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Bay Area Chef Launches Black-Owned Food Collective and Market in West Oakland

Plus, the Rosewood has a new poolside menu from Liholiho Yacht Club chef Ravi Kapur, and more intel

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Reign Free, Founder and CEO of The Red Door Group
Photo by JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.


  • Bay Area chef Reign Free, founder of The Red Door Catering, launched an incubator for Black-owned food and beverage makers in West Oakland today called the Black Culinary Collective. Members will share a fully-equipped commercial kitchen to create their wares and sell them at an onsite marketplace, and will be connected to business consultants and mentorship services, as well as funding opportunities with Oakland’s Black Business Fund. With its current funding from the Black Business Fund and Reign herself, the Collective plans to subsidize 10 members for six months to a year, after which some may stay on while others will hopefully be in a position pursue their own spaces. Free is looking to add five more members to the Collective’s current lineup, which so far includes a barbecue sauce producer, tea business, and navy bean pie bakery. Free hopes to open the onsite market to the public in August, and eventually sell fresh produce in addition to the entrepreneur’s food and beverage items.
  • Menlo Park cougar hunting ground the Rosewood Sand Hill has launched an all-new poolside menu from Ravi Kapur, chef and owner of the hugely popular Liholiho Yacht Club. Available all summer season, the new menu includes dishes like Kennebec potato chips with furifake and caramelized onion dip; a tuna poke bowl with furifake rice; a burger with topped with pineapple, bacon and kimchi bbq; and a fried chicken sandwich made with cabbage slaw and pickled jalapeno. The hotel will also debut a new look inspired by the Hawaii native later this spring, with promises of a tropical surf shack vibe.
  • SoMa’s Tin Vietnamese is expanding to the Financial District this spring, opening a second location focused on banh mi on Kearney Street. The new shop will keep some of the popular salads, rolls, rice plates, and vermicelli bowls that are on the current Tin menu (no noodle soups, though) and will expand significantly on its banh mi offerings with house-made pates, aioli, and meats. Owners are working towards an early June opening, Tin Vietnamese told Eater SF.
  • Mission Bay coffee truck Spro Coffee Lab is expanding to Castro this summer, and it will be the first cafe for husband and wife team Rich Lee and Liza Otanes. The coffee shop is taking over the space at 500 Church Street, formerly home to German restaurant Maurepark, and will feature the same menu as the Mission Bay truck. Lee and Otanes expect to open in Castro by June or July, reports Hoodline. [Hoodline]
  • A pastrami shop with killer-looking sandwiches will land in the Castro in the former home of Nizario’s Pizza, owner Jonathan Young has announced on Instagram. Hot Johnnie’s will serve a menu of pastrami-based dishes including sandwiches —including on Dutch Crunch bread — and brunch items, as well as a smoke-fried chicken Young calls “pastrami fried chicken,” according to Hoodline. It’s within walking distance of Dolores, a major plus for the vaccinated folk who will no doubt be back there when the weather is nice. Young expects to open in July. [Hoodline]

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