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1015 Clay Phase One is Awesome

k
kevin.dickerson May 25, 2011 03:53 PM

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 Bratwürst 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.

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

  1. b
    betterbeheaven May 25, 2011 04:18 PM

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

    1. p
      Pius Avocado III May 25, 2011 07:06 PM

      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
        k
        kevin.dickerson May 25, 2011 07:22 PM

        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
          m
          ML8000 May 25, 2011 07:41 PM

          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
          Melanie Wong Jun 7, 2011 11:40 AM

          This morning Grubstreet posted that ChopBar denies involvement.

          http://sanfrancisco.grubstreet.com/2011/06/unnamed_restaurant_softly_open.html?mid=partnerfeed

          So I did a little online sleuthing.

          http://www.abc.ca.gov/datport/LQSData.asp?ID=19419782

          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#!/chopbar?sk=info

          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-Clay/217380628278285?sk=wall#!/permalink.php?story_fbid=221817757834572&id=569838457

          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/...

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

          1. re: Melanie Wong
            Ruth Lafler Jun 7, 2011 01:45 PM

            Excellent detective work, Melanie!

            1. re: Ruth Lafler
              Melanie Wong Jun 7, 2011 03:20 PM

              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
                Melanie Wong Jun 7, 2011 04:10 PM

                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
                  a
                  abstractpoet Jun 8, 2011 10:08 AM

                  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
                    Melanie Wong Jun 8, 2011 11:08 AM

                    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.

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

              2. re: Melanie Wong
                p
                Pius Avocado III Jun 7, 2011 07:27 PM

                Thanks Melanie.

            2. s
              shanghaikid May 25, 2011 08:26 PM

              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. k
                kevin.dickerson May 27, 2011 02:06 PM

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

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

                1. p
                  Pius Avocado III Jun 6, 2011 12:01 PM

                  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
                    k
                    kevin.dickerson Jun 6, 2011 12:29 PM

                    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
                      l
                      Leely2 Jun 6, 2011 07:31 PM

                      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.

                  2. k
                    kevin.dickerson Jun 13, 2011 02:19 PM

                    Tried the coleslaw—it's good! It has fennel in it, I think. It lacks all the qualities of coleslaw that I dislike. http://www.twitter.com/kevindickerson

                    1. c
                      comiendofeliz Jul 18, 2011 06:53 PM

                      Wow I just looked up 1015 Clay's website and FB and Jesse Branstetter has pulled out of this location. How disappointing.

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

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: comiendofeliz
                        drewskiSF Jul 18, 2011 08:17 PM

                        the drama!
                        http://www.1015clay.com/

                        1. re: comiendofeliz
                          k
                          kevin.dickerson Jul 19, 2011 05:48 PM

                          I saw that too! That is malarkey!

                          1. re: comiendofeliz
                            s
                            shanghaikid Jul 20, 2011 05:15 AM

                            no doubt the failure of previous tenants (kawa, farmer's bistro?, that japanese restaurant, etc) crossed his mind.

                            1. re: shanghaikid
                              m
                              ML8000 Jul 20, 2011 09:13 AM

                              That's an odd space...a bit dark and cave-like. No one has really re-done it after all the different restaurants.

                          2. Melanie Wong Jul 20, 2011 03:40 PM

                            This afternoon I received an email from Jesse Branstetter:

                            "Hi Melanie, You guys work fast I just received an email from SF Eater and saw all the comments on Chow Hound about my departure from 1015 Clay. For the record the actual space of 1015 Clay is great and I had no problem generating business in that restaurant. As a matter of fact I quadrupled sales and my last day on Friday was the highest grossing day since my three month stint.

                            I came to work with the owner because he was losing money. I have 23 years of experience running restaurants and I knew that I could make this place a success. . .(edited out). . . I could not in good conscience continue to work for him and I pulled out. Unfortunately he has taken my menu and is attempting to still sell my food. None of the people I hired still work there . . . (edited out)

                            So there you have it straight from the source. The upside to all of this is that I made a name for myself in a relative short period of time, and I am already looking for a new spot in Oakland. The restaurant business is my passion and I look forward to the next project.

                            Cheers,

                            Jesse"

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

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Melanie Wong
                              a
                              abstractpoet Jul 20, 2011 03:46 PM

                              It's not exactly clear here why Branstetter pulled out - I assume that's the part you edited out? But the gist of it is a dispute with the owner, I guess.

                              I'm still curious as to why his parting from the Chop Bar folks did not appear to be amicable.

                              1. re: Melanie Wong
                                l
                                Leely2 Jul 20, 2011 04:31 PM

                                Went by 1015 Clay today with a friend who had come down for lunch (I work very nearby). Looked weird/dead in there, completely different group of people behind the counter, some people seated but no one had food. So we left.

                                Too bad! It was so nice having someplace with delicious food in this neighborhood.

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

                                1. re: Leely2
                                  k
                                  kevin.dickerson Aug 3, 2011 10:35 PM

                                  I just stopped in a few days ago, and everything seems pretty much the same except the tablecloths are gone, and the bronze sculptures. The food is still delicious.

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

                                  1. re: kevin.dickerson
                                    drewskiSF Aug 3, 2011 10:43 PM

                                    OK, now I'm interested to stop by just to see what the fuss is about.

                                    Did you talk to or did you see if the kitchen staff is unchanged too?

                                    1. re: drewskiSF
                                      k
                                      kevin.dickerson Aug 3, 2011 10:45 PM

                                      Same guys were working who I've seen before. Is there a way to unmark the "closed" 1015 Clay restaurant thing on Chowhound? Now there are two. Kind of weird.

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

                              2. Melanie Wong Sep 29, 2011 11:33 PM

                                So, who's been to Vitus? Jesse Branstetter's new gig.
                                http://www.vitusoakland.com/

                                -----
                                Vitus
                                201 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: Melanie Wong
                                  s
                                  shanghaikid Sep 30, 2011 12:03 AM

                                  vitus basically has sandwiches and a few draft beers.
                                  they gave my burger to someone else. food is above average. service is lacking. only a bartender on duty early afternoons.

                                  they offer to deliver food to nearby pubs.

                                  1. re: shanghaikid
                                    moto Sep 30, 2011 01:05 PM

                                    'few draft beers' -- apparently they deliver food to Beer Revolution, so they don't consider themselves competitors in the 'artisan brew-centric' pub market ? what's the attraction other than food for their clientele, live music, or the 'scene' ?

                                    -----
                                    Beer Revolution
                                    464 3rd St, Oakland, CA 94607

                                    1. re: moto
                                      s
                                      shanghaikid Oct 2, 2011 04:51 PM

                                      as you may know, this site was a "rb music place" for a few months before it failed. and it's located right next to a porno video store.

                                      it's happy hour till closing after 5. looks likes a hangout place for now. seems some "nightclub type" musicians are booked in the evenings/weekends.

                                    2. re: shanghaikid
                                      Melanie Wong Oct 2, 2011 12:07 PM

                                      I didn't make it to 1015 Clay during Branstetter's tenure and was wondering if the food at Vitus is comparable.

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

                                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                                        s
                                        shanghaikid Oct 2, 2011 04:53 PM

                                        the food is limited to sammies/salads. would say it's not as adventurous as 1015, yet.

                                        food at vitus presently is good, not great. execution problems exist.

                                    3. re: Melanie Wong
                                      p
                                      Pius Avocado III Jul 26, 2012 09:13 AM

                                      Vitus has closed, with plans to return soon "in their very own location."

                                    4. p
                                      Pius Avocado III Dec 28, 2011 11:43 AM

                                      After remaining as 1015 Clay for awhile, the space is now a taqueria called Tatuyo.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Pius Avocado III
                                        k
                                        kevin.dickerson Dec 27, 2012 05:28 PM

                                        After remaining as Tatuyo "Tequila N Tapas Lounge", it is now El Gusano. El Gusano is not open yet, but looks like it's close to opening very, very soon...

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