Following an eight month process of bidding against six others for the space, Dominica Rice-Cisneros may be bringing an outpost of her popular Mexican restaurant Cosecha to Dimond District. It would be the second restaurant for Rice-Cisneros, who opened Cosecha in Old Oakland’s Swan Market in 2011.
The proposed location is the former Dimond Firehouse (3455 Champion St.), which has sat empty since 2011. After the city put it up for sale, with residents urging officials to make sure that a full-service restaurant would occupy it, Rice-Cisneros and her husband threw their hat in the ring. The sale is in escrow, and if all goes according to plan, it would be a homecoming for the couple, who spent many years as residents of the neighborhood. “We we were inspired by all the small businesses that found their second or third homes for their businesses there,” Rice-Cisneros told Eater. The neighborhood has recently seen an uptick in businesses, with La Farine, Farmer Joe’s, and Peets joining the ranks.
As for the new restaurant, it won’t be called Cosecha, but will certainly incorporate some of the favorites from the menu, according to Rice-Cisneros. Right now, the sky is the limit, with plans for a wood-burning oven, chicken rotisserie, and full bar on the table. Rice-Cisneros says it could be “rustic and primitive, with everything coming out of the fireplace,” and hopes to carve out space to grind blue corn for tortillas. For now she’s working through the many details of taking over an old firehouse, including seismic retrofitting, removal of asbestos, and the like. “Residents want to see their neighborhood get to the next level and keep growing,” said Rice-Cisneros. “That neighborhood keeps inspiring me.”
Stay tuned for what could be an opening in late 2017, if all goes as planned.