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The Hive in Uptown Oakland Photo by Rebecca Gomez Farrell

Get the lowdown on Uptown Oakland’s newest businesses and a sneak peek of those coming soon with this quick tour of The Hive. The mixed-use development opened its doors to customers, workers, and apartment dwellers last August. 

The project, led by Signature Development Group, renovated a full city block of the historic Broadway Auto Row with an eye toward preserving its history and creating a new space for Oakland citizens to flock.

When fully complete, the Hive will house 4 offices, 8 lofts, 96 apartments, and 6 retail locations. At a recent media tour, I met most of the retail owners and I’m excited about what they’re bringing to our town!

Open for Business:

1. Calavera (2337 Broadway)

Restauranteurs Chris Pastena (Chop Bar, Lungomare,) Michael Iglesias (Coqueta), and Jessica Sackler (Coqueta) came up with the concept for this Mexican kitchen and agave bar. With Executive Chef Christian Irabien helming the kitchen, the menu takes a Oaxacan bent, but many Mexican influences are present, including crunchy imported grasshoppers and tortilla-making that’s done in-house from the kernel-soaking stage onward. 

The décor is plenty of reason to visit on its own; each alebrijes in the attractively designed interior was made by hand.

Irabien has been pleased with how open customers are to trying mezcal, tequila’s lesser known but older and smokier cousin. Try the salt air cocktail—it’s foamier than what you’re picturing and sure to be fun!

Calavera in Oakland's Hive Photo by Rebecca Gomez Farrell

2. Truve (2345 Broadway)

Truve is the most beautiful gym I’ve seen, though admittedly, I haven’t seen the insides of many. Founder and personal trainer Alison Roessler showed us around the facilities. Modern art dots the walls between machines, and the fitness classroom has an amazing, sustainable, bamboo floor. 

In addition to a wide range of membership options, Truve is committed to the community by offering free classes the public can join—6 per week on the current schedule.

Truve in Oakland's Hive Photo by Rebecca Gomez Farrell

3. Drake’s Dealership (2325 Broadway)

You’ll need to walk through the courtyard to find this outpost of San Leandro’s Drake’s Brewing Company, but with wood-fired pizzas and 32 taps beckoning, that shouldn’t prove much of an obstacle. The space offers large indoor and outdoor seating areas and an as-yet-unopened special event room that will double as seating on rainy days—the old Utica Club advertisement taking up one wall is worth a gander. So is the growler filling station located next to the open kitchen. 

With Taylor Smith, formerly of Jasper’s Corner Tap, as the executive chef, good food to accommodate great beer is assured. I’m already dreaming of the pretzels with bacon fondue.

Drake’s Dealership in Oakland's Hive Photo by Rebecca Gomez Farrell

 4. People’s Barber & Shop (2337 Broadway)

I’ve never met someone as excited about barbering as James Lizotte, managing partner of this second location of the popular San Francisco store. Whether talking about People’s antique barber chairs or hot towel service, Lizotte lights up with the thrill of providing excellent service to men who want to take grooming to the next level of luxury through looking to the past. 

Haircuts start at $40 with shampooing, conditioning, and a drink included.

People’s Barber & Shop in Oakland's Hive Photo by Rebecca Gomez Farrell

5. Red Bay Coffee (The Courtyard outside Impact Hub)

The Hive will make Oakland home to the first ever coffee bar in a converted shipping container! That design was entrepreneur and master roaster Keba Konte’s idea. He’s a man dedicated to using his businesses to create meaningful change. 

Red Bay Coffee employees will earn living wages through profit-sharing and will be given extensive training in Konte’s coffee dojo in Fruitvale. Both the profit-sharing model and the shipping container were funded by a Kickstarter campaign.

Red Bay Coffee’s beans are already available online from their Fruitvale roastery and at the Berkeley Farmers’ Market. Look for the coffee bar to appear in November.

Red Bay Coffee in Oakland's Hive Photo by Rebecca Gomez Farrell 

6. Firebrand Artisan Bread (2343 Broadway)

I won’t lie, of all the Hive’s businesses I’m most excited for the opening of Firebrand’s new bakery storefront, slated for late October/early November. Firebrand is known for supplying brick-oven-baked bread to the Bay Area’s most acclaimed restaurants. 

Colleen Orlando, baker and owner at Firebrand along with Matt Kreutz, is excited to branch out from breads and introduce their future customers to their pastries, donuts, and desserts.

Well, I have been introduced, and I can tell you those customers will be well-pleased if future offerings are anything like their salted caramel tart, rum banana cream puff, and sweet sesame loaf stuffed with preserves. 

Orlando is also thrilled to partner with Jeff Mason of Pal’s Takeaway, formerly located in the Mission, on the bakery’s sandwich menu. That’s a collaboration made in grilled cheese heaven.

Firebrand Artisan Bread in Oakland's Hive Photo by Rebecca Gomez Farrell

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