Oakland Rec Club (ORC) is the newest project conceptualized by owner Sky Wegman dedicated to the vibrant, social and creative local community in Oakland. Sky started bartending in the East Bay in the late 90s and has launched and co-owned several successful joints in San Francisco over the past 12 years. Since 2015, Sky has been working on bringing ORC, his biggest endeavor yet, to life in Oakland – a place he has called home for nearly twenty years.
Ranked by Forbes as America’s 13th fastest growing city in 2016, Oakland is undergoing a period of unprecedented growth. With 8 straight years of economic growth since 2009 and unemployment at 3.5% (versus 4.5% nationwide), the local economy has benefited from the spillover of the Bay Area tech boom and a significant investment by the local government to develop a robust small business economy. The economic vibrancy and convenient transit system (accessible by car, ferry, bike, and public transport) have attracted people and businesses across the bridge looking for better and more affordable alternatives to San Francisco.
The New York Times included the East Bay on its list of the top 52 Places to Go in 2016 (ranked 39th globally), and USA Today named Oakland one of 2016’S 10 Best Local Food Scenes in the country (ahead of both San Francisco and Los Angeles). The growing affluent consumer market and incredible new culinary talent are continuing to fuel the expansion in the local food and nightlife scenes.
Living in Oakland, Sky recognized the strong demand for nightlife options amidst the ongoing robust development in his own side of town. Drawing from his decades of experience bartending and running bars in both the East Bay and San Francisco, Sky conceptualized ORC to bring a uniquely inclusive social experience to Oaktown. He secured the location in 2015 and began collaborating with a team of experienced local bar and restaurant veterans to carefully curate an experience that the team felt was missing.
Centrally located in the heart of downtown Oakland with nearly 9,000 square feet of space, ORC will be a one-of-a-kind upscale bar, restaurant, and billiards club offering Oaklanders and downtown professionals a fun night out on the town. The menu will feature a unique array of creative and satisfying dishes served all day, and the drink list will focus on a core set of quality cocktails and seasonal specialties sure to please and surprise even the most discerning patrons. These patrons can also socialize over a dozen pool tables, shuffleboard and other recreational bar games. The food and drink menu will see regular monthly and seasonal turnover, and a portion of the mezzanine will be allocated as an entertainment space for buyouts or other house-sponsored events.
Owner Sky Wegman has over 19 years of industry experience as a bartender as well as the proprietor of some of the Bay Area’s best known bars and venues. His track record as an owner includes 83 Proof (Thrillist), The Dogpatch Saloon (Eater, UrbanDaddy), and Hopwater Distribution (Eater).
With Oakland Rec Club, Sky has drawn upon the knowledge he gained from his years of success in the hospitality field to create an exceptional experience for patrons that is uniquely Oakland. The leadership of ORC has spent the last two years building out the infrastructure and forming the team necessary to make Oakland Rec Club a thriving addition to the community and a positive contribution to the city of Oakland.
Construction is underway, and is anticipated to be completed in July 2017.