The Alice Collective, a kitchen collective and event space near Alice Street in Downtown Oakland, has unveiled a new, biscuit-heavy Southern menu as well as a full bar with a suite of specialty cocktails.
Chef Lance Velasquez has rolled out four new kinds of biscuits, including a classic buttermilk and a cheddar-buttermilk variety called “The Laguna” that translates well into sandwich form. To wit, the Crispy Laguna is a double-dipped fried chicken sandwich with spicy mayo, available for breakfast, lunch, or whenever. You can also take them home by the dozen and bake them there, grabbing some bourbon apple butter, house-made jam, or pimento cheese.
To wash all this down, Trou Normand and Bar Agricole veteran Greg Quinn has stocked The Alice Collective’s bar with “daytime cocktails” — who doesn’t like the sound of that? — such as a Hemingway Daiquiri with rum, lime, grapefruit, and maraschino liqueur, or a TAC Seasonal Cooler made with either mezcal or vodka plus peach, orange, basil, and soda. There’s also plenty of local wine and beer.
Housed in a nearly century-old building, the 4,000-square-foot Alice Collective is part of the Bay Area’s new generation of collaborative kitchen spaces. Already home to a number of small-scale, artisanal operations like cofounder Ted Wilson’s catering company Metal & Match, Good-to-Eat Dumplings, and Andrew Schiff’s cake business Oak & Fig Baking, it’s set to expand further as Quinn starts up his own “cocktail catering company,” Black Alder. The multi-floor space’s design retains much of its original 1920s touches, and there’s even a mural depicting the celestial spheres on the day Wilson signed the lease, a grandiose touch like you might find at Grand Central Station or Hoover Dam.
Just don’t call The Alice Collective an “incubator.”
“I have a little resistance to the word ‘incubator,’” Wilson, who thinks of himself as the collective’s head of business development, told SF Weekly last year. “I want to provide space for people to grow their businesses in.”
It’s been a busy season for Wilson, who has also refurbished the William Tell House, a 142-year-old saloon in Tomales. It, too, has reopened with a cocktail-centric bar and a brand-new menu.
Alice Collective, 272 14th St., Oakland, 510-599-4945, thealicecollective.com