Not that I ate there often but I always liked FSWB.
Every part of Oakland seems quite “tapped out” to me as far as drinking establishments… no matter what neighborhood you are in. Liquor stores and sports bars (Dorsey’s Locker) for the lower class. Pricier bars and lounges (Mimosa Champagne, Pican) for the languishing “upper-middle” and true upper classes. Maybe it’s always been this way? (Some people argue there has never been a “Golden Era”, while every society and each generation thinks its past definitely was a Golden Era.) Drinking is for everyone poor or not. And undoubtedly, drinking is worse for you than marijuana, but to each his own.
See Franklin Square Wine Bar website‘s “closed” notice.
Who will benefit from this closure? Nearby bars: Ozumo, Luka’s, Era Lounge (new), Mimosa, Pican, mua, Somar… okay maybe that’s a stretch but Uptown does have a huge number of drinking establishments. The district in my opinion needs more balance: decent cafes, grocery stalls, hookah place, Mediterranean food, bowling, darts, pool, more regular food and so on. Just as likely, this district needs more foot traffic from full residential and office building occupancy to fill the bars down on street level.
But more than either of these, which are both valid, is the unwillingness of people to spend money. That’s not going to happen for a long time. Should be obvious to everyone by now including (officially) to “TPTB.” Everyone’s frugal-ing it up, paying down debts, battening the hatches for even worse economic news. (You can get your daily fill of that here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.)
Think College Avenue. It “gentrified” in a more organic way over a longer period of time. On the Bway side there’s Chu, the Irish pub, the shi-shi place in between, and alcohol at a few other restaurants. Otherwise, not many bars until you reach RR BART with that “water” place and Nick’s. (I don’t know what the corner wine bar on the other side of Highway 24/RRBART is up to. They seem confused.)
Here’s a poster O-Scene blog put up about 2009’s Obama Inaug drinking bashes:
One of those was held at FSWB I believe. Sadly, poster reminds us that Bush happily handed Obama the keys to be our nation’s Economic Janitor, the one to turn out the lights carefully. The only real stimulus I — and Everette & Jones — see Obama handing out is cash for bankers (bailing them out for their own greedy, risky, fraudulent, liar-loan-based, leveraged mortgage-backed securities “investments” and other bubble casino chips), War contractors (for surging the Afghan war, in a place where empires go to die), car-makers (subsidizing slightly better MPG SUVs), Israel (unlimited military support against ghettoized Palestinians) and everyone else with a lobbying budget.
Presidents are just puppets, something we can stare at and blame or praise. They do not pull the strings. It is celebrity circus.
Anyway, I’ll be happy to go to Luka’s once in a while for my FWB cravings. Good bye for now, Franklin Square Wine Bar.