8 p.m., Mondays. Check the Temescal TBID Facebook page for the weekly food truck lineup. Kasper’s Plaza, 4521 Telegraph Ave. (at 45th), Oakland 

WINES ON THE WATERFRONT On Saturday, May 19, from noon to 5 p.m., 40 Northern California wineries converge on Oakland’s waterfront for the annual Jack London Square Art & Wine Festival. Tickets ($45 in advance, $55 day off) include tastes from any of the participating wineries, including minimo, Ehrenberg Cellars, Ballentine Vineyards and Urbano Cellars. Aside from wine, there’ll be craft beer, cider and small bites to eat and drink, as well as art, music and vendors to keep you entertained for the day. For $100, VIP ticket holders are invited to an evening reception on Friday, May 18, featuring food from Reem Assil’s new restaurant, Dyafa, and selections of local wines. Jack London Square, Oakland