The OJD Group Inc., the team behind Town Revival, is excited to open their latest project, Tribune in downtown Oakland’s historic Tribune Tower at 401 13th Street. From Chef/Partner Omri Aflalo, the menu will feature American Brasserie favorites leaning on French influences from his vast culinary training while featuring local, seasonal produce from Oakland and the greater Bay Area. Operating Partner/General Manager Darrin Ballon will lead the front of house and has built an environment that serves as a place to gather with friends and enjoy warm hospitality. Tribune will be open Thursday – Sunday, 5:00 – 10:00 PM.
Aflalo has built a menu of approachable brasserie favorites pulling from a variety of influences. The menu will rotate seasonally, leaning on craveable favorites. Alongside Aflalo, Sebastian Brown will help execute the menu as Chef de Cuisine. Guests can start their meal with Prather Ranch Beef Tartare made with shallot-caper vinaigrette and served with warm, fresh Baladi – an Egyptian flatbread, made with buckwheat flour and topped with a warm, buttery Marash oil or the Tribune Chopped Salad made with Lolla Rosa lettuce, avocado, baby squash, watermelon radish, and roquefort societé dressing, and crispy bacon bits. Entrees will include Grilled Branzino “Amandine” served with wild rice pilaf,sauce “amandine”, poured tableside which is made with roasted almonds, barigoule, and shallots or a 14 Oz. New York Steak from 80-day, dry aged Five Dot Ranch served with potato pave, arrowhead cabbage, and finished with beef jus and a brown butter green peppercorn making a beautiful rendition of “au poivre” sauce. The star of any brasserie menu will be the Tribune Burger, served with Lolla Rosa lettuce, caramelized red onion “schmear” atop a toasted, sweet potato Firebrand bun. Guests will have the option to add avocado, bacon, or comte cheese along with a side of Fries seasoned with allium dust, and served with sauce andalouse, a traditional frites accompaniment, inspired by Aflalo’s time living in Belgium. Rounding out the menu will be a variety of desserts including a Caramelized White Chocolate Cheesecake “S’More” served with graham cracker crust and toasted marshmallow fluff or a Sticky Toffee Cake with bahri dates and burnt toffee sauce. Hoping to strike a balance between rustic and refined, Aflalo has created a menu that offers guests options allowing them to return again and again.
Ballon has crafted a front of house experience rooted in the principles of his fine dining service experience, but in a relaxed environment with friendly, knowledgeable staff. Working with consultant Martin Sheehan-Stross on the beverage menu, Ballon is excited to feature unique cocktails and highlight local, up-and-coming winemakers alongside additional producers from great wine regions around the world. The wine list will feature a robust offering of bottles and half bottle selections, alongside six wines on tap. It was important to Ballon that the cocktail list included plays on classics, while representing flavors of Oakland. Drawing inspiration from Oakland’s tiki roots, they created the Rumble In The Jungle made with both dark and pineapple rum, Campari, and lime juice. Featuring one of Ballon’s favorite distilleries, St. George, they created the Almonds in Alameda, made with St. George vodka, orgeat, Giffard Abricot Du Roussillon, and Peychaud’s bitters.
Working with designer Jon De La Cruz, who is known for his work at Che Fico, Leo’s Oyster Bar, and The Cavalier. The interiors of Tribune are meant to evoke the casual elegance of the original 1923 Tribune Tower but with a modern eye. By stripping away layers of previous renovations, De La Cruz brought back some of the former architectural details like ornate plaster crown molding. They expanded the ceilings back to their original height to create more light and vertical space within the restaurant. Warmth has been added throughout the restaurant by combining details of burnished brass with a palate of moody gray, inviting guests to tuck into the tufted leather banquettes for a cocktail and a snack. The exterior is meant to stand out and be noticed. The lacquered outdoor facade is painted a whimsical creme de menthe as a call to the European sense of casual chic while still fitting with the neighborhood’s architectural style. Hospitality creative agency Ray Studio developed the brand identity, including a hand drawn iteration of the Tribune’s iconic logo. Ballon and Aflalo worked with local apron companies, Lundy Way and Stagger Lee Goods to design the aprons for the back of house and front of house, respectively.
Tribune is located at 401 13th St, Oakland between Broadway and Franklin Streets. Follow along on social media at TribuneOakland on Instagram and on Facebook, sign up for updates on their website, www.tribuneoakland.com.
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About OJD Group Inc.:
Industry veterans and business partners Omri Aflalo, John Cahill, and Darrin Ballon, have created OJD Group Inc. to bring the Oakland community two restaurants, Tribune and Town Revival, both located in downtown Oakland. Having worked in kitchens all over the world Aflalo, Ballon and Cahill have learned the importance of dedication to craft, continued education, and a positive work environment. As the current pandemic has illuminated, the restaurant industry is in desperate need of change – one they hope to craft together, mentoring the next generation of hospitality professionals in both the front and back of house.
By creating an experience built on the team’s four core principles – Community, Cuisine, Sourcing, and Atmosphere – OJD Group Inc. will weave together Ballon’s commitment to the front-of-house experience with Chefs Aflalo and Cahill’s exemplary culinary backgrounds. The team’s storied careers in fine dining restaurants throughout the Bay Area and around the country have informed a desire to craft a warm, inviting atmosphere that is friendly and based on real connections.