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Walnut Creek Magazine

Viridian: Oakland’s Newest Bar Crafts Supremely Creative Cocktails

Feb 04, 2020 07:58AM ● By Fran Miller

Photo: Jeremy Chiu/Viridian

Viridian, the highly-anticipated bar from the powerhouse team of William Tsui (Lazy Bear, Rich Table), Raymond Gee (Hakkasan SF), Jeremy Chiu (Shinmai, Mina Group), and Alison Kwan (Lazy Bear, True Laurel, Moongate Lounge) has opened its doors in Uptown Oakland, providing fans of crafted cocktails with something a bit different. 

Viridian’s cocktail list celebrates the bounty of California produce with innovative, technique-driven drinks created and stylishly presented by Co-Owner/Bar Director Tsui and General Manager Kwan. Applying both classic and modern cutting-edge cocktail techniques, the duo’s farm-to-glass ethos celebrates the bounty of local produce and their dynamic cocktails highlight seasonal ingredients. 

Tomato Beef cocktail. Photo, Fran Miller
Golden Triangle cocktail. Photo, Fran Miller

An eclectic wine list by Master Sommelier Andrey Ivanov is designed to mirror Viridian's ethos of ecological conscientiousness. Diverse and approachable, most of the wines are sourced from small, environmentally ethical producers from seven different countries. The wines are chosen for their basic flavor profiles and rotate seasonally. Several options are available by the glass. 

The food menu includes composed desserts, dim sum style sweets, and savory items presented by Executive Chef Amanda Hoang and Opening Consulting Chef Alice Kim (Lazy Bear, Coi, The Restaurant at Meadowood). Hoang brings many years of expertise in conceptualizing and executing ideas that complement her cooking style. She began her culinary career with a full scholarship to Tante Marie’s Cooking School, then cooked and trained in the Absinthe Pastry Commissary Kitchen working under Chef Bill Corbett and his sous chefs. She was most recently at 20th Century Café in San Francisco, and prior to that, was the Pastry Chef at Bird Dog in Palo Alto where she had full creative control of the restaurant’s seasonal lunch and dinner dessert menu. The full beverage and food menus can be found here.

Chili Garlic Milk Bun. Photo, Jeremy Chiu/Viridian

The fluid and airy space (16 bar seats, 10 seats in the lounge, and 10 additional seats at the bar-height, wall mounted semi-circle tables) was designed by Soon and Soon Studio, led by Anna Lee and Brandon Jew of Michelin-starred Mister Jiu’s, as well as Moongate Lounge and Mamahuhu. The team drew inspiration from the color moods of ChungKing Express, Hong Kong, and 90’s graphic elements from R&B record covers, to create an exciting environment for imbibing that matches the verve and joy of the Viridian team. Black and yellow tiling from Heath Ceramics and the lighting running underneath the length of the bar top and into the foyer area are complemented by the glossy black varnish of the back bar shelving and handmade acrylic felt sconces above each floating table. A variety of playlists, including acoustic and pop rock sounds, hip-hop and R&B from all eras, electronic, jazz, and more, further serve to define the chill vibe.

Photo, Jeremy Chiu/Viridian

Viridian, 2216 Broadway, Oakland. Open Monday – Thursday 4:00pm - 12:00am (kitchen closes at 11pm) and Friday and Saturday 4:00pm – late (kitchen closes at midnight); closed Sundays.

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