Visit Oakland Celebrates New Restaurants and Bars, Oakland Panthers Football Kick-Off, Running Festival and More in 'What's New: March 2020'

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From new professional football team Oakland Panthers kicking off their first season, to monthly block party First Fridays and annual 'culinary crawl' Taste of Temescal, here's all that's new with Visit Oakland for March 2020.

In this monthly roundup of news from Visit Oakland, you will find:

EVENTS: Food, Art and Sports Events
Mexican Restaurant Calavera Hosting One-Night-Only Jalisco Tasting Menu - March 2
Free Monthly Block Party Celebrates Local Music with ‘Word Art’ Theme - March 6
African American Museum Hosts Visual Journey of Black Women in Paris - March 7
Oakland Roots Start New Soccer Season - March 7
Oakland Panthers Kick-off Football Season at Oakland Arena - March 14
28 Restaurants Participating in ‘Culinary Trick-or-Treat’ Taste of Temescal - March 17
Run the Bay Bridge at 11th Annual Oakland Marathon & Running Festival - March 22

NEW DEVELOPMENTS: Sustainability Goals
Oakland Zoo Bans Single-Use Plastics with #NoToPlastic campaign to protect animals

FOOD & DRINK: New Bars and Restaurants
Oakland’s James Beard Semifinalists include Sake Maker, Michelin Star Restaurant
New Uptown Bar Viridian Pairs Cocktails with Sweet Asian Treats (February 2020)
‘Opposite of Caffeine’: New Bar MeloMelo Serving Kava at Lake Merritt (February 2020)
Famed Horn BBQ Pop-Up Opening Restaurant in New Oakland Food Hall (August 2020)
Award-winning alaMar Chef Opens Afro-Latino Cocktail Lounge in Uptown (March 2020)
New Afro-Caribbean/Malaysian/Persian Food Hall Opening in Lake Merritt (April 2020)
Celebrity Chef Opening ‘California Soul Food’ Spot at Oakland Museum (August 2020)

ARTS & CULTURE: Neighborhoods and Arts News
USA's first wildlife refuge - Lake Merritt - celebrates 150th anniversary
From nightlife spaces to art galleries - Oakland appoints new cultural gatekeepers

For more information, please contact:
Jean Paul Zapata, Director of PR
jeanpaul@visitoakland.com
510-208-0529

Mikila Lawless, PR Coordinator
mikila@visitoakland.com
510-208-0560

For images, please register at visitoakland.barberstock.com

EVENTS
Mexican Restaurant Calavera Hosting One-Night-Only Jalisco Tasting Menu - March 2
Uptown favorite Calavera is celebrating the home of Tequila, Jalisco by hosting a one-night-only Oaxacan-focused menu on March 2. Calavera will be offering a special flavorful three-course regional tasting menu during dinner service for $80 per person.
http://www.calaveraoakland.com

Free Monthly Block Party’s ‘Word Art’ Theme Celebrates Local Music - March 6
Oakland First Fridays theme for the month of March is ‘Word Art’ celebrating music and spoken word performances. Held in the KONO neighbrohood (Koreatown/Northgate) every month from 5 p.m. - 9 p.m., First Fridays starts on Telegraph Avenue from West Grand to 27th Street and features a Kid Zone for families, a KONO Lounge with drinks and DJ, a range of artisanal food, art and craft vendors, street performances, and classic cars on display. This month local artists include: Mike Mitch, Manos Lindas, Controlled Burn, Jordan Davis Miller, Privet Property, Sweet Hayah, Solachi Voz and Lolita Sweet will be performing on the main stage. http://www.oaklandfirstfridays.org

African American Museum Hosts Visual Journey of Black Women in Paris - March 7
Oakland native Riki Stevenson will take viewers on an exploration of black women’s experience slide-illustrated presentation Black Women: Their Presence in the City of Light takes us across the landscapes of Paris, France. We explore places where African and African American females studied, created art, forged socio-political alliances, opened businesses, and at times made the famed City of Light their home. http://www.oaklandlibrary.org/events/african-american-museum-library-oakland/black-women-their-presence-city-light

Oakland Roots Open New Soccer Season - March 7
Oakland Roots, Oakland’s new third-division soccer team, has started their second season. Soccer fans can cheer on the roots at their second home game of the season at the Laney College Football Field March 7 at 5:10 pm. Tickets are available for purchase at http://www.oaklandrootssc.com

Oakland Panthers Kick-off Football Season at Oakland Arena - March 14
The Oakland Panthers, a new Indoor Football League (IFL) franchise, is kicking off its home game opener on March 14. The team - founded by Professional Football legend and Oakland-native Marshawn Lynch and entertainment entrepreneur Roy Choi - will be playing a total of 7 home games at the Oakland Arena. Tickets are available for purchase at http://www.oakland-panthers.com/tickets

28 Restaurants Participating in ‘Culinary Trick-or-Treat’ Taste of Temescal - March 17
The 11th annual Taste of Temescal returns on Tuesday, March 17th, 6:00- 8:30 pm. Patrons purchase tickets to try bites from the best and newest restaurants in the Temescal neighborhood. Each ticket includes one taste at each of the 28 participating restaurants, with proceeds going to local schools and nonprofits. The event runs along Telegraph Avenue from 40th to 52nd Streets, Temescal Alley, and Claremont Ave. Tickets are available for purchase at temescaldistrict.org/tasteoftemescal

Run the Bay Bridge at 11th Annual Oakland Marathon & Running Festival - March 22
The Oakland Running Festival - now running over the Bay Bridge - is one of the flattest and fastest courses in the Bay Area. Experience Oakland’s diversity and beauty with a race that touches all aspects of Oaktown, and finishes with one hella awesome party. http://www.oaklandmarathon.com

NEW DEVELOPMENTS
Oakland Zoo Bans Single-Use Plastics with #NoToPlastic campaign to protect animals
Home to more than 750 native and exotic animals, the Oakland Zoo is taking a strong stand against single-use plastics. The Zoo has launched a #NoToPlastic with the goal of becoming 100% plastic-free in the future. A decade ago the Zoo banned plastic straws, utensils, and cup lids. Now, popcorn has gone from a plastic bag container to a paper-based box, cotton-candy is discontinued until a sustainable container is sourced, and single-use plastic packaging has been reduced by 60% in the Zoo’s gift shop. A new retail section devoted to sustainability includes household items, stasher bags, metal straws, bees wrap, and more. Every weekend, guests can visit the #NoToPlastic action booth in Flamingo Plaza to learn how to become more plastic-free in their daily lives, along with the opportunity to sign an anti-plastics pledge. This pledge asks guests to eliminate a form of single-use plastic in their lives, like straws, bottles, cups, or bags.
http://www.oaklandzoo.org/news/no-to-plastic

FOOD & DRINK
Oakland’s James Beard Semifinalists include Sake Maker, Michelin Star Restaurant
Den Sake Brewery and Commis have both been named as 2020 James Beard Award semifinalists. Den Sake Brewery, the first sake brewery in Oakland, has been selected in the Outstanding Wines, Spirits or Beer category. James Syhabout, chef and owner of two Michelin-Star Commis, has been selected in the best chef in California category. These two announcements continue to cement Oakland’s position as a leader and disruptor in the culinary world. From Michelin-starred and Bib Gourmand restaurants like sustainable California menu Wood Tavern and Burmese cuisine Teni East Kitchen, to delectable “hole in the wall” restaurants like subterranean tavern Blind Tiger and Caribbean soul food Miss Ollies, Oakland continues to take foodies on surprising and unique culinary adventures.
http://www.visitoakland.com/press/story-ideas/culinary/

New Uptown Bar Viridian Pairs Cocktails with Sweet Asian Treats (February 2020)
Viridian, a new cocktail bar with a focus on Asian-American food and drink, opened February in Uptown. Viridian serves produce-driven cocktails concocted by their master sommelier, dim sum, and Asian desserts - all in a neon-lit space inspired by Hong Kong New Wave filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai, whose films are acclaimed for their bold use of saturated colors. The new bar also partners with local businesses for local art and sustainable practices.
viridianbar.com

‘Opposite of Caffeine’: New Bar MeloMelo Serving Kava at Lake Merritt (February 2020)
Instead of alcohol or coffee, MeloMelo exclusively serves kava, a beverage made from the roots of a seedless plant native to the South Pacific and farmed over the last couple hundred years. Prized for its anti-anxiety properties, kava is also believed to alleviate insomnia. Kava-free hot chocolate, tea, and kombucha will also be on offer.
melomelokavabar.com

Famed Horn BBQ Pop-Up Opening Restaurant in New Oakland Food Hall (August 2020)
Oakland Pitmaster Matt Horn is opening a new southern-style chicken sandwich restaurant: Kowbird. Opening August 2020 in the highly anticipated Oakland Assembly food hall in Jack London Square, Kowbird will serve both unique twists and traditional favorites of fried chicken sandwiches in a counter-service restaurant.
http://www.hornbarbecue.com

Award-winning alaMar Chef Opens Afro-Latino Cocktail Lounge in Uptown (March 2020)
Opening March 2020 in Uptown, Sobre Mesa’s cocktails and lively atmosphere will draw their inspiration from the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico and other Latin countries. Sobre Mesa will feature lush surroundings and refined tropical libations inspired by head chef Nelson German's Dominican roots and African ancestry.
http://www.sobremesaoak.com

New Afro-Caribbean/Malaysian/Persian Food Hall Opening in Lake Merritt (April 2020)
Calabash, opening April 2020 in Lake Merritt, is the new Afro-Caribbean, Malaysian and Persian food hall from Bay Area favorites: Azalina Eusope (Azalina's), Nigel Jones (Kingston 11) and Hanif Sadr (Komaaj). The restaurant will feature two components: a sit-down restaurant featuring menu contributions from all three chefs, and a counter-service area dedicated to takeout and delivery apps. Calabash will also have a full bar with cocktails.

Celebrity Chef Opening ‘California Soul Food’ Spot at Oakland Museum (August 2020)
The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) is opening a new restaurant in August 2020 with celebrated Bay Area chef and restaurateur Tanya Holland, founder of Oakland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen and former Top Chef contestant. The new café concept for the Museum - Town Fare by Tanya Holland - will focus on California soul food, feature high-quality yet approachable menu items for breakfast, lunch, and select dinners, including late-night dining during Friday Nights at OMCA. museumca.org

ARTS & CULTURE

USA's first wildlife refuge - Lake Merritt - celebrates 150th anniversary
The heart-shaped Lake Merritt in the middle of Oakland is celebrating its 150th anniversary as the nation’s first wildlife refuge. Lake Merritt - home to diverse wildlife including wild ducks, swans, and sea sponges - is a popular local and visitor destination for its city views, waterfront park and an array of shops and restaurants. To help maintain the sanctuary, locals and visitors can volunteer to clean up Lake Merritt, as well as visit the many animal sanctuary sites surrounding the lake.
http://www.visitoakland.com/things-to-do/neighborhoods/lake-merritt/

From nightlife spaces to art galleries - Oakland appoints new cultural gatekeepers
11 newly appointed people will advise city officials on policy affecting the arts, and advocate for the Cultural Funding Program (CFP), which awards $1 million to local artists and nonprofits annually. The appointees are working artists, nonprofit professionals and policy experts including: Theo “Aytchan” Williams, director of Carnaval arts group SambaFunk; Jennifer Easton, public art director at Bay Area Rapid Transit; Diane Sanchez, a philanthropy consultant; and Kevin “Kev” Choice, an educator and musician who’s worked with Goapele and Lauryn Hill. http://www.oaklandca.gov/news/2020/oakland-cultural-affairs-commission-re-established

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