ISSUE 40  |  Napa Valley Rustic

Restaurant Visit: Toast in Oakland

October 05, 2011 8:49 PM

BY Sarah Lonsdale

When Kristen Policy and Heather Sittig, both mothers of toddlers, found themselves with no place to go at the end of a long day at the playground, they decided to open their own stroller-friendly wine bar in Rockridge with the name Toast. After locating a space in the neighborhood, they armed themselves with an extremely limited budget and began ripping out the carpet, sealing the floor (after the carpet came up they decided they liked the distressed look), and covering the walls with chalkboard paint. A felled redwood tree from Kristen's garden was sawn into slabs and used as tables tops, with budget-friendly Burrow sawhorses from Home Depot serving as legs. Alameda flea market finds completed the look. "We love the idea of using materials that already exist in a new way," Kristen says. "The material elements, like the food and wine we serve, pretty much speak for themselves."

Photography by Kristen Policy.

Above: The chalkboard-paint covered wall features a drawing of a French corkscrew. Reclaimed bleacher boards from a local high school gym (complete with graffiti) are used for the bench seating.

Above: Three blackened iron chandeliers from Roost with bare Edison bulbs hang from the ceiling.

Above: The glasses and water bottles are all made from recycled glass.

Above: The giant zinc-topped butcher's table next to the bar is from Big Daddy's Antiques.

Above: The base of the bar is made reclaimed bleacher boards; the top is covered in zinc.