Some restaurant closures are shocking, others are a little more expected, and some, while sad, can still be a joyous occasion. The latter is the case with Nellie’s Soulfood, the 50-year-old soul food restaurant in Oakland, which announced on Facebook that it is closing this Thursday, June 30. Founder Nellie Ozen (who is in her eighties) and her daughter Quinnette Ozen are taking the opportunity to retire, which is something that can’t be blamed on the competitive landscape of the Bay Area.
Longtime employee Njelela Milele told East Bay Express that the restaurant has been sold, and that while she doesn’t know what will be moving in, she doesn’t think it will be another restaurant. Regulars had the chance to attend a free community dinner in the space last night as a sort of goodbye party, and the doors don’t officially close until Thursday, so there’s some time left to stop by one last time.