By Dedoceo Habi
From the moment I approached the doorway leading to the new Hennessy Black West Side Club at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, I began to sense I was in for a great time. The ribbon cutting ceremony was exciting, inviting, and touched with a hint of modesty. The many people connected to the event were eager and quite pleased with what has taken over a year to create. As we waited for the “moment of truth,” we each secretly hoped to be exposed to a real treat… and a treat is what we received.
Imagine a club experience tightly integrated into the very facility of a nationally recognized football brand and what it might be like to come together in such a place. Imagine the many challenges such an undertaking might present to the visionaries who dared to put their belief in innovation and the spirit of a people over what some might consider un-doable. To make the challenge even greater, imagine how such a facility might be received by fans notorious for their strong opinions and fervent commitment to the “Raider” mentality. To say such a feat represents a considerable challenge would not do it justice. It is with great appreciation that I can tell you the Hennessy Black West Side Club hits the mark — and then some.
The club is nestled on the West side of the stadium (hence its name) and the view of the playing field is most appropriate. Fans will find the experience quite stimulating.
Let’s talk about the drink. For after all, it is the drink that is now becoming tightly connected to the Oakland Raiders football experience. In my humble opinion, this drink has the potential to become the drink of preference for those fans who truly want to continue taking the lead in shaping the way sports fans enjoy the experience.
I tasted the Hennessy Black & Sour and the Hennessy Blackshield. Both drinks were smooth, tasty, and captured the feel and essence of what can be considered the embodiment of the many faithful fans. The blend is boldly presented, elegantly defined and full of zest. It has the potential to hold a valued place in distillery history.
The creators of the event were exact in every detail, making certain the experience would be memorable to the guests, caterers, and support personnel. Smiles abounded, here and there one could hear snippets of the attendees sharing interesting dialog and couples seemed to somehow find opportunity to steal a kiss, lost in the reverie of a great experience created by Brown Hot Events out of Los Angeles.
From beginning to end, this was a great adventure and an adventure I suspect will be repeated over and again as more fans share the drinking experience with those in their circles. This new creation may well continue to find its place in the hearts, minds, and spirits of the many great folk who boldly claim to be part of Oakland’s Raider Nation.