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East Bay Eats: Cocktails, Burgers, and "Top Chef"-Stamped Openings

Squid Salad at Shakewell. Photo Credit: Devon Miller

Hello, three day weekend! Celebrate your newfound freedom (oh, and America's), by checking out three thrilling new eating and drinking options in Oakland and Berkeley. 

There's no better way to indulge your patriotism than with a glorious, dripping cheeseburger. Do it right at Handlebar, the new brick-and-mortar spot from Roland Robles of the much-lauded Fivetenburger Truck. Jennifer Seidman of Acme Bar & Company is Robles's partner in the project — great news, as Handlebar is licensed to serve booze, too. For now, indulge in Robles's killer burgers, and simple sides like salad and mac 'n' cheese, and check in on the Fivetenburger site for updates. 

Drexl Bar

Now that you've accomplished your burger fix, head to Uptown Oakland to check out the newly opened Drexl Bar, a sleek neighborhood hang (that happens to have killer cocktails) from Vintage 415's Demetrius "Deech" Chapin Rienzo and Adi Taylor. Expect classic cocktails like a Vieux Carre, and simple yet developed creations like a Jamaican Rum Collins with grapefruit beer. Be sure to check out their mezzanine level, featuring skee-ball and Pac-Man. 

Round out a weekend of good eats at Shakewell (opening July 10),
 a Spanish-Mediterranean concept from chefs Jen Biesty and Tim Nugent. The duo, in addition to being fixtures of the Bay Area retaurant circuit, are also Top Chef-alums, and have channeled their energies toward this first solo restaurant project. The menu is influenced by the bright, fresh flavors of Spanish food and surrounding Mediterranean environs; check out small plates like deviled quail eggs and bacalo croquetas, rice-based bombas studded with market vegetables and seafood, and diverse meat and fish preparations. 

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