Empire Building

Updated: Oakland Cocktail Scene About to Get a Brooklyn-Style ‘Up’-grade

Many have tried to draw comparisons between Oakland and Brooklyn, and the comparisons are only sometimes apt — there are plenty of parts of Brooklyn that feel like San Francisco, too. But now the people behind Brooklyn cocktail bar Weather Up (there’s a newer branch in Manhattan, too) have inked a lease on a retail space across the street from the Fox Theater at 1741 Telegraph Avenue, in Oakland’s Uptown district. Grub Street discovers today that the bar will be called Up Dog. [Correction: In spite of the DBA on the liquor license, Up Dog turns out only to be the name of their holding company, and the bar name is still TBD.] Owners Christopher Foott and Glenn Kaplan, both Bay Area natives who went to high school in Rockridge, say they want to “put some of the style and elegance of Brooklyn and New York on top of the honesty of Oakland.”

The location is obviously meant to capitalize on crowds coming to and from the Fox, but Kaplan earlier revealed to Diablo magazine that he wants the bar to become a “de facto elegant after-work meeting place,” likely competing with the seven-year-old Café Van Kleef just a few doors up.

They’re bringing big-league design and serious cocktail cred with them, too: Consultants on the project include bartender Catherine Weatherup — who has worked with NYC’s Sasha Petraske, and for whom the Brooklyn and Tribeca Weather Up bars are named — and designer Matt Maddy, formerly a principal of Hecho Inc. and designer of both NYC locations, will be the lead designer, with Hecho’s John Kole (whose projects include European Union in the East Village and the Box on the Lower East Side) consulting. Update: There will also be a snack menu created by Tyler Kord, chef-owner of No. 7 in Brooklyn.

Given how packed Flora tends to be on show nights — not to mention the fact that Van Kleef is the only other decent bar in the neighborhood and they only really make a good Greyhound — the new bar is sure to be popular from day one, and a welcome addition for East Bay cocktail geeks.

They’re aiming for an early summer opening.

Movin’ On Up [Diablo]

Updated: Oakland Cocktail Scene About to Get a Brooklyn-Style