Local Counsel with Vincent Tong

Oakland’s Vincent Tong tells us what’s good in the neighborhood

Published in 2017 Northern California Super Lawyers magazine

By Vincent Tong on July 7, 2017


Favorite watering hole  –  Heinold’s First and Last Chance, aka Jack London’s Rendezvous. Opened in 1883, this saloon is dog-friendly, outdoors, right next to the estuary, and an overall great spot to hang out with friends.

Favorite building  –  Paramount Theatre—gorgeous art deco. The venue hosts diverse programs, from orchestral performances to movie screenings to this year’s Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution.

Best restaurant  –  Champa Garden. Laotian/Southeast Asian fusion food. These days, there’s always a wait, which is why I’m strictly takeout. 

Favorite historical fact about Oakland  –  The Black Panther Party launched its free breakfast program for children here in 1969, the first nationally organized breakfast program in the U.S. 

Favorite historical site in Oakland  –  The oak tree in Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. In 1917, this oak tree was transplanted from Mosswood Park, where it grew for 20 years, dedicated to Jack London. This January, the tree was rededicated.

Favorite movie theater  –  Grand Lake Theater—one of the best vintage movie theaters you will ever experience. The Mighty Wurlitzer organ is played Friday and Saturday nights.

Favorite park  –  Joaquin Miller Park. Beautiful views, off-leash dog areas, gorgeous redwoods. 

Best place to reflect  –  Climbing one of the bouldering walls inside Great Western Power Company, an indoor climbing gym.

Favorite local shop  –  Caffe 817 for the corned beef. The best. Ever.

Favorite historical resident  –  In no particular order: Bruce Lee, Tupac, Fred Korematsu, Jack London, Gertrude Stein, Earl Warren, Huey Newton.

Favorite courthouse perk  –  The underground passage that connects the René C. Davidson Courthouse with the administration building across the street—for people who do not like to go through security again and again.

Favorite thing about your office (besides your colleagues)  –  Centrally located downtown. I love being able to BART, bus, bike or walk to my office.

Favorite lunch spot  –  Swan’s Market in Old Oakland. My favorite fish tacos from Cosecha Cafe; udon soup from B-Dama; duck sausage from Rosamunde Sausage Grill.

Favorite pizza joint  –  Thin crust: Boot and Shoe Service on Grand. Thick crust: The Star, also on Grand. 

City’s best sports moment  –  Warriors. NBA Finals. 2015.

City’s worst sports moment  –  Warriors. NBA Finals. 2016.

Out-of-town guests are impressed with  –  Guests always say, “Wow, Oakland is beautiful!”

Favorite city event  –  The Eat Real Festival. I have a beer jar commemorating each year I’ve attended.

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