First of all: This year has been a total shitshow from top to bottom. While craziness continues to unfold across the country, the end-of-the-year restaurant closures that are currently piling up in the Bay Area should be cause for concern: Actual Cafe, and Victory Burger are the latest victims of the 2016 accounting wars, while alaMar has been forced to change their concept to keep up.
alaMar Kitchen and Bar
In an emailed statement, alaMar Kitchen and Bar announced that December 17 would be the last day of service in its previous format— a new “quick service format” will be rolled out in the new year. Minimum wage and the cost of doing business in the Bay Area are the reasons cited for the closure/change. In the meantime, chef Nelson German is working on more restaurant projects in non-Oakland East Bay and the South Bay.
The owners are throwing a dinner party on December 17 from 5 p.m.- 10 p.m. with food and drink specials all night long.
Actual Cafe and Victory Burger
After seven years in business, the small Oakland duo of Actual Cafe and Victory Burger will close both operations, effective December 23. In an email, owner Sal Bednarz said that the decision to close was sudden, but was “long in the making.” In addition to his own “missteps,” in running the business, Bednarz also cited the increasingly difficult task of hiring workers in the Bay Area, a result of high competition for quality restaurant jobs, and the high cost of living in the area; the high cost of living for customers was also a consideration. Bednarz is currently looking for a buyer for the restaurant.
These are just a few of the closures that will sweep the area in the face of staffing shortages, high cost of doing business (and living!), minimum wage, and more. The best we can do now is support the local businesses you love in your neighborhood.