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historical image gallery of "oakland's earliest business district"
A conversation with Owner Rebecca Boyles - March 31, 2015
Rebecca opened Beer Revolution with her partner in 2010. Beer Revolution is a popular Jack London destination with the largest selection of local and craft beers in the district.
What is your favorite local ingredient and where do you get it?
“My favorite local ingredient is bacon. We get our bacon next door at The Annex from Millers Ranch, so we actually cure it in house. Millers is located in San Leandro.”
Which restaurateur in Jack London/Oakland do you most respect?
“Chris Pastena - Definitely someone to admire. He’s got a lot of great stuff going on. Each one of his restaurants, each one of them, is amazing all the way to the simple things like salads - that’s not easy to do, and it’s not easy to execute. And to do it on the level he does, that’s some serious credit. And he’s still not too big to fill doing dishes in any one of his places, I really respect that.”
Favorite Jack London/Oakland restaurant other than your own?
“Lungomare. A close second would be Bocanova”
What's one thing about you or your restaurant that people would be surprised to know?
“Everything is local and organic and everything is locally sourced from local companies - everything is well-made even though it’s simple food - It’s the same for my bar too - there are so many amazing small breweries here that I really try to put a spotlight on.”
What’s your favorite beer on tap right now?
“Fieldwork - they have this new beer called chisel. It’s like a session IPA… It’s full of flavor, you know.”
What is your favorite thing to do in Jack London when you take a break?
“I like to go to Merchants saloon and play a game of pool, or walk on the waterfront”
What has surprised you most about your business?
“Honestly, what surprised me the most was the diversity of the clientele that come in. I mean, we get literally every kind of person you can imagine. From attorneys and city officials to hip hop kids and punk rockers to whomever. What’s really cool about that is you can watch people out on the patio when they are having beers, people that don’t even know each other are all of a sudden talking to each other.”
What is the best advice you’ve been given about your businesses?
“Just pay your bills, that’s the best advice”
“I do have one personal thing I do with all businesses, I do everything COD (cash on delivery). Even though I have credit terms with all of my vendors I just insist on COD, that way it’s just done.”
What's next for you?
“You know, Beer Rev, I don’t have any plans on ever expanding it or growing it. I know it’s a recognized brand but I feel like it’s kind of a one and only. It’s very unique even though there are places that have similar models and all -- and I feel like growing that isn’t really a possibility. It would just be fake and generic -- so why do that. Annex, however, is definitely gaining some gravity, and because it’s so simple and so salt-of-the-earth-- I think that it would fit almost anywhere, so that is something I would consider branching out.”
“I wouldn’t mind branching out and opening some more businesses here in the district. I feel like it has such potential and it’s becoming more of a neighborhood. There are so many residents now.”
CALIFORNIA CANOE AND KAYAK
A conversation with Owner Keith Miller
Favorite thing to do in Oakland to take a break from the work day?
My favorite thing to do to break from my work day is actually, Go paddle - so I’ll hop in a boat or a stand up paddle board and I will jump in the water because here is it and we’re close by.
How far can you usually get?
20 minutes half an hour perhaps I can paddle, Depending on how fast a craft I use I can paddle to Coast Guard Island and back.
Now if it’s not paddling then I like to hang out, like if I want to go watch a game I’ll go to one of the restaurants that has a TV like Steel Rail or Overland or Jack’s and have a beer and watch a Warrior’s basketball game.
How have your classes and trip offerings changed?
The biggest change is that more people are doing standup paddle boarding. It’s about half our business now for rentals and classes. It’s fairly easy to get into, its less gear intensive, the boards are lighter.
What drew you to the East Bay and specifically to Jack London from your previous location in Greenbrae?
We outgrew that space, we grew pretty fast, and we moved to Point Richmond - before we moved there I actually checked out JLS - this was ‘85 - and these buildings were all here. The project had been completed and the buildings were pretty much empty at the time, there wasn’t much going on. I was excited about coming here because of the water access but I made a phone call to the state water control quality people, the local office, and I was informed that the water quality in the estuary at that point in time was very questionable… So we moved to Point Richmond instead, used the Richmond Marina for our classes. In 1993 I was approached by the Port real-estate division to move here again. It took me by surprise... As it turns out it was on a recommendation from the Alameda County economic development commission, [they] suggested that if you wanted to improve JLS activity get something down here to draw people here to use the water.
DASHE CELLARS AND MIKE DASHE
The Jack London team visited Mike and his dedicated team at Dashe Cellars during bottling season to peek in on one of our urban wineries in action. We interviewed Mike Dashe to capture some of his culinary wisdom.
JL:What is your favorite local ingredient and where do you get it?
MD: Dungeness Crabs—I go out on a boat and take them out of the crabpots myself
JL: What is your favorite spice?
MD: Smoked paprika!
JL: What is the most overrated ingredient, in your opinion?
MD: Truffle Oil (overpowers everything!)
JL: What is the most underrated ingredient?
MD: Fresh morels
JL: What's the one food you can't live without?
JL: What's never in your kitchen?
JL: What's always in your kitchen?
MD: Fleur de Sel.
JL: What's the one book that everyone interested in food should read?
MD: Tie: "The Way to Cook" by Julia Childs; and "The Zuni Cafe Cookbook: A Compendium of Recipes and Cooking Lessons" by the late Judy Rodgers
JL: Who is your favorite celebrity chef?
MD: Anthony Bourdain
Parking and Transportation
Street parking in Jack London is strictly 2-hour metered parking. Your best bet for a day in the district is a spot in one of our parking garages listed below.
Jack London Market Garage | Harrison & 2nd (1,086 spaces)
Broadway Parking | Broadway & Embarcadero West (248 spaces)
Washington Street Garage | Washington St. & Embarcadero West (1,00 spaces)
Take BART to 12th Street station and catch the free Broadway shuttle that runs M-F from 7am to 10pm and runs all the way from 27th Street to Jack London Square, shuttles arrive every 10-15 minutes. If your destination is more towards the East side of the district, get off at Lake Merritt Station.
FREE BROADWAY SHUTTLE
AC TRANSIT bus schedules and stops here.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY FERRY service to Jack London Square, schedules and information here.
AMTRAK Jack London station, information, tickets and schedules here.
Our district is a pleasantly bike-able area with wide streets and calm traffic. If you want to get around on two wheels, there are nearby Ford GoBike stations Downtown. Check out a map and more information on renting a bike here.