E’ville Biz: Community Foods Market Opens, Hip Hop Juice Box Replacing Scarlet City, Grammies Down Home to West Oakland, Fish Face Poke Shutters

3 mins read

A trio of stories from around the web with a focus on the area of our city bordering West Oakland.

Community Foods Market, in the planning stage since 2010, finally opened to the West Oakland Community earlier this month. The San Pablo Avenue grocery store is the first full-service grocery store to open in the neighborhood in decades.

A replacement for Scarlet City Espresso on Adeline has been announced. Berkeleyside reporter Sarah Han details the plans for Hip Hop Juice Box by Hometown Heroes partner and 10 year Emeryville resident Eric Turner. Turner’s plans for the space includes a juice bar and coffee shop set to a nostalgic hip hop theme.

In addition, Han details the announcement of ‘Grammies Down Home’ being opened by Crave BBQ chef Rashad Armstead on Market Street. Armstead backed out of his planned full-service restaurant at the California Hotel after financing for the $300,000 project fell through.

The Fish Face Poke stall at the Public Market closed suddenly back on June 3rd. The stall is the third to close this year joining Mayo & Mustard and We Be Sushi. Offsetting this bad news is the anticipation of anticipated new stalls including Baby Cafe and Mama Lamees and a long-term lease signing by pop-up stall Minnie Bell’s. Fish Face founder Billy Ngo also shuttered his Carmichael, CA location.

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Photo: Paul Chinn / The Chronicle

Community Foods Market, West Oakland’s first full-scale grocery store in decades, is open

By Janelle Bitker

After patiently waiting for several years, West Oakland residents greeted the neighborhood’s first full-scale grocery store in decades over the weekend.

On a quiet Tuesday morning, Community Foods Market staff brought in boxes of kombucha, instant noodle soup and other packaged goods to fill out the shelves of the 14,000-square-foot store. The produce section, however, was already packed — and reasonably priced. Conventional heads of lettuce cost 79 cents, while organic bunches of kale and carrots go for $1.49 …

Read More on SFChronicle.com (subject to paywall) →

More info on CommunityFoodsMarket.com →

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Photo: Sarah Han / Berkeleyside.com

Crave BBQ chef opens Grammie’s Down-Home Chicken & Seafood in Oakland

By Sarah Han

Last year, the local food media was buzzing when news emerged that Rashad Armstead, the chef behind Oakland pop-up Crave BBQ, was opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant at the historic California Hotel in West Oakland. It was to be a permanent place for Armstead to serve his smoked meats and Southern-style sides that first got attention from his pop-ups at the Ashby flea market in Berkeley and at a gas station parking lot in West Oakland. But Armstead was also excited to partner with the hotel’s owner, non-profit East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), which works to help low-income families and under-resourced communities. At the hotel, he planned to run Crave BBQ as a sort of incubator for young black entrepreneurs. He would train and employ local youth in food service, restaurant operation and management, so they could eventually run their own business one day. He was also working with non-profit Oakland Public Conservatory of Music to open a blues café at the hotel. But the ambitious multi-prong plan fell apart when he realized the money to make it happen wasn’t there.

Read More on Berkeleyside.com

Follow them online at eatgrammies.com →

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Photo: Sarah Han / Berkeleyside.com

Emeryville’s newest juice and coffee bar pays homage to throwback hip-hop

By Sarah Han

Tuesdays used to be a big day for Eric Turner. That was the day of the week that new records were released (the recording industry started the Tuesday tradition in 1989 but changed the standard release date to Friday in 2015), and for Turner, there was a lot of excitement and anticipation for a new hip-hop album to drop. Turner grew up in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood in the ’90s and he said many of his memories are tied to hip-hop. He fondly recalls hearing Snoop’s first album, “Doggystyle,” when a school friend got a copy, and a couple of years later, he remembers picking up Tupac’s “Me Against the World,” which he listened to on repeat every day when his family was going through hard times.

Read More on Berkeleyside.com →

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Despite closures, Fish Face founder has plans for growth

By Sonya Sorich

The locally owned Fish Face Poke Bar once had three locations. Now, it’s down to one. But the founder of Fish Face remains optimistic about the concept’s growth.

“We still have plans to expand in the greater Sacramento region in the future,” Billy Ngo, chef and founder of Fish Face, told the Business Journal, in an exchange on Facebook.

Read More on Sacramento Business Journal (subject to paywall) →

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Rob Arias

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who lived in Emeryville from 2003 to 2021. Rob founded The E'ville Eye in 2011 after being robbed at gunpoint and lamenting the lack of local news coverage. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.


  1. Hi Rob – It broke my heart to be out of town during your Emeryville History event. I have my fingers crossed you will have more of them. – Dean

  2. Not surprised about Fish Face. Let alone quality, their pricing structure of paying for every topping is almost unheard of for poke bowl restaurants. And to add insult to injury to anyone hoping for a decent local poke bowl is the fact that the price for each add-on was so ridiculous.

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