A chef with a theatrical flair from Minneapolis is expanding his restaurant operation to a second city, and that city is Oakland. Chef Jason McLean is opening a new outpost of Loring Café at 37 Grand Avenue, just around the corner from Plum Bar and Bakesale Betty, and the concept is New American but with a "bohemian luxe fine dining" angle. McLean currently owns Loring Pasta Bar in Minneapolis as well as the Varsity Theater and Café Des Artistes, and the Oakland spinoff will have a performance component as well — like Loring Pasta Bar and the now closed original Loring Café, the new restaurant will have live music on the regular.
Diablo first broke the news, and McLean expounded upon the menu thusly: "a new culinary state of the union, where fusion is left far behind, themes are out, and the broad spectrum likes of our global reaching tastes command the center of the plate stage." Right.
Also the Chron spoke to McLean over email, who shared a bit of his colorful nature in discussing the timeline of Loring Café. "If it goes smooth as Wisconsin butter, latter September," he says. "[But] if an icy zephyr freezes our progress, could be October."
McLean describes Loring Pasta Bar as his "latest homage to the spirit of theater and hand-made splendor," and you can expect the vibe at the new restaurant to be, similarly, not just about the food. Stay tuned.
Update: The Scoop throws in a construction shot, and adds that the full build-out includes "undulating brick work." [Scoop]