1/16/2013 12:44:00 PM

Duende Drops Tonight in Oakland

It’s showtime tonight for one of our most anticipated 2013 openings, Duende, the Spanish-inspired newcomer shoring up the burgeoning Uptown Oakland restaurant scene, where former Oliveto executive chef Paul Canales has teamed up with impresario Rocco Somazzi to create a bustling neighborhood hub.

The ambitious, multiuse venture includes an 84-seat restaurant with a sherry-focused wine bar in the lounge, an adjacent wine bar/coffee shop and a loft space that plans to host special events and live music. But for foodies, all eyes will be on the platos, ranging in size from small pinxtos to full-sized platos familiares, showcasing Caneles’ interpretation of mid-priced regional Spanish cuisine, employing the same local sourcing and meticulous techniques that he used to turn out Italian food at his previous gig.

In addition to the restaurant, the sprawling Art Deco space, located in the historic Floral Depot Building (also home to Flora) across the street from the Fox Theater, includes a sherry-focused cocktail bar with first-come, first-serve seating and an adjoining bodega that opens every at 7 AM (except Tuesdays) proffering Verve Coffee in the morning, ICI ice cream in the afternoon and artisanal Spanish products (wine, olive oil, etc) all day long. The first musical act, the Nels Clines Singers, will be taking up residency in the loft space beginning January 23-26.

Duende: Opening tonight, 468 19th St; Oakland, 510-893-0174