Talk about a homecoming.
Oakland natives Glenn Kaplan and Chris Foott returned from journeys abroad to open the brand-new Uptown bar Make Westing.
The bar is named after Jack London's short story about a ship struggling to make its way home west, and the former jewelry store in which Make Westing is housed has been given an industrial-chic makeover that frames the points of interest: the bar and the two full-length bocce courts. Bocce has as of late become an au courant barroom divertissement; drinking alone no longer suffices.
But the cocktails created by Caroline Pagel (formerly of Berkeley's Sea Salt) and Foott are captivating enough to merit a visit. They pair has created a drink menu that includes originals like the High Merrit (tequila, grapefruit, Aperol and Angostura bitters; $8) and the Carolac (rye, St. George absinthe, Averna, orange bitters and brown sugar; $8), as well as riffs on classics.
For snacking: cheeses, but also "things in jars," including pork rillettes ($6), cherry tomato confit ($6) and olive oil-poached artichokes ($7). A rotating list of sandwiches changes with the seasons, but currently includes a must-order warm duck confit sandwich ($11) dressed with black pepper-allspice aioli, arugula, and a pickled-grape jelly that lends both sweetness and acidity.
It may be in the East Bay, but we suggest you Make Westing.
Make Westing, 1741 Telegraph Ave. (at 18th St.), Oakland; 510-251-1400 or makewesting.com