Town Crier: Jack London Square becoming hot spot again
By Ginny Prior Columnist
If Thursday is the new Friday, then Jack London Square is the new Pier 39. Happy hour is suddenly a happening place at old stalwarts like Scott's and Kincaid's, with newcomers like Plank and Forge driving the traffic.
It's pretty cool what the new owners have done with the old Barnes and Noble. Plank has mass appeal with its center stage bar flanked by an arcade, bowling alley and enough large-screen TVs to make it a legitimate hangout for sports fans. Outside, the feel is unquestionably Oakland with a beer garden, bocce ball and a playground for tots.
Waterside at Kincaid's, the cocktail crowd sips basil gin martinis as kayaks and crew boats slip past the picture windows. Over at Scott's, the live piano sets the mood with cool jazz as the waning sun sets over the estuary. Scott's has happy hour all evening, which I think is great -- not that I'd sit there all night, mind you.
So Jack London Square is really starting to sizzle again. Now if they could just fill the long-shuttered retail spaces. The Jack London Improvement District has been inviting input from the public through a series of panel talks. Their goal is to create a destination with "flourishing businesses, vibrant events and a high quality of life."