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Zachary’s Pizza to Replace Oakland’s Camino

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It will open in mid-2019

The fireplace at Camino

When Camino, a revered temple of Bay Area cuisine, closes in December, it will be replaced by another local icon: Zachary’s Pizza.

The local, employee-owned chain will be setting up shop in the space in the first half of the year (if all goes according to plan), confirms Zachary’s COO Leandra Schuler. The company is currently in early design stages, mapping out the space to function as a Zachary’s, says Schuler, who also noted that the wood oven hearth that was the centerpiece of Camino chef/co-owner Russ Moore’s cooking style might stay.

“We’re not Camino and we don’t want to pretend to be them,” Schuler told Eater SF. “They do a really fantastic job and are really talented people. We want to stay true to what we do, and make it feel like Zachary’s.”

To honor both Camino and Zacharys, Schuler says that there’ll be some design modifications, like moving around existing furniture or adding new pieces. And, like at all Zachary’s locations, there will be pizza-themed art adorning the walls as part of the restaurant’s ongoing art contest.

The menu will also stay true to the thin crust and deep dish pizzas at the company’s other locations — in Berkeley, San Ramon, Pleasant Hill, and Oakland’s Rockridge — though there might be a few new small plates. And, potentially, cocktails. Schuler says they’ve applied for a liquor license that would allow them to serve liquor, a first for the restaurants.

While Camino and Zachary’s appear to be polar opposites — wood fired, whole animal cooking with a daily changing menu versus a bustling, casual pizza restaurant — one similarity can be found in both company’s ethos towards employees. Moore and partner Allison Hopelain were one of the first Bay Area restaurants to institute a no-tipping policy for their restaurant, ensuring that Camino employees were paid a livable wage. Zachary’s tipping system remains the traditional model, but it has been 100 percent employee-owned through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan since 2010.

“We do try to have an inclusive culture,” says Schuler. “We certainly include the entire management team on decisions like this.”

As far as joining the neighborhood, which already boasts the pizza-centric Boot and Shoe Service and the Star on Grand, Zachary’s is ready to bring its own style to Grand Avenue.

“When I tell people [Zachary’s] is the buyer, the response has been pretty positive,” Hopelain told Eater. “Though this is not who I expected would buy the restaurant, everyone has some sort of connection to Zachary’s.”

Stay tuned for more details on what is slated to be a mid-2019 opening.


3917 Grand Avenue, , CA 94610 (510) 547-5035 Visit Website