The oldest cities of the world are crowded with ghosts, but all of the spaces we inhabit are rich with stories from another time. From 1913 to 1957, our Oakland Yard wine shop was part of the Oakland Shafter Yard, a rail yard and station on the Sacramento Northern electric commuter line that occupied the entire block of 40th from Webster to Shafter Streets.
A few months after opening, I received a phone call from a railway historian eager to share with us what he knew of our site. He said he went by the handle ‘Key Route Ken’, after one of the early bay area commuter train lines, and he excitedly told me some of the history of our block, including the following:
“From 1913 to 1938, the trains ran down 40th Street to the Key System Ferry Pier, and from 1939 to 1941 they continued down 40th and ran across the lower deck of the old bay bridge to San Francisco. There were some six or seven wonderful electric interurban systems around the Bay, even up in Marin and the Napa Valley wine country.”
We chose our name to help ground ourselves in this place - to be rooted in the neighborhood - and also to call to mind the crossroads, a restful stopping place along one’s way. Please drop in and share a glass, a bottle, a smile, a laugh, or a story to add to the lines that continue to connect us all.
TONIGHT at OAKLAND YARD: Thursday Night Flights - Italian whites and Spanish reds – 4 to 8pm - $12
I Clivi Ribolla Gialla
Il Palazzone Vignarco Orvieto
La Capra Loca Tempranillo
Juan Gil Monastrell
Vina Zorzal Graciano
See you there,