Oakland Eats: Plum Bar closes up shop, vegan cafe headed to Dimond District, more

Oakland Eats: Plum Bar closes up shop, vegan cafe headed to Dimond District, more
Photo: Google Maps
By Teresa Hammerl - Published on October 30, 2019.

Here's everything you need to know about Oakland's food and drink scene this week. In this edition: an Uptown cocktail bar shutters, Piedmont Avenue loses a coffee shop and the Dimond District gets a new vegan restaurant.



Plum Bar (2216 Broadway)

Photo: Plum Bar/Yelp

Over in Uptown, it appears that cocktail spot Plum Bar has shuttered after eight years in business.

Veteran Hoodline tipster Al M. said that the windows of the space are covered over with brown paper, with a sign saying "Exciting changes coming soon!"

A call to Plum Bar for comment wasn't returned, but its website and Facebook page have both been deleted, suggesting it may be gone for good.

Owned by acclaimed chef Daniel Patterson, Plum Bar was once the sister cocktail spot to upscale restaurant Plum, located next door. When Plum (which briefl changed its name to Ume) closed in 2014, Patterson expanded the bar into its space, before turning it into a location of his failed healthy fast-food chain, Locol. Once Locol closed in 2017, it became a location of Halal Guys. 

Throughout all that tumult, Plum Bar held strong, serving up craft cocktails and "happy meal" shot, beer and burger combos — but it appears it's finally reached its end.

However, its liquor license remains in Patterson's name, suggesting he may be behind the change. We'll update this post as we learn more. 

Piedmont Avenue

Starbucks (4098 Piedmont Ave.)

Photo: Google Maps

Berkeleyside reports that Piedmont Avenue is bidding farewell to its location of Starbucks, which had served the neighborhood for over a decade. The shop's last day on Piedmont will be this Friday.

A Starbucks representative declined to share a reason for the closure with Berkeleyside, but noted that employees will be given the opportunity to transfer to other locations nearby. 

City records don't mention any issues with the building itself, whose most recent construction was a series of electrical and plumbing upgrades in 2015.


Dimond District

Lion Dance Cafe (3525 Fruitvale Ave.)

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And so it begins... #liondancecafe

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Six years after it was first founded, pop-up restaurant and caterer S + M Vegan is finally set to open its first brick-and-mortar location.

According to the Chronicle, the new eatery will be called Lion Dance Cafe, and will take over the former Dimond Printers space across the street from Safeway.

Lion Dance Cafe will serve an all-vegan menu inspired by "our Teochew-Singaporean family recipes, nostalgic hawker center favorites and the food of the Chinese American diaspora," owners Marie Chia and Shane Stanbridge write on their website. 

Photo: Jen B./Yelp

On the menu, diners can expect to find vegan takes on Americanized Chinese favorites like kung pao mushrooms and General Tso's fried vegetables. The menu will be rounded out with Singaporean noodles, some small bites, coffee drinks and milkshakes. The pair also plan to offer brunch service at a later date. 

Lion Dance Cafe is currently set to open next summer. In the meantime, curious diners can check out S + M's biweekly pop-ups at Eli's Mile High Club (3629 Martin Luther King Jr. Way), held every other Tuesday from 5-10 p.m. 

Have you noticed a new addition to (or subtraction from) Oakland's food landscape? Text a tip and a horizontal photo to (415) 200-3233, and we'll look into it.