VOL. 23 - NO. 17
MAY 20 - 27, 2018
PO BOX 13283
OAKLAND, CA 94661-0283

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TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: Aerial Gondola and Hilltop Restaurant Open at Oakland Zoo’s Monumental California Trail Expansion

Jun 16, 2017
Oakland Zoo’s highly anticipated aerial gondola and hilltop restaurant, The Landing Cafe, are now open to the public, marking the first phase of opening the zoo’s monumental California Trail expansion, which doubles the current size of the zoo to 100 acres. In summer 2018, the entirety of California Trail will open, featuring eight new native California animal species in expansive exhibits, the California Conservation Habitarium, Jim and Joy McMullen Kids Playzone, Clorox Outdoor Overnight Experience campground and more.

The ADA-accessible, all-electric, eight-passenger gondolas, custom-made by Austrian-Swiss Company, Doppelmayer, will transport guests on a four-minute ride up and over the rolling hills of Knowland Park to the California Trail site from the main Zoo. There, at 650 feet above sea-level, the gondolas arrive at the 3-story Kaiser Permanente Visitor Center, which houses The Landing Cafe, a floor-to-ceiling glass-walled 176-seat restaurant serving artisan menu items not available elsewhere in the Zoo. An observation deck at the restaurant provides panoramic views of six Bay Area counties. Guests can enjoy chef-inspired cuisine while taking in breathtaking views.

“The California Trail at Oakland Zoo will be unique. For our visitors, the gondola cars will provide a fun, environmentally sensitive, and inspiring way of getting there. The breathtaking view was paramount in our planning for the restaurant. The unveiling of this phase of the project now open to the public offers them an experience that can’t be found elsewhere in the U.S.,” said Dr. Joel Parrott, President & CEO of Oakland Zoo.

The menu features hand-tossed pizzas, artisan burgers and sandwiches, and gourmet salads. Ingredients will be locally-sourced when possible and beer and wine will be offered in the near future. The location will be available for booking for corporate events, weddings and private parties during off hours. Service Systems Associates (SSA), a national leader in culinary management in cultural institutions is managing and operating The Landing Café.

While construction on the California Trail at Oakland Zoo began in September 2015, the massive project is a culmination of 25 years of planning under the vision of Dr. Joel Parrott, President & CEO of Oakland Zoo since 1985. The California Trail expansion consists of 56-acres, bringing the Oakland Zoo’s new size to 100 acres.


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