Boot & Shoe Service — one Oakland restaurant owned by Charlie Hallowell, who was accused in December by 17 former employees of creating a culture of sexual harassment at his restaurants — has been sold to a former employee, Jen Cremer, and her husband Richard Clark.
Cremer is a former assistant general manager at Pizzaiolo, another of Hallowell’s restaurants, and Clark is a certified sommelier who was previously associate general manager of Tartine Manufactory in San Francisco.
The couple has been looking for an opportunity to work together, they say, and even had their first date at Boot & Shoe service. They’ll take over ownership of the restaurant at 3308 Grand Ave., known for its pizza, in the next two months.
“Our intent is to keep the restaurant the same unique gathering place it has always been, serving great, food in a casual, family-friendly atmosphere,” Cremer said in a statement shared with Eater SF.
After accusations against him surfaced, Hallowell announced he would step away from the day-to-day operations of his restaurant group, Analog Food Conspiracy. But some Boot & Shoe Service Employees were unsatisfied with the measure, insisting that Hallowell divest completely from his company. When he did not, several resigned in protest.
Now at the front of Analog Food Conspiracy is Donna Insalaco, who was hired this spring as chief operating officer. With the shoes at Boot & Shoe Service now filled by Cremer and Clark, Analog Food Conspiracy will focus on its other businesses, Penrose and Pizzaiolo.
According to Insalaco, no other such sales are currently underway as the team transitions ownership of Boot and Shoe Service. The group had previously sought to expand Boot & Shoe Service to include a Berkeley location, but put those plans on ice following the allegations against Hallowell.