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Arts & Entertainment

New LGBTQ+ bar aims to revive downtown Oakland nightlife

A rendering of Oakland nightclub, bar and late-night eatery Fluid510 | Courtesy Fluid510

A dynamic new LGBTQ+ nightlife venue is coming to Downtown Oakland this spring. The owners of Fluid510, the brainchild of Port Bar creators Sean Sullivan and Richard Fuentes, expect to open the much-anticipated bar and event space in April once construction wraps at the end of this month, Sullivan told The Standard.

Initially slated to open last year, the 5,000-square-foot space in the heart of Downtown Oakland will offer late-night eats, drinks and weekend brunches along with an array of entertainment including DJs, cabarets, comedy shows and programming with a focus on LGBTQ+ issues.

The multifaceted venue will also feature a moveable stage and be available for private event rentals and art shows.

The club's founders say they chose the name Fluid510 in a nod to Oakland's area code, the space's flexibility as a venue and the progressive ideologies of Gen Z.

"The name Fluid510 comes from a recognition of Gen Z coming behind us and being gender fluid and sexually fluid, and the space in itself is fluid and ever-changing," Sullivan said.

Sullivan and Fuentes decided to expand into Downtown Oakland to give their Uptown Oakland LGBTQ+ watering hole, Port Bar, a walkable downtown neighbor and create more LGBTQ+-friendly gathering spaces and nightlife options for all in the East Bay.

"Downtown Oakland really needed another nightlife venue that included the LGBTQ community and its programming, but was really open to everybody," Sullivan said. "Our goal has always been—with both spaces—to provide Oaklanders the nightlife that they deserve without having to cross the bridge."

Sullivan also hopes Fluid510 can help revive Downtown Oakland as it recovers from the pandemic, with happy hour offerings and early afternoon events.

"We're hoping that people come back to the office in Downtown Oakland soon because that would be an added element of making sure that we could have a thriving nightlife," Sullivan said.