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pomona tile conference preview

updated sun 11 sep 05


Barbara Brown on sat 10 sep 05

If you live in the San Francisco bay area and are going to the Pomona til=
e conference, you can have a preview by making a short trip to Oakland (a=
nd have a nice lunch or dinner).
You will find Sabina's Indian Cuisine restaurant in the former showroom o=
f the Howden Tile Co in Oakland. Robert Howden Sr operated his tiles sal=
es company in this city from 1893 to 1923 when ceramic tile made a signif=
icant contribution to the architectural style of the bay area.
Upon his retirement, Howden erected this building as a monument to his ca=
reer as well as an encouragement to his sons to carry on his business. T=
he building was finished in 1925 when Mr Howden was in his early 60's. Ti=
les were provided gratis by manufacturers and Mr Howden, with the assista=
nce of one other tile setter and two helpers, did a major part of the wor=
k himself to tile the entire exterior of the building. I do not know how=
long his sons kept Howden's tile company alive, but after business cease=
d, several restaurants have occupied a main portion of the show room. Sab=
ina's is the most recent and fits well into its tile decor.
The floor of the dining area is tiled with the work of the famous Ernest =
Batchelder who made tiles in Pasadena and Los Angeles from 199 to 1932. =
Batchelder also created the unglazed tiles decorating the fountain and th=
ose on the fireplace. Salon and Schemmel who worked in San Jose from 192=
1 to 1936 made the tiles ornamenting the interior of the fountain and the=
decorative tiles on the staircase.
American Encaustic Tile Company (1876-1934) made most of the tiles used o=
n the exterior of the building.
Sabina's cuisine is Northern Indian. It specializes in mildly spiced Ind=
ian comfort food, tempting tandoori dishes, curries, as well as vegetaria=
n dishes. There is an upstairs dining room with no tiles so be sure you =
ask to be seated downstairs so my view and enjoy all the tile work
Sabina Indian Cuisine
1628 Webster Street
Oakland, Ca 94612
Mon-Sat 11:30-2-30

Barbara Brown
1225 Manzano Way
Sunnyvale, Ca 94089