Oakland’s only remaining location of Locol, an ambitious effort from chefs Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi to create a healthy fast food chain, has closed.
Locol’s website displays only the restaurant’s branches in Watts and San Jose (where a location opened inside a Whole Foods in January); it’s listed as permanently closed on Yelp. Eater SF has reached out to Locol representatives for confirmation and details of the closure.
Update, 4:45 p.m.: “We are closed on the retail side for now,” Roy Choi says in a statement, “but please look into our catering services in Oakland and a new location at the Richmond BART station soon and of course San Jose.”
Locol’s location in West Oakland opened in spring 2017, joining a first, Uptown Oakland Locol that launched in 2016. The Uptown location suddenly closed in summer 2017 — after a bruising review by Pete Wells in the New York Times — with the team redirecting their efforts to to the West Oakland spot.
During the shuffle, Locol representatives insisted that the Uptown location’s closure was planned. And perhaps balancing out the Wells review, Jonathan Gold granted Locol’s Watts location a Restaurant of the Year award from the LA Times.
Locol’s mission to reinvent fast food has been heralded by supporters, but its tenure has been somewhat tumultuous. The Watts and West Oakland Locations have constantly tinkered with their menus, taking a hiatus last year and returning with new items. Last fall, Choi admitted that growth had been slower than planned: “We built this project to grow and to eventually be in like five cities by now,” he said in an interview.
While the future of Locol is uncertain, a Richmond location is reportedly in the works.