WITH A JUMPING-UP-AND-DOWN, SIDEWALK-SHAKING, BOOTY-MOVING, DOWN THE CORNER YES-FEST, AND HOLIDAY GROUP ART SHOW
Actual Cafe, located at the corner of San Pablo and Alcatraz Avenues, in the tiny isthmus of North Oakland bounded by Emeryville and Berkeley, is celebrating its one-year anniversary with a party and group art show. The cafe’s neighborhood, known as the Golden Gate District, Triple Point, Oakleyville, and Paradise Park, among other names, has been undergoing a renaissance, and Actual Cafe is proud to have been a significant part of it.
“We want to say thank you to all of our friends and neighbors who have made us the place we are today, and just make a bunch of noise because it’s fun,” says owner and manager Sal Bednarz about the event.
The anniversary party will be held at Actual Cafe, 6334 San Pablo Avenue (at the corner of Alcatraz Ave) in Oakland, from 6:00-10:00pm on December 10, 2010.
The party will feature a group art show, featuring the work of many artists who have shown during the year at the cafe (Brian Richardson, Eva Silverman, Alexis Babayan, Rachel Duffy), as well as that of Lauren Aczon. The subject matter of the show will be primarily the people and places of Oakland. Because of the holiday season, many items in the show will be priced below $50, to encourage the purchase of local art for holiday gifts.
Entertainment will be provided by The Vultures and For Fear The Hearts Of Men Are Failing, two local bluegrass-and-silliness ensembles, both of whom have performed at the cafe this year. In Addition, DJs Oze, N!k, and Josh Bergman (all of whom perform at the cafe’s every-Friday-night Decompression Sessions) will be spinning excellent and eclectic records.
There will be food and drink specials, the unveiling of the new Actual Cafe t-shirt (designed by Eva Silverman of Pushcart Design), and a make-your-own-s’mores station.
Over the year, Actual Cafe has become known as a bicycle friendly East Bay destination, garnering the East Bay Bike Coalition’s Bicycle Friendly Business Award. It has also received much attention (and controversy) because of its laptop-free weekend policy. It has been awarded Alameda County Green Business certification, due to its local and sustainable practices. It was recently awarded “Best Cafe Food” in the East Bay Express Bar and Cafe Special Edition Reader’s Poll. It hosts monthly openings for local artists, weekly (and sometimes more often) shows for local musicians, fundraisers for local organizations like AIDS/Lifecycle, Girls Rock Camp, Berkeley Maynard Academy, the East Bay Free Skool, and more.
From a business standpoint, Actual Cafe has created new jobs for 17 local residents (all of whom reside within a couple miles of the cafe), and has been part of the attraction for new businesses who would not have otherwise considered moving into the area. It does its purchasing almost exclusively from local producers, including McLaughlin Coffee, Hopkins St. Bakery, Artisan Foods of Berkeley, and the Berkeley Bowl.
In the month of November, Actual Cafe was joined on San Pablo by A Verb For Keeping Warm, a fiber/yarn/spinning/knitting store, which has further contributed to the emerging neighborhood’s character. In a down economy, Actual Cafe is a shining example of local business creating economic opportunity, and its commitment to doing business locally means that most of those dollars stay in its own neighborhood.