"I was walking down the street tonight and saw your cafe. It was already closed. I stopped dead. I couldn't believe it. Your cafe looked just like the place I'd spent many a night while I was a law student at the U [of Minnesota] in the late 90s in Minneapolis. I started jumping up and down and telling my husband about the hours I'd spent listening to music, smoking ( indoors! ), and drinking red wine at a place that felt like a lush architectural ruin. Then I went to your website when I got home only to find out it was the SAME Loring! That is so amazing. Some of the best memories of my young adult life were there. I'll be by for a drink soon."

-Sarah O., Oakland. CA

The Loring Cafe has closed.

Dear Oakland,

Loring Cafe has tried hard to win the hearts, minds, and tummies of Oakland. However, with full but heavy hearts Abby and I must drop the curtain on this exciting adventure.

We arrived in California 4 1⁄2 years ago, got married in San Francisco City Hall, and settled into West Oakland. Like so many others drawn to California, excitement in our eyes and the sparkle of new beginnings in our hearts. Dreams of bringing westward a little of the culture of our proud restaurant origins was what we had in mind, and to try our hands here where generations of my family once lived and made a mark.

McLean family ties to San Francisco and Oakland go back at least to the Barbary Coast era—if not exactly that neighborhood and colorful vocation—at least close by. Robert Armistead McLean, MD was California’s first ‘master surgeon’ practicing on Nob Hill in the mid 19th century and for 18 years the dean of the UCSF Medical School, 1881-1899. My father and his father before him were born and raised in Berkeley and SF, and my brother too lived in Berkeley for a few years more recently. As a boy I visited the bay area, coming from Alaska, my birthplace and Minnesota, my adoptive home, and was initiated to the California counter-culture by the “radical” places and faces I saw as a young boy during the summers of love in the 60’s. An impression that’s never faded for me.

But the ethos developed through my 40 years of celebrating and working in the arts, exploring the intersection of theater, design, architecture, hand-made spaces, home-style cooking, and home-spun hospitality has not found a large enough audience in Oakland to support the dream of this westward restaurant adventure. What started here on Grand & Broadway as supercharged excitement of a small troupe of artist builders to open an owner-managed bistro styled cafe featuring a relaxed ‘sense of occasion’, wholesome and unpretentiously good food, an atmosphere built of quality workmanship that does not follow the herd, attentive and sincere service, and live entertainment in support of local and itinerant musicians, all at a price that the local community and even those that work for the Loring Cafe itself could afford on a semi-regular basis, unfortunately has not taken root here.

Please accept our thanks for considering the Loring Cafe for membership in your community, especially to those who gave the Loring the support of regular business and heartfelt encouragements.

Best wishes to all and please visit the Loring Pasta Bar, Varsity Theater, and soon to open CAFE INK in Minneapolis if a journey to the Midwest presents itself. We will be at your service.

Abby & Jason McLean

Loring Design

“The industrial arts staging is a Loring signature style, invoking the comfort, history, and romance of the European cafe scene with a twist of surrealism. Jason designed the bells and whistles, built out of nuts and bolts with the help of the trusty carpenters, brick masons, and steel workers of the Loring Design/Build Guild, each with their own distinctive mark. The enchanting handiwork and the warmth of longstanding friendships are at the heart of the Loring. Imagination, friendship, home cooking.” – Abby McLean

IMG_8144 IMG_8122 IMG_8142 loringpic IMG_8143 loring2 IMG_8139 IMG_8126

Loring Ambiance

IMG_8505IMG_7873 (2)salt and pepperhappy hourriviera pic

Loring Food

“When people ask what kind of cooking we serve, I say, “American, like at home.” My husband, Jason, calls it the “New Culinary State of the Union;” the state of great American home cooking today. It’s not high concept, but it’s not diner food. It’s American cooking that’s not afraid of vegetables or herbs and spices. It’s delicious. Affordable. You’ll find a mix of global flavors-not all in one dish, but all on one menu.” – Abby McLean

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The Loring Cafe has closed.

Dear Oakland,

Loring Cafe has tried hard to win the hearts, minds, and tummies of Oakland. However, with full but heavy hearts Abby and I must drop the curtain on this exciting adventure.

We arrived in California 4 1⁄2 years ago, got married in San Francisco City Hall, and settled into West Oakland. Like so many others drawn to California, excitement in our eyes and the sparkle of new beginnings in our hearts. Dreams of bringing westward a little of the culture of our proud restaurant origins was what we had in mind, and to try our hands here where generations of my family once lived and made a mark.

McLean family ties to San Francisco and Oakland go back at least to the Barbary Coast era—if not exactly that neighborhood and colorful vocation—at least close by. Robert Armistead McLean, MD was California’s first ‘master surgeon’ practicing on Nob Hill in the mid 19th century and for 18 years the dean of the UCSF Medical School, 1881-1899. My father and his father before him were born and raised in Berkeley and SF, and my brother too lived in Berkeley for a few years more recently. As a boy I visited the bay area, coming from Alaska, my birthplace and Minnesota, my adoptive home, and was initiated to the California counter-culture by the “radical” places and faces I saw as a young boy during the summers of love in the 60’s. An impression that’s never faded for me.

But the ethos developed through my 40 years of celebrating and working in the arts, exploring the intersection of theater, design, architecture, hand-made spaces, home-style cooking, and home-spun hospitality has not found a large enough audience in Oakland to support the dream of this westward restaurant adventure. What started here on Grand & Broadway as supercharged excitement of a small troupe of artist builders to open an owner-managed bistro styled cafe featuring a relaxed ‘sense of occasion’, wholesome and unpretentiously good food, an atmosphere built of quality workmanship that does not follow the herd, attentive and sincere service, and live entertainment in support of local and itinerant musicians, all at a price that the local community and even those that work for the Loring Cafe itself could afford on a semi-regular basis, unfortunately has not taken root here.

Please accept our thanks for considering the Loring Cafe for membership in your community, especially to those who gave the Loring the support of regular business and heartfelt encouragements.

Best wishes to all and please visit the Loring Pasta Bar, Varsity Theater, and soon to open CAFE INK in Minneapolis if a journey to the Midwest presents itself. We will be at your service.

Abby & Jason McLean

The Loring Cafe has closed.

Dear Oakland,

Loring Cafe has tried hard to win the hearts, minds, and tummies of Oakland. However, with full but heavy hearts Abby and I must drop the curtain on this exciting adventure.

We arrived in California 4 1⁄2 years ago, got married in San Francisco City Hall, and settled into West Oakland. Like so many others drawn to California, excitement in our eyes and the sparkle of new beginnings in our hearts. Dreams of bringing westward a little of the culture of our proud restaurant origins was what we had in mind, and to try our hands here where generations of my family once lived and made a mark.

McLean family ties to San Francisco and Oakland go back at least to the Barbary Coast era—if not exactly that neighborhood and colorful vocation—at least close by. Robert Armistead McLean, MD was California’s first ‘master surgeon’ practicing on Nob Hill in the mid 19th century and for 18 years the dean of the UCSF Medical School, 1881-1899. My father and his father before him were born and raised in Berkeley and SF, and my brother too lived in Berkeley for a few years more recently. As a boy I visited the bay area, coming from Alaska, my birthplace and Minnesota, my adoptive home, and was initiated to the California counter-culture by the “radical” places and faces I saw as a young boy during the summers of love in the 60’s. An impression that’s never faded for me.

But the ethos developed through my 40 years of celebrating and working in the arts, exploring the intersection of theater, design, architecture, hand-made spaces, home-style cooking, and home-spun hospitality has not found a large enough audience in Oakland to support the dream of this westward restaurant adventure. What started here on Grand & Broadway as supercharged excitement of a small troupe of artist builders to open an owner-managed bistro styled cafe featuring a relaxed ‘sense of occasion’, wholesome and unpretentiously good food, an atmosphere built of quality workmanship that does not follow the herd, attentive and sincere service, and live entertainment in support of local and itinerant musicians, all at a price that the local community and even those that work for the Loring Cafe itself could afford on a semi-regular basis, unfortunately has not taken root here.

Please accept our thanks for considering the Loring Cafe for membership in your community, especially to those who gave the Loring the support of regular business and heartfelt encouragements.

Best wishes to all and please visit the Loring Pasta Bar, Varsity Theater, and soon to open CAFE INK in Minneapolis if a journey to the Midwest presents itself. We will be at your service.

Abby & Jason McLean

The Loring Cafe has closed.

Dear Oakland,

Loring Cafe has tried hard to win the hearts, minds, and tummies of Oakland. However, with full but heavy hearts Abby and I must drop the curtain on this exciting adventure.

We arrived in California 4 1⁄2 years ago, got married in San Francisco City Hall, and settled into West Oakland. Like so many others drawn to California, excitement in our eyes and the sparkle of new beginnings in our hearts. Dreams of bringing westward a little of the culture of our proud restaurant origins was what we had in mind, and to try our hands here where generations of my family once lived and made a mark.

McLean family ties to San Francisco and Oakland go back at least to the Barbary Coast era—if not exactly that neighborhood and colorful vocation—at least close by. Robert Armistead McLean, MD was California’s first ‘master surgeon’ practicing on Nob Hill in the mid 19th century and for 18 years the dean of the UCSF Medical School, 1881-1899. My father and his father before him were born and raised in Berkeley and SF, and my brother too lived in Berkeley for a few years more recently. As a boy I visited the bay area, coming from Alaska, my birthplace and Minnesota, my adoptive home, and was initiated to the California counter-culture by the “radical” places and faces I saw as a young boy during the summers of love in the 60’s. An impression that’s never faded for me.

But the ethos developed through my 40 years of celebrating and working in the arts, exploring the intersection of theater, design, architecture, hand-made spaces, home-style cooking, and home-spun hospitality has not found a large enough audience in Oakland to support the dream of this westward restaurant adventure. What started here on Grand & Broadway as supercharged excitement of a small troupe of artist builders to open an owner-managed bistro styled cafe featuring a relaxed ‘sense of occasion’, wholesome and unpretentiously good food, an atmosphere built of quality workmanship that does not follow the herd, attentive and sincere service, and live entertainment in support of local and itinerant musicians, all at a price that the local community and even those that work for the Loring Cafe itself could afford on a semi-regular basis, unfortunately has not taken root here.

Please accept our thanks for considering the Loring Cafe for membership in your community, especially to those who gave the Loring the support of regular business and heartfelt encouragements.

Best wishes to all and please visit the Loring Pasta Bar, Varsity Theater, and soon to open CAFE INK in Minneapolis if a journey to the Midwest presents itself. We will be at your service.

Abby & Jason McLean

The Loring Cafe has closed.

Dear Oakland,

Loring Cafe has tried hard to win the hearts, minds, and tummies of Oakland. However, with full but heavy hearts Abby and I must drop the curtain on this exciting adventure.

We arrived in California 4 1⁄2 years ago, got married in San Francisco City Hall, and settled into West Oakland. Like so many others drawn to California, excitement in our eyes and the sparkle of new beginnings in our hearts. Dreams of bringing westward a little of the culture of our proud restaurant origins was what we had in mind, and to try our hands here where generations of my family once lived and made a mark.

McLean family ties to San Francisco and Oakland go back at least to the Barbary Coast era—if not exactly that neighborhood and colorful vocation—at least close by. Robert Armistead McLean, MD was California’s first ‘master surgeon’ practicing on Nob Hill in the mid 19th century and for 18 years the dean of the UCSF Medical School, 1881-1899. My father and his father before him were born and raised in Berkeley and SF, and my brother too lived in Berkeley for a few years more recently. As a boy I visited the bay area, coming from Alaska, my birthplace and Minnesota, my adoptive home, and was initiated to the California counter-culture by the “radical” places and faces I saw as a young boy during the summers of love in the 60’s. An impression that’s never faded for me.

But the ethos developed through my 40 years of celebrating and working in the arts, exploring the intersection of theater, design, architecture, hand-made spaces, home-style cooking, and home-spun hospitality has not found a large enough audience in Oakland to support the dream of this westward restaurant adventure. What started here on Grand & Broadway as supercharged excitement of a small troupe of artist builders to open an owner-managed bistro styled cafe featuring a relaxed ‘sense of occasion’, wholesome and unpretentiously good food, an atmosphere built of quality workmanship that does not follow the herd, attentive and sincere service, and live entertainment in support of local and itinerant musicians, all at a price that the local community and even those that work for the Loring Cafe itself could afford on a semi-regular basis, unfortunately has not taken root here.

Please accept our thanks for considering the Loring Cafe for membership in your community, especially to those who gave the Loring the support of regular business and heartfelt encouragements.

Best wishes to all and please visit the Loring Pasta Bar, Varsity Theater, and soon to open CAFE INK in Minneapolis if a journey to the Midwest presents itself. We will be at your service.

Abby & Jason McLean