The corner of Broadway and West Grand is a long established, central area in Oakland. At the turn of the century the Key Route Inn, a large hotel, spanned over the street from Luka’s corner to the corner where Ozumo is now located. The city street ran through the center of the building where street cars travelled from Oakland across the Bay Bridge to San Francisco.
After the inn burned down in the late 30’s, the current building erected and was originally home to “The Cigar Box”, a restaurant, convenience store, soda fountain and more. In the early 50’s the Hof Brau opened offering a hearty hot line of meat, as well as draft and imported German beer. The Hof Brau had been in business continually from the 1950’s until 2003.
We loved the Hof Brau and were sad when it closed it’s doors. But times had changed and the community needed a new vibe. We preserved a lot of the Hof Brau signs and currently some of these treasures in the back room with the pool table at Luka’s. We donated the giant neon Hof Brau sign to the Museum of Neon Art in Los Angeles where it is now restored and displayed.
We also tried to preserve some of the Hof Brau spirit. After all, the Hof Brau was originally conceived as a place where a person could get a hearty meal and a beer at lunch for a reasonable price.
Inspired by the beer culture in Belgium, a hearty palate and the diverse community in Oakland. Luka’s opened it doors in late 2004. Luka’s Taproom & Lounge is named after the owner’s late dog Luka. Luka was a stray dog from West Oakland and looked like a little black fox. Her portrait is on the high ceilings in the bar area.