San Francisco

Oakland's Classic Cars West Dealership Will Serve Beer

An Oakland dealership hopes to show how cars and alcohol go together.

Inside Scoop SF reports that Oakland's Classic Cars West dealership will add a limited service walk-up restaurant and outdoor beer garden to the property in hopes of drawing in customers beyond the store's monthly exhibits on display for Oakland Art Murmur. Owner Michael Sarcona is a vegetarian and has decided to make the menu meat-free, with some vegan options as well, all washed down with beer and wine. He is looking at a tentative opening of his food and drink choices in May.

Beer has been booming in San Francisco and the East Bay for the past two years in particular with the opening of several breweries, beer gardens, taprooms and craft beer bars. In 2013, Eater SF noted 27 new or forthcoming beer-centric spots popping up on both sides of the Bay.

"I think the beer garden trend is indicative of two larger aspects at play," said Allie Pape, Eater SF's editor and a Certified Cicerone in training, which is the beer equivalent to a wine sommelier. "One, obviously, is the explosive growth of craft beer as a category, which I don't see slowing down anytime soon. It's still less than 10 percent of the total U.S. beer market, so that's a lot of territory to potentially scoop up, which will only grow as millennials get more buying power.

"But I think another, more subtle aspect is that craft beer is both delicious and affordable. With wine by the glass and craft cocktails now starting at $10 and only rising from there, craft beer is a better alternative for people who want to have more than one drink, especially because it tends to be the preferred pairing with easygoing, inexpensive-to-produce food like fried items and burgers."

Pape doesn't think Oakland will hit maximum beer capacity in the near future.

"For an upstart brewery, the East Bay has become pretty much the only option," she explained. "SF is too expensive, and if you go further afield, you potentially lose access to a lot of that youthful market that loves craft beer so much."

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