By Tracey Taylor | Berkeleyside.com
Food truck market Off The Grid is making its first foray into Oakland with the launch of a new weekly market outside the Oakland Museum of California. The street food gathering is part of the museum’s new Friday Nights program which will include films, live music, dancing, as well as half-price admission for adults (under-18s go free).
The final truck line-up for Off the Grid: Lake Merritt @ OMCA has not been finalized, according to a spokesperson for the San Francisco based street food organization, but some of the East Bay trucks that used to be regulars at Berkeley’s Wednesday Gourmet Ghetto market (which was canceled last month), and at the Thursday Berkeley Telegraph Avenue market, will likely be there. So too will some of the perennial favorites that cross the Bay Bridge to attend Off The Grid markets in its two other East Bay venues, Alameda and Hayward, such as Gua Bao bun specialist The Chairman.
OMCA said the idea was to build on the success of a Summer Nights program that the museum has been running since 2010 and incorporate food trucks, music and other foodie attractions.
“We are really excited to team up with Off The Grid so that people can enjoy delicious Californian cuisine,” said Cynthia Taylor, Assistant Director for Public Programming at the museum. After their meal, visitors will be welcomed into the galleries for special programs as well as the museum’s regular exhibitions, Taylor said. A ’70s funk DJ will be whipping up tunes through February for people to take dance lessons — soul trains are anticipated, said Taylor.
The museum is putting an emphasis on local food and drink in its Blue Oak café, Taylor said, serving cocktails and beers and wines from East Bay purveyors. There will also be a beer garden and a hot-chocolate bar on cooler nights. Local makers will be featured as part of the Friday evening programming, kicking off with Oakland’s Blue Chair Fruits who will be demonstrating marmelade making on Jan. 25.
The move also coincides with the winter shuttering of Off The Grid at Fort Mason in San Francisco, as well as redevelopment work in the museum’s neighborhood which will see pedestrian access to Lake Merritt made easier come the spring.
Friday Nights at OMCA will start on January 25 and run from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. Off The Grid trucks will be located in front of the museum’s 10th Street entrance.