Check out our feature in Eater here!: https://sf.eater.com/2019/8/12/20802098/friends-and-family-oakland-bar-opening-uptown-chef-christa-chase
Friends and Family will be the place you didn’t know you were missing. It will be a place where a friendly bartender is always prepared to ease your mind and excite your palate.The place where the staff are approachable, knowledgeable, and ready to churn out a perfect cocktail.
We want to create someplace intimate, inviting, surprising and unpretentious. Someplace where you can take your date or catch up with your best friend— feeling confident in not only the ethos and ethics that ground it, but in the space itself. In the energy of the people working, and in the vibe of the room.
As women who have been working in this industry as long as we have, we want Friends & Family to be a safe space for our Oakland community who often feel like they have to put their values aside to have the specialized, intimate bar experience they want.
Having spent most of our careers working with others towards establishing and manifesting their visions, which has been an amazing and deeply educational experience —we’re ready to make this happen for ourselves.
We’ve been waiting for you to join our friends and family, and it is our honor to serve you.
After a 2 year process of zoning, permitting and game planning we are in the final stages of our buildout and excited to open our doors this winter!
We are honored to call 468 25th Street home, sharing a block with incredible galleries, distilleries, artists & craft-makers, and longtime Oakland businesses.
468 is a charming building, filled with deep history and beautiful bones. We are so lucky to be working with an immensely talented team of people that are helping to create the magical place Friends and Family is destined to be.
There is a sense of discovery that we are excited to create. Friends and Family will have an interior that feels intimate, sexy and playful. A vibe that is refreshing and spontaneous. The space will feature fixtures and artwork thoughtfully created and chosen from local artists and crafts people. There will be architectural and aesthetic features that pay homage to some of our favorite places we have visited in Paris, Italy, New York and Mexico City. A space that can play out perfectly for every occasion from a solo date, to meeting a future flame or an impromptu dance party.
BLAKE SONDEL COLE - Owner
I’m a Bay-Area native who’s been in the restaurant industry for 15 years (25 if you include my childhood years insisting on taking orders from my family at the dinner table). It started as just a gig, but quickly turned into something a lot more meaningful for me. I quickly discovered something incredibly gratifying in service. A meal shared with friends and loved ones is one of life’s most fundamental human experiences— I love designing and facilitating that experience for people.
Over the past 10 years, I’ve worked in, helped open, and manage several restaurants and bars in Oakland and San Francisco including Hopscotch, The Kon-TIki, Tosca Cafe, Doña Tomas, Holy Mountain & Itani Ramen. I also co-founded an events project, Hot House, which hosted private dinners and parties which helped to raise thousands of dollars for local and national charities.
Friends and Family is my baby, my love - it is the place I have been dreaming up for a long time, and I could not be more excited to share it with you.
KIMBERLY ROSSELLE - Collaborator
Kimberly Rosselle is a proud Oakland, California native with over 15 years’ experience in the industry. Rosselle actually never imagined a career in the bar/restaurant industry but immediately took to the trade. She initially wanted to be a teacher but while looking for opportunities in the education, she took a job as a server at Nopalito and was hooked. She fell in love with the craft that goes into curating an individualized experience and the skill of learning to pay attention to the details. From Nopalito, Rosselle eventually moved on to open and run several bars, including Flora Bar and Restaurant, Fauna Bar, and Comal. In 2013 she joined the opening team of Trick Dog in SanFrancisco, later became the bar manager, and then moved on to open their second location Bon Voyage!
She learned so much about the industry, from how to successfully manage a team, to experimenting with what a craft cocktail could be.
During her time at Trick Dog, Rosselle led the bar to an incredible list of accolades: Best Bar Team and Bar Fight Champion at the 2014 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, as well a spot amongst the top four finalists for James Beard Outstanding Bar Program in 2015 & 2018, five consecutive years on the Drinks International World’s 50 BestBars list, and World’s Best Menu at the Spirited Awards in 2017. She has also been featured for her work in numerous publications including: How to Drink French Fluently, The Art of the Shim, Pür in Spirit, and Imbibe Magazine.
CHRISTA CHASE - Chef
Christa Chase has been cooking for 15 years and has been in the Bay Area for the past 11, originally from Arizona, she moved out to fully immerse herself in the local market-driven food scene.
Starting in 2008 at Oliveto in Oakland with Chef Paul Canales, then working at Pizzaiolo with Chef Julya Shin, both places developed her love for Italian food. She was an opening sous chef at Oakland’s Spanish restaurant, Duende working with Canales again. During her time there, she was recognized in 2014 by Zagat as “30 under 30”. She then opened Kronnerburger in Oakland but shortly after went to Penrose to work alongside Shin again. Most recently, Christa was executive chef at Tartine Manufactory in San Francisco's Mission District where she spent the last three years collaborating with chefs and creating a seasonal menu using Tartine’s famous breads and baked goods. During her time there, she was named a “Rising Star Chef of 2018”by the SF Chronicle and one of the industry's “Star Chefs of 2019”.
Christa is very passionate about using her voice and leadership in the community. During her time at Tartine, she hosted a dinner featuring and celebrating female chefs, farmers, artisans and winemakers. At a time where the industry is calling for change and the rise of the #metoo movement, she finds it necessary to support female chefs and workers. This year she co-founded a group called Bay Area Fight for Aboriton Rights that raised $40,000 for Planned Parenthood. Food is political and she values the importance of having these conversations.
PRESS LOVE <3
LOGO DESIGN: Sophie Peoples
BUILD OUT TEAM - Architect: Keith Morris, Studio KDA. Contractor: Holland & Harley. Interior: Redmond Aldrich. Concept Designer: Jenny Sarris
KICKSTARTER VIDEO- Director: Senecca Dawn. Set Design: Jenny Sarris. Floral Design: Robin Easterbrook. Special Thanks to Shelly Harper/ HARP and all of our Friends and Family.
Risks and challenges
It has been quite the journey to get to this point, handling the permits and licensing has been no small task.
We are so lucky to have made it to this point and are beyond thrilled that our build out is now smooth sailing and foresee no additional delays from here on out!
As with any build out there are always surprises around the corner, but we have already overcome our major challenge.
If all goes well with final inspections we will be excited to open our doors this winter!
- (50 days)