It’s been a rocky road for Oakland’s Grand Fare Market, the 4,500-square-foot ambitious food hall that opened in October as a combination oyster bar, market, and café. Just a short two months later, owner Doug Washington shut the operation down citing operation costs as "simply too much" to keep it going, though impractical choices like only offering uncovered outdoor seating pointed to a different kind of problem.
Then, March brought news of a rebirth that would incorporate certain changes to hopefully ensure success. Now, today brings the market’s revival, and it has officially reopened to the public. Here are the biggest changes to the space and operation.
- A new ordering process. Now, there is only one ordering and payment point as opposed to several in Grand Fare 1.0. Guests take a number to order and pay, and afterwards can take the number to their table inside or outside to have their food brought to them (or, take it to go).
- No more Airstream. Rather than order coffee and ice cream outside, those items are now available at the main ordering point.
- An expanded menu with more prepared foods. More salads and prepared foods and meats will be on display for order.
- More lower-priced and varied products. A lot of these products are local, like TCHO chocolate, Nana Joe’s granola, Blue Bottle iced coffee, and more.
- The addition of indoor seating. Seating only used to be outside, but tables have been added inside. With these additions, there are now 50 seats inside and 75 outside.
- New fire pits outside. To help ward against the fog and chillier weather, fire pits have been added outside.
Grand Fare 2.0 is now open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, with expanded hours to begin in August.