Oakland’s famed B Restaurant at 499 9th Street in Old Oakland is closing and will be replaced by a new eatery at some point in the future.
An email just sent to this blogger 15 minutes ago from this writing explains that the owners made the “difficult decision” to sell the eatery and are going to focus on their boxed foods company called, well, Box Foods Company.
According to Kevin Best, one of the owners and an investor in several Downtown Oakland businesses, the news really isn’t bad, but good for them, because the sale will allow them to grow Box Foods Company with new working capital.
But for Oakland that’s sad news because B Restaurant, with its corner location, was arguably an anchor for Old Oakland for some time. With the now-closed LeVende East, it marked the growth of Old Oakland as a destination place to eat really good food and drink really excellent wine.
In the interim, the owners invite you to come down on Friday (tomorrow) for what’s described as a “family style dinner” from 6 PM to 9 PM.
I don’t think B Restaurant’s closing marks some kind of death of Old Oakland, but it does point to a downsizing of spending as much as it does a business opportunity for its owners.
There are a number of new places that have opened around B Restaurant, and with somewhat lower price-points for food and drink – and pointing to a new class of poor young Oaklanders. Additionally, there’s not enough direct population density – apartments or hotels or both – for Old Oakland to serve a large number of restaurants at the same time with high price points.
The challenge for the new owners will be to find the right price / quality mark for the new eatery.
Something had to give.