Encuentro, a well-loved vegetarian restaurant in Oakland, announced yesterday that it had closed, effective immediately.
The restaurant was a favorite for vegetarians and omnivores alike, offering a menu of snacks, housemade vegan cheeses, and entrees like carrot and sweet yam gnocchi. It began as a wine bar in Jack London Square in 2009; it later made the move down the street to a larger space, with an expanded menu of vegan and vegetarian offerings in 2014.
Now, almost three years later, the restaurant will shut its doors due to “the rising costs of doing business.” It’s a familiar phrase these days as minimum wage rises (now $12.86 in Oakland as of January 1, 2017), and rents follow suit. It seems no restaurant is immune, despite popularity, as Hawker Fare announced last week that it would close due to displacement.
Partners Linda Braz and Lacey Sher released the following statement on Encuentro’s website:
It is with a heavy heart that we are saying goodbye. The rising costs of doing business in an economy that is fraught with uncertainty has become overwhelmingly difficult.
We love you and will miss you terribly but we have to think with our heads and not with our hearts.
Please sign up for our mailing list if you are not on it already - you never know what may 'pop-up' at our space.
Thank you all for your 7+ years of love and support. It has meant more to us then you realize and has kept us going in spite of adversity.
With respect and love to all our customers, employees, friends and family.
Lacey and Linda
Eater has reached out for more details. In the meantime, fans can get a last taste at two upcoming cash-only pop-ups in the Encuentro space. Beer, wine, and “a simple supper menu” will be offered Friday, February 3 from 5- 9 p.m.. A “new creative menu” will be available on Friday, February 10th for the full moon, from 5- 9 p.m. Expect more events to follow.