Disco Volante Closes its Doors on Monday/New Bar Openings in the Temescal

August 19, 2013

Food, Streets


I never knew that a bar closing could make me so very sad and nostalgic but the closure of Disco Volante is giving me the Monday blues. For years, Disco has been my favorite bar because it’s the kind of bar of neighborhood bar I have always had a fantasy of owning and running. First of all, the historic building that housed it used to be a bra factory with the world’s largest bra displayed in the window. The owners did a fantastic job of renovating the space, making it feel hip and cozy at the same time with roomy coveted booths and atmospheric lighting. The food was exceptional, especially for bar food, and a friend who is a burger aficionado said their burger was the best in Oakland. I liked the homemade soups and of course the mixed drinks. But there are other bars in Oakland with good bar food and drinks. What set Disco apart was its diverse selection of live music, from jazz to flamenco. I remember dropping in one Tues night to meet a friend for a drink and being gifted with world class flamenco for a $5 cover. My favorite times were a couple of Saturday nights when Hot Einstein played and the dance floor was smoking or an Oakland Pride fundraiser when young lesbians of color took over for a DJ dance. This is the bar that folks from the Occupy protests escaped to after being hit with teargas. It’s the place I came to relax after participating in the Occupy protest that shut down the port. Disco Volante felt like Oakland, historic and cutting edge, comfortable yet classy. I could see folks from all walks of life from every color in the rainbow and all ages. I could always count on a few more folks my age being in the room and that was an added plus. I don’t know any of the back story to the closing but I do know that it will be hard to replicate its mix of what makes a neighborhood bar truly special.

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New Bar Openings in the Temescal

Not that they can replace Disco Volante, but look for the opening of Hog’s Apothecary at 40th in about a month. I dropped by last week to see how it’s all coming along and the transformation of an old laundry mat is impressive. Also look for a new outing by the folks at The New Parish in the old Leo’s Pro Audio around Oct at 55th and Telegraph. Now if we could just get a live music venue in the old Frazee building at 49th and Telegraph I would be a happy camper.


Build out of Hog’s Apothecary at 375 40th St in the Temescal


About Karen Hester

Karen Hester is a community activist and events coordinator who lives in North Oakland in Temescal Creek Cohousing. Her event productions website is hesternet.net. She lives and breathes the fight to stop more billboards in Oakland and started ScenicEastBay.org

View all posts by Karen Hester

One Response to “Disco Volante Closes its Doors on Monday/New Bar Openings in the Temescal”

  1. mcplanner Says:

    So sad. I hope that beautiful space doesn’t stay empty for long.


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