A new Mexican restaurant will hit Oakland’s Uptown in a matter of weeks.
Joining the likes of Calavera and Xolo, Agave Uptown, spearheaded by Healdsburg chef Octavio Diaz, is taking up a high-profile spot in Oakland’s arts and entertainment district, a 4,000-square foot space in the ground floor of the newly opened Kapor Center for Social Impact just off Broadway. Founded by Mitch Kapor (an early tech entrepreneur and investor) and his wife Freada Kapor Klein, the Kapor Center’s mission is to “narrow gaps in opportunity and access for underrepresented communities.”
Diaz, who was born and raised in Santa Gertrudis, Mexico (outside the city of Oaxaca), will spotlight Oaxacan-style Mexican fare at his new restaurant set to launch on June 13. It’ll be similar in concept to his Agave restaurant in Healdsburg, where the Kapors are reportedly regulars, leading them to ask Diaz to run the show in their new Uptown nonprofit complex.
At Agave Uptown, Diaz will focus on farm-raised ingredients and homemade cooking with a particular point of emphasis on mole, the 20-plus ingredients for which Diaz brings up from Oaxaca several times a year. Other dishes will include tasajo (thinly sliced grilled beef with grilled onions, seasonal mushrooms, and guacamole); cecina (dried strips of beef or pork marinated in adobo); and tlayuda (organic crispy corn tortilla covered with black beans, cabbage, queso Oaxaca and avocado). There will be an extensive cocktail menu that highlights Oaxacan mezcals, in addition to Sonoma County wines and Mexican craft beers.
In keeping with the Kapor Center’s mission, Diaz will also look to hire staff from underrepresented communities looking for career growth and training.
The interior of the restaurant is designed by local Oakland architecture and interiors firm Arcsine, whose other projects include Duende, Calavera, and Teleferic Barcelona.
Hours will be: Sun.–Wed., 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Thurs.–Sat., 11 a.m.–10 p.m.