2 Oakland Meals Sensations, Popoca and Magnolia Mini Mart, are planning a significant enlargement
Successful specialty store Magnolia Mini Mart will add a new space to sell its dazzling cakes, trendy hot sauces and locally grown produce at Oakland’s funky Classic Cars West complex later this year, joining Popoca. As part of the change, the wood-fired doll’s spot will also increase its footprint.
Part car dealership, part art gallery, part beer garden, Classic Cars West has housed the modern Salvadoran pop-up Popoca by chef Anthony Salguero on the rear terrace since 2019. The expansion means for the first time indoor dining rooms as well as control of the bar, which will begin to distort more Latin and tropical.
“We’re going to get the space to revolve around Anthony – it’s going to be in the center,” said Alex Tejada, owner of Magnolia Mini Mart, who is also working with Popoca on the expansion.
While Popoca has garnered some national press and a spot on The Chronicle’s Top Dining List, Magnolia Mini Mart has its own impressive track record. Opened as a small grocery store from a shipping container in West Oakland during the pandemic, it has become a destination for its unparalleled range of products from emerging local manufacturers. It was the first shop to sell, for example, the iconic Basque cheesecakes from Basuku and the delicious desserts from Tarts de Feybesse.
Tejada said the new outpost will be similar to the West Oakland spot, which also sells local produce and Hawaiian-style packed lunches, but is presented in a more organized and attractive way. Magnolia Mini Mart recently hired a Puerto Rican chef who is likely to bring more Latin American flavors to their ready-made meals.
There are also plans to have a wine shop, plant shop, and raw food store for dogs present in the complex, making it even more versatile than the current version of Classic Cars West. Popoca is hosting a whole roast pork from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm on November 8th to raise funds for the expansion.
Popoca at Classic Cars West. Wednesday to Sunday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 411 26th St., Oakland. 510-457-1724 or popocaoakland.com
Janelle Bitker is a contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @janellebitker