Zack Turner talks to the Amoeblog about his new Oakland bar The Legionnaire Saloon
With a name that triggers in your mind the name of his hip-hop group (Foreign Legion) and a storefront design that makes you think it's an Irish pub that's been there for years - Zack Turner's recently opened The Legionnaire Saloon on Telegraph Ave. between 23rd and Grand, also has the feel of a bar that's been there for years. However this latest Oakland music bar/club only opened at the start of March this year, in the space formerly occupied by gay bar Club Paradiso, but since then has taken off big time and established itself as an important component of the vibrant Uptown District nightlife scene of Oakland with entertainment (with a lot of love for the DJ including hosting The 45 Sessions) ranging from hip-hop to rock, comedy to burlesque, and (yes) even Irish traditional music nights.
The Legionnaire Saloon is the lifelong dream of Zack Turner (AKA talented hip-hop emcee Prozack Turner) the former co-owner of Oakland's Layover bar/club and member of longtime Bay Area hip-hop act Foreign Legion. In fact a few weeks ago he and Foreign Legion partner in rhyme Marc Stretch, along with current DJ Tim Diesel, performed upstairs at the venue during the premiere presentation of the monthly Blunt Club Oakland. Even though Zack and his wife just had their first born (a baby boy named Cassius) about a week earlier (Marc Stretch became a new dad a week later) Zack was full of energy and seemed like the happiest man on the planet or at least in the room. At the end of the above interview video is a short clip of Foreign Legion that night doing their 2002 single "Happy Drunk" which, with its references to drinking and partying in Oakland, seemed it was prematurely written as the theme song for Turner's new bar.