It's been a while since any news about owner Tony Gulisano's plans for a fifth Chow restaurant has surfaced. Now, according to Inside Scoop, it appears that he is planning something bigger and more involved than his other four locations. The Oakland project, originally slated to open summer 2014, will occupy an expansive space at 3770 Piedmont Avenue, conveniently located a stone's throw from hordes of hungry Kaiser Hospital workers and the growing 40th Street corridor.
Gulisano has already dipped his toe into the grocery business at Chow Lafayette, successfully offering prepared foods and other goods in a small 600-square-foot market space. But the Oakland location will take up at least five times that amount of space, with a wide range of fresh groceries and packaged goods, a full-fledged bakery and café, and of course, a Chow restaurant. Gulisano plans to offer a casual outdoor dining area for customers who want to grab-and-go foods.
The Oakland location is part of Gulisano's master plan to change the way grocery stores operate— empowering home cooks to make healthy food with housemade sauces, dressings and stocks, and allowing his business to operate at zero waste. (It's similar in ideology to the model used at Local: Mission Eatery and Local: Mission Market.) "Honestly, I think our colleagues will look at this as something of a gateway into the future," he says. But with funding still in the works, an opening date is still a long way out: Chow Oakland won't arrive until 2016 at the earliest.