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After a Sudden Closure in June, Rocky Island Oyster Co. Returns With a New East Bay Location

Plus, Caffe Centro in South Park closes and more Bay Area food intel

Rocky Island Oysters
Dianne de Guzman is a deputy editor at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, upcoming openings, and pop-ups.

Despite the sudden closure of its Richmond waterfront home in June, Rocky Island Oyster Co. is set to make a comeback later this year — this time as the Salty Pearl. The Mercury News reports that owner Danny Pirello will relaunch his restaurant under its new name at 550 Second Street in Oakland’s Jack London Square.

The new location is expected to open in September or October, depending on beverage license approval, according to the newspaper. The Salty Pearl will be shucking a mix of East and West Coast oysters, of course, but with the move comes the ability to expand the menu offerings, Pirello says.

Another popular San Francisco coffee shop has closed

Along with the news that Philz will soon shut down its original 24th Street location in the Mission, comes word that another popular cafe has closed its doors: Caffe Centro in South Park shut down as of Friday, July 28, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Owner Tom Buswell says business hadn’t returned with employees working from home, and the cafe has only seen 30 percent of its pre-pandemic activity. After a break-in two weeks ago, Buswell decided against renewing the lease on the cafe. In a twist of good news, however, the Chronicle reports that a group of Centro employees want to bring the cafe back. Stay tuned.

Now we know who’s been keeping the Vital Vittles legacy alive

Despite the well-publicized closure of the long-running bakery Vital Vittles in 2022, the Berkeley bread maker has been quietly continuing on, supplying loaves to Berkeley Bowl and Rainbow Grocery. Now, we know who’s been keeping the Vital Vittles legacy alive: Altamirano Restaurant Group bought the bakery, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Known for restaurants Mochica in San Francisco and La Costanera in Half Moon Bay, this new arm of the restaurant group dubbed Alta Mira Baking Co. is baking bread for its own restaurants and wholesale accounts, as well as continuing the Vital Vittles bread line. The business is currently wholesale only, with plans to open a retail counter next year at the San Pablo Avenue bakery in Berkeley.

Here’s a drink deal for striking writers and actors in San Francisco

With the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild both calling for a strike this summer, budgets can be tight. But San Francisco cafe That’s My Jam is offering a thoughtful gesture: Every Friday, the cafe will have half-price lattes for WGA and SAG union members until a contract is reached, the cafe shared in a Threads post. “As Michael Scott said on The Office, ‘A good manager doesn’t fire people,” the post reads. “He hires people and inspires people. People. And people will never go out of business.”