The Oakland Meeting’s long-awaited meals corridor is dropping star cooks

Welcome to pm Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.

  • Almost all of the publicly known chefs attached to a food hall planned for Jack London Square in Oakland have withdrawn, reports the SF Chronicle, pointing to the uncertainty about the future of the long-awaited project. All but one of the previously announced chefs, who included such great figures as Anthony Kresge, Preeti Mistry and Matt Horn, have dropped plans to open kiosks at the Oakland Assembly. Only Reem Assil at Reems Bakery, which recently reopened after an oven explosion last year, is still considering moving forward. Developer John McEnery IV told The Chronicle that despite pandemic delays, the grocery hall still has “critical mass that will make this an exciting place,” but declined to provide an updated list of vendors. [SF Chronicle]
  • The legendary Oakland Piano Bar and Restaurant on Alley reopened, in large part thanks to a fundraiser that, according to owner Jacqualine Simpkins, helped save the 88-year-old company. In an announcement posted on Facebook yesterday, the bar said that after “a few weeks of false starts” the alley would open its doors for the first time since the pandemic broke out that evening, Thursday April 29. The fundraiser, which started late last year, raised more than $ 94,000, according to Berkeleyside, more than the $ 75,000 goal to cover Simpkins utilities, taxes, and mortgages. [Berkeleyside]
  • The anticipated expansion of the Monk’s Kettle mission beer bar into Marin County is finally here, but good luck getting on board soon. Reservations for that weekend (it opens on Saturday) were fully booked within 20 minutes of availability, co-owner Christian Albertson told SF Chronicle. Albertson and Nat Cutler opened the Craft Beer Bar and Restaurant in 2007 and became a destination for a family-friendly atmosphere, well-executed bar food, and an extensive beer menu. Monk’s Kettle Terra Linda, which partners with the owners of Giordano Bros, is currently only open for al fresco dining Wednesday through Sunday. [SF Chronicle]
  • The hospitality group behind four restaurants on Pier 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf bought and reopened the Crab House on Pier 39, adding another waterfront destination to their portfolio of tourist but fun restaurants. The Simmons family bought the Crab House, which has been around since the late 1990s last spring, and reopened it last week for the first time since March 2020 in a prime location next to Fog Harbor.

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