The Bay Area is a leader in tacos, but there’s not many when it comes to Texas-style. Now, though, Oakland’s Toast Kitchen + Bar owners Kristen Policy and Heather Sittig are setting out to change that. Come October, they’ll be switching up concepts and opening Austin, a casual tacos- and margaritas-focused restaurant.
Toast Kitchen + Bar (5900 College Ave.) will close on September 18, and reopen as Austin on October 6. The tacos will differ from standard Bay Area ones in a few ways: they’re smaller and feature flavors beyond the standard meat, beans, and cheese, with a large emphasis on fresh tortillas. Chef Michael Woods is developing the menu, based on feedback from two upcoming pop-ups. On September 22 though September 25 and September 29 through October 2 (4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday), diners can taste various tacos and give feedback on favorites.
Policy and Sittig were spurred to make the change for a few reasons. First, because of the name, many incorrectly viewed the wine bar as a breakfast spot, and there are already two other restaurants (in San Francisco and Novato) with the name Toast. Also, Sittig lived in Austin as a teenager, and thinks the Rockridge area could use an addition like this.