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May 6, 2019

Neighborhood Spotlight: Jack London Square

It’s a historic neighborhood with a fascinating past and unparalleled waterfront access—so why isn’t it more in-demand? The truth is, Jack London Square had gotten little bit stale over the last few decades, but that’s changed in a big way. An influx of new restaurants, bars, and housing in recent years has helped reinvigorate the area into one of Oakland’s most lively destinations.

Combine that with two big
announcements—the Oakland A’s releasing a preliminary proposal to build a new
waterfront ballpark just north at Howard Terminal and the rekindling of plans
for a Ferry Building–style food hall to fill the long-vacant Water Street
Market—and this is a neighborhood that appears poised to take off.

“With its lovely waterfront stroll, incredible restaurants and concert venues, sweet Sunday farmers market, convenient ferry to SF, and fun festivals and events, living in Jack London Square is both convenient and fun,” said Compass agent Farrah Wilder. “Some of my favorite shopping, meeting and dining venues are in Jack London Square but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the legendary concert-venue, Yoshi’s, as one of this great neighborhood’s many attractions.”

But you don’t have to wait for the
new ballpark and marketplace to enjoy Jack London Square.

Eat

Photo Courtesy of Yoshi’s

Three new dining destinations
opened in the last years have rocketed Jack London up the list of culinary
hotspots in Oakland. Belcampo, which
sources über-sustainable meat from animals raised on its own ranches, serves up
melt-in-your-mouth burgers made from ground-daily chuck, duck fat–fried French
fries, and other hearty meat-centric eats in its gorgeous 7,000-square-foot
flagship restaurant with unparalleled waterfront patio. They have a butcher
counter, too. Next door, Farmhouse
Kitchen,
the latest addition to Kasem Saengsawang’s burgeoning restaurant
empire, offers dazzling and innovative Thai fare with a Tiki flair. And in the
ground floor of the Water Street Market building, Dyafa’s celebrated chef Reem Assil crafts elevated versions of the
kind of Palestinian street food she first introduced to Oaklanders at East Bay
farmers markets.

Belcampo: belcampo.com

Farmhouse Kitchen: farmhousethai.com/oakland/

Dyafa: dyafaoakland.com

Photo Courtesy of Belcampo

Drink

Sidle up to the tilted bar at Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon,
the 136-year-old ramshackle dive bar where author Jack London himself was said
to have jotted down book notes over a pint as a young aspiring author. Just
make sure to hold on to your beer—the bar has been angled on a downward slant
ever since the pilings were knocked out of alignment during the big 1906
earthquake. Come for the full Irish breakfast (served all day!), stay for the
extensive selection of Irish whiskey at two-year-old Irish pub Sláinte. Feel like something made
on-site? Jack London is home to one of the densest collections of urban wineries and breweries in the Bay Area, to go along with several tasting rooms
and beer-centric bars.

Heinhold’s: 48 Webster St #3721

Slainte: slainteoakland.com

Oakland Urban Wine Trail: visitoakland.com/restaurants/oakland-urban-wine-trail/

Oakland Ale Trail: visitoakland.com/restaurants/oakland-ale-trail/

Shop

Dynamo entrepreneur Ayesha Curry
(wife of Warriors’ star Steph) recently launched her first pop-up retail store,
Homemade, featuring home goods and
products that includes her own signature line of bedding, cookware, and
bakeware, as well as a new jewelry collection. Next door, Oakland Supply Co. specializes in unique, quality goods made in the
U.S. and often right in Oakland. In the shadow of Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Narrative provides a chic boutique
shopping experience for affordable vintage home décor.

Homemade: dyafaoakland.com

Oakland Supply Co:oaksupplyco.tumblr.com

Narrative: narrativeoak.com

Play

Don’t just admire the calm,
sun-dappled waters of the estuary snaking between Oakland and Alameda: Get out
there. California Canoe & Kayaks
rents out canoes and stand-up paddle boards, as well as offering classes, to
allow you to do just that. With a myriad of entertainment options—bowling,
bocce, skee-ball, arcade games—to go along with its hopping bar and food scene,
Plank is like an adult version of Chuck
E. Cheese. America’s one true original art form is alive and well at Yoshi’s, a combination sushi restaurant
and nightclub that hosts live music with an emphasis on world-class jazz nearly
every evening.

California Canoe & Kayaks: calkayak.com

Plank: plankoakland.com

Yoshi’s: yoshis.com

Reference Links:

A’s ballpark: https://www.sfchronicle.com/athletics/article/athletics-new-stadium-designs-proposals-13652521.php

Water Street Market:https://www.sfchronicle.com/food/article/Jack-London-Square-announces-new-market-hall-13714957.php