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1015 Clay Phase One is Awesome

1015 Clay is open at 1015 Clay Street in Old Oakland.

Here's the skinny: They are opening it in phases, towards the goal of an all-day schedule. So far, breakfast and lunch are great. Friday happy hours are going, but haven't stopped by yet. Once they finish phasing in their full menu and hours, they will change the name.

Brunch is forthcoming, and dinner is forthcoming.

This is run by the same guys as Chop Bar in Jack London Square. I consider Chop Bar to have the best brunch near my neighborhood, Old Oakland. 1015's breakfast sandwiches were awesome. I went with some friends, and we each got one of everything. It was all delicious.

I only have one criticism: I'm almost never a fan of coleslaw, pasta salad, or deli-style potato salad, which leaves me with $2 french fries as a side option with the lunch items.

The Old Town Bratw├╝rst looks killer, but alas they don't cook it in beer.

If you haven't tried it, it borders the Oakland City Center, which means it's a super brief walk from the 12th St / City Center BART. If you get off on 11th, you just walk past the convention center and you're there.

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Chop Bar
247 4th St, #111, Oakland, CA 94607

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  1. thanks for the heads up! Always looking for new places to eat around my workplace.

    1. That location changes concepts ("Japanese steakhouse" whose name I forget; Anita's Mexican; Kuwa; Farmers Market Bistro; I may be missing a few) or goes dark at least once a year; nothing on either Chopbar or 1015 Clay's website about any relation (which would be a huge selling point) between the two. Google search comes up with no relation between the two as well.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Pius Avocado III

        Yes, when I moved to Old Oakland in February it was Farmer's Market Bistro (which already looked pretty good), and then it mysteriously closed, and within a week or so they had this weird new sign up ("1015 Clay") which looked dubious. Meanwhile buzz has been spreading down here about how good it is.

        It's not listed on Google because the name will change pretty soon to whatever it's going to be. I'd make a wager that it will be around for a while, just based on how delicious the food is.

        I also forgot to mention that the Friday happy hour menu is also different.

        Here is their website: http://www.1015clay.com

        I tried adding "1015 Clay" as a new restaurant but Chowhound's form broke and didn't let me. (Browser compatibility issue? I used Chrome.)

        1. re: kevin.dickerson

          It was also a Cajun/soul food-ish place (Kuwa?) and some kind of small plates along with the others mentioned.

        2. re: Pius Avocado III

          This morning Grubstreet posted that ChopBar denies involvement.

          http://sanfrancisco.grubstreet.com/20...

          So I did a little online sleuthing.

          http://www.abc.ca.gov/datport/LQSData...

          The liquor license for this address is still held by the same party MHC SEAFOOD LLC since its change over on March 22, 2011, as of 6/6/2011. Since 1015 Clay is serving alcohol, this suggests that there has been no major change in ownership or management.

          https://www.facebook.com/chopbar#!/ch...

          ChopBar's FB info page shows only Lev Delany- co-owner, chef and Chris Pastena - co-owner as the "Culinary Team". The wall timeline between April 5 and April 6 under Recent Activity says "Chop Bar edited their Culinary Team, General Manager and About." Older versions of the FB page used to include Jesse Branstetter.

          https://www.facebook.com/pages/1015-C...

          This FB post on 1015 Clay's wall tags Jesse Branstetter, complimenting the menu.

          6/3 filtered review (hidden from searches and immediate viewing) says that Jesse Branstetter has left ChopBar for 1015 Clay.

          http://www.yelp.com/filtered_reviews/...

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          1015 Clay- CLOSED
          1015 Clay St, Oakland, CA 94607

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Thanks, Ruth. I emailed John Birdsall at the East Bay Express this morning asking if he had the back story. He spoke to Branstetter and filed this piece:
              http://www.eastbayexpress.com/WhatThe...

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                And I just got a message from Branstetter: "Facts: operationally stepped down from chop Bar but still a partner. 1015 clay is my new address. I will rebrand it once the remodel and the full bar is built..."

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  According to a conversation I had with Lev Delany: Branstetter was never a chef at Chop Bar (i.e. actually involved in the kitchen?) and now has nothing to do with Chop Bar whatsoever.

                  Don't know about this "still a partner" business, and it seemed like Delany was unhappy with Birdsall's report today. Some kind of falling out? It seems like Branstetter is trying to use the Chop Bar connection to give his new enterprise credibility, but the remaining Chop Bar co-owners don't appear to be OK with that.

                  1. re: abstractpoet

                    Thanks, the plot thickens. It does sound like some bad blood, since when Grub Street contacted ChopBar, no one pointed toward Branstetter or it probably would have been mentioned in the initial article. My quote above is a direct cut and paste from the private message he wrote me.

                    To be fair to Branstetter, nothing on 1015 Clay's website id's him or any ChopBar connection. 1015 Clay is keeping things mysterious during this phasing game. Until yesterday, google turned up nothing about his involvement in 1015 Clay. It took some digging to find Branstetter, and he only made those statements in response to direct inquiry from Birdsall and from me and isn't promoting.

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                    1015 Clay- CLOSED
                    1015 Clay St, Oakland, CA 94607

            2. found the beef brisket and globs of fat very tender. potato salad interesting but not that flavorful.

              tried all the previous offerings here. overall pretty good. their lack of success probably lies in their inability to draw an evening cilentele. rent isn't cheap here.

              1. The happy hour is now 4-8 Thursdays and Fridays!

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                1015 Clay- CLOSED
                1015 Clay St, Oakland, CA 94607

                1. Had the fried chicken club for lunch the other day- fried boneless chicken breast, bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato on thickly-sliced, toasted sourdough served cut in half. Everything was very good, but the sandwich suffered from structural issues- only the first bite or two of each half brought all the components together at once. The avocado was particularly problematic. That said, those bites in which the flavors all came together were very good. I went with the fennel and coriander slaw on the side; it was quite good as well, as was the included pickle spear.

                  The sides and bratwurst are available for separate purchase from a cold case near the register.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Pius Avocado III

                    I, too have eaten that, and you really have to choose your bites carefully or risk squashing the sandwich. But it's incredibly delicious. The breading in particular distinguishes the chicken.

                    I tried the happy hour Philly Cheese Steak, and was a little disappointed in the size of it and the amount of steak you get. It was delicious, but it's not a meal. (Which is the point, I think?)

                    I'd recommend trying the short ribs over the Philly cheese steak.

                    1. re: kevin.dickerson

                      I'm a light eater. Maybe the Philly cheese steak would work for me. I work nearby a few times a week. Will post back.