Does Locol’s capitalist business model ignore racism?
After Locol’s sudden retreat from Uptown Oakland, cook and writer Tunde Wey offers a biting critique of the restaurant, and he’s not talking about the food. Because “racism, not some aberrant market failure, is the culprit in the deprivation of communities of color,” Locol’s market-driven solution is a nonstarter. It’s just another “traditional, for-profit business” that’s “characterized by the separation of ownership and labor,” and offering it up as a “remedy for upending historical racism” is merely “self-aggrandizement dressed as altruism.” In fact, owners Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson are privileged populists with a bit of a messiah complex, he argues. Wey’s solution? “[A] more cooperative and restorative paradigm” and a “complete transfer of capital, labor and land assets — wealth — to the communities [Choi and Patterson] suggest to serve.” That, one assumes, could involve re-defining Locol as a non-profit, an idea Choi and Patterson originally dismissed, but may be coming around to after all.
Degrees Plato Pub opens in Oakland
A new beer bar and bottle shop serving Oaxacan-inspired fare — nopal quesadillas, tortas adobadas, and more — is softly open in Oakland. Degrees Plato, as it’s called, comes from couple Rich Allen and Mercedes Sperling, who will celebrate with a ribbon- cutting ceremony on Saturday. Degrees Plato offers more evidence that Oakland’s cup runneth over with beer — this week also brought news of Beer Baron, headed to the former Toast Kitchen + Bar space in late summer. 251 MacArthur Boulevard, Oakland
B-Side launches Sunday Dinner Series
B-Side, the cocktail bar and restaurant that took over the show at SFJAZZ in April, has a new rotating pop-up series for your Sunday supping pleasure. NYC expat Deuki Hong (Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong, Momofuku) was in the kitchen last weekend, and this week brings a group of Saison folks — Anthony Keels, Adam Lawrence, Matt Lowe, and Nathan Cann — to B-Side under the moniker Codex. Stay tuned for more Sunday lineups as the series continues.
Food & Wine trades New York for Alabama
Ditching both its metropolitan identity and big-city rent (we get it) 39-year-old glossy dining magazine Food & Wine will say goodbye to all that, departing New York City for Birmingham, Alabama. The magazine’s leadership will change along with its locale: Editor-in-chief Nilou Motamed is being replaced by Hunter Lewis, editor of fellow Birmingham-based, Time, Inc-owned publication Cooking Light.