Oakland chef Nelson German now has two identities in the East Bay dining scene — chef of Alamar Kitchen Oakland and ambitious cocktail lounge owner of his upcoming project, Sobre Mesa.
The latter is a chic bar and restaurant, one of few around Oakland and San Francisco billed as an “Afro-Latino” lounge, set to open March 5 in Uptown Oakland in the 2,900-square-foot space that most recently belonged to a bar called the Payback.
(See the cocktail menu here.)
German is known for the unique food he puts forth at his Dominican-Asian-Cajun seafood spot Alamar Kitchen. But the foundation of Sobre Mesa will be its cocktail menu, which Nelson worked on with bar industry veteran Susan Eggett of the tiki bar Last Rites in San Francisco. The cocktail menu at Sobre Mesa features a number of fruit-forward tropical cocktails with a lot of rum.
Sobre Mesa’s signature cocktails will include the Caribe Colada, made with rum, toasted coconut syrup and pineapple, and a Chan Chan that has spiced honey, lime, various bitters, soda and CBD oil.
There’s a section on the menu called “Call Your Shot,” wherein a customer can order a base drink called Birdcage (dry curaçao, absinthe, maraschino cherries, grapefruit cordial, lemon, bitters, sugar). The drink can be made with a base of seven different available spirits.
Also on the menu are a few classic tropical drinks including a mai tai and a mojito. A nonalcoholic “Stay Sobre” section includes a Havana Soda flavored with cinnamon, vanilla, star anise and grapefruit.
The cocktails are between $12 and $14. The alcohol-free drinks are $6 and bottle service is anywhere from $30 to $60.
On the food front, Sobre Mesa will function as a tapas restaurant. White cheddar empanadas, plantains stuffed with Impossible meat and chicken wings with a lemon and honey glaze are just some of the options. German said the final menu and prices are still being tweaked.
Sobre Mesa. Opening March 5. 1618 Franklin St., Oakland. www.sobremesaoak.com
Justin Phillips is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @JustMrPhillips
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