The Golden Bull is reopened; Man Fieri grants a big grant to Oakland Taqueria

On June 15, patrons will take part in The Golden Bull for the first time since early 2020. Credit: The Golden Bull / Instagram

After a dark and quiet year, The Golden Bull will reopen on June 15th

When they bought the long-running Oakland dive The Golden Bull in 2019, Jason Beebout, Mark Lynn and Bill Schneider said they knew there would be challenges. The live music venue had had a hard time with its previous management, but owned by the three music and nightlife veterans – and with the stamp of approval from its fourth (and silent) owner, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong – things began walking is really good, ”Beebout said to Nosh.

Then (tell me) the pandemic struck. It was a double blow for the first bar owners, all of whom are also musicians. With live performances on hold and bars closed by state and local health regulations, Schneider said the trio had “some honest conversations” about the viability of the company, which was basically structured to be shoulder-to-shoulder Shoulder and a standing crowd. Since the COVID-19 restrictions required distancing measures such as widely spaced seating, even if The Golden Bull had been able to welcome people inside, it was not built to keep guests safe.

But then “Bill’s wife found a seating arrangement,” Lynn said. “I don’t believe in signs, but it was a sign.” The bar marched on and opened briefly for the sales force with the nearby Hoza Pizzeria as a meal partner. At the time, no DJs or live music were allowed, Lynn said, “but we had tables on the street and pizza and beer.” The income from a few seated guests on 14th Street wasn’t enough to break even, “but it kept us relevant,” Schneider said.

When the field service shut down due to the Bay Area’s second wave of infections, the group again turned to outdoor livestream concerts in the shadow of the Bay Bridge. Again, the effort didn’t make a lot of money, but it was successful in that it “let people know we were still alive,” said Lynn. This even if much-noticed aid measures such as the Save Our Stages grant program have not initiated any money. “Out of 14,000 applicants, only 90 scholarships were awarded,” says Beebout, crediting local groups like the East Bay Venue Coalition for lobbying companies like theirs.

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And before you ask about having Armstrong as a silent partner, The Golden Bull didn’t protect from last year’s fighting. “He helped us get this house,” said Lynn, “but it’s not like we have a sugar daddy.” Armstrong “doesn’t have a bigger financial stake” in the deal than the other partners, Schneider said. While “nice” to have him on board, it hasn’t placed The Golden Bull in a more comfortable position than other East Bay venues.

But now, its owners say, The Golden Bull is ready to return. It opens on Tuesday, June 15, with indoor and outdoor sales from 4 p.m. to midnight. Don’t expect bands right now, says Beebout, “just maybe a DJ putting on records.” Instead, it serves as a neighborhood bar with cocktails, a fine selection of craft beer and, recently, plenty of seating.

“We’re writing some things in the books for July,” Lynn said, but they approach the live entertainment cautiously. “We believe in science,” Schneider said, and that means waiting to see what the Golden Bull patrons find comfortable and safe. “Are people ready to be in a bar?” Asked Lynn rhetorically. “Are you ready for a show?” We’ll find out from tonight when The Golden Bull reopens. The Golden Bull, 412 14th St. (near Franklin Street), Oakland

Owner and co-chef Lulu Safi outside of the Maya Halal Taqueria in Oakland, which offers halal-friendly Mexican cuisine. Photo credit: Maya Halal Taqueria

Celebrity chef Guy Fieri presented the owner of Oakland’s Maya Halal Taqueria with a $ 25,000 scholarship

Bay Area-based Guy Fieri, the celebrity chef known for his bright yellow hair and the often-maligned donkey sauce, has a new venture called “Guy’s Restaurant Reboot,” a heavily sponsored streaming show that select restaurant owners are using “Surprised” grants help get them through the pandemic.

If you look at “Restaurant Reboot”, there is no shortage of things to raise an eyebrow about, from the participation of the high-priced company GrubHub to the supposed signals of virtue in the transmission of the funding announcement process. However, those concerns likely take a back seat when a restaurateur who has done everything in his power to keep his business afloat receives this potentially life-changing check.

And that’s exactly what happened to Lulu Safi, founder of Maya Halal Taqueria, the first Mexican restaurant in the Bay Area to serve dishes prepared according to the Halal Food Standards Alliance of America (HFSAA). You can watch the video call between Fieri and Safi here in which Fieri announced that Safi has received a check for US $ 25,000 from the program. In a statement, Safi said that “we are honored to accept this grant and invest it in the growth of our small business,” which will celebrate its third birthday next month. Maya Halal Taqueria, 346 14th St. (on Webster Street), Oakland

Bussdown is a new take-away restaurant that specializes in Pan-African soul food.  Photo: Dana PlucinskiSome dishes from the pan-African soul food restaurant The Bussdown. Photo credit: Dana Plucinski

The Bussdown is being expanded to include a fine dining supper series

It’s only been a few months since African diaspora soul food restaurant The Bussdown opened takeout at Oakland Food Hall, but the company is already expanding. Chef owners Solomon Johnson (recently known as the “Chopped 420”) and Mike Woods told SF Chronicle that they are looking for a stationary location, but not because of the thoughtful but casual menu you’ll find on Bussdown: Plan instead they have a gourmet restaurant with a tasting menu called OKO.

Unlike The Bussdown, which specializes in delivering dishes like Sofrito seafood and fried plantains to people who drop by their location in the ghost kitchen, OKO will offer a pan-African dining experience, Woods and Johnson said. If they find a suitable location, OKO will open in 2023, but until then it will operate as a monthly Sunday dinner series starting June 27 with an eight-course meal starting at $ 165 (reservations can be made ) about Tock).

According to Woods and Johnson, they will continue to run The Bussdown, offering two different ways to experience Diaspora cuisine. “We’re trying to see how far it can go, what we can use from different regions and combine with cultural influences that we already have,” Woods told Chron. “It’s about closing the gap.” The Bussdown at Oakland Food Hall, 2353 E. 12th St. (on Miller Avenue), Oakland

June’s Pizza leaves the slice world behind and focuses on selling whole wood-fired pies. Photo credit: Pete Rosos

June’s Pizza has finished its lunch service

June’s Pizza opened just days before the Bay Area was closed by the pandemic and never really worked in the unrestrained world we woke up to today. Shortly after gourmet veteran Craig Murli opened his eatery on a strict schedule of 40 wood-fired pies a day, he started selling slices at lunchtime to feed the hungry lunchtime crowds.

This lunch service ended this week, the restaurant shared on Instagram. We are “entering a new phase of June’s Pizza”, “wrote the restaurant in a capital letter message with” new developments and new specials on the horizon “. The opening times in June are now Wednesdays to Sundays from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., by phone (415-930-0502) or by ordering whole cakes in person from 1 p.m. June’s Pizza 2311 Magnolia St. (near 24th Street), Oakland

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