Diners aren’t a fickle bunch. They want to go out to eat, enjoy their meal and the atmosphere and head home. However, atmosphere has become as much a consideration as what’s on the plate and nowhere is this more evident than at the Oakland Zoo. As part of a $70 million massive upgrade that opens this summer, last summer’s reveal of a $13 million restaurant accessible only by gondola grabbed plenty of headlines in the Bay Area. It also got the attention of Anton Kalafati from B Side Construction, as this Oakland-based contractor has made a name for himself in the area for commercial renovations. This includes restaurant overhauls, window installation and storefront upgrade so the transformation that took place at The Landing Café was one that Mr. Kalafati wanted to check out.
According to the East Bay Times, the “glass-encased gondolas” whisk “visitors at the Oakland Zoo over the rolling hills of Knowland Park to a new restaurant at the Kaiser Permanente Visitor Center.” It’s only a four-minute ride to the café, but the views of the 100-acre site that’s home to animals native to California will make it a memorable one. While SF Weekly had its reservations about the food itself and the concession stand-like set-up inside, the overall takeaway was that this novel restaurant gave an added value to zoo visitors who wanted a memorable and enhanced experience for their day trip. Images of The Landing Café show this glass-centric structure as one that easily stands out from the tree-laden surroundings. B Side Construction’s Anton Kalafati was particularly interested in the glass, as window renovations that his contracting crew has completed include other work at the Alameda Housing Authority property at 920 Park Ave. This job, which was also part of a siding overhaul, gave a fresh-looking appearance to the property that Mr. Kalafati says was much-needed and came out just right.
Since this dining facility opened one year before the massive expansion at the zoo is revealed to the public, Anton Kalafati of B Side Construction says the timeframe allowed for any unexpected hiccups. As a professional contractor who has been in the building and maintenance sector for the past decade, Mr. Kalafati knows that any project can run into roadblocks. However, this new construction at the Oakland Zoo seems to have been carried out perfectly. For Bay Area businesses who feel that their restaurant or storefront could benefit from an update, the benefits of bringing aboard experts like Anton Kalafati and B Side Construction speak for themselves. That’s because a well-received eatery is one that’s as visually-pleasing as the food its kitchen is preparing.