More Public Market Transitions: We Sushi opens amid announced closures of Bay Burger, Sorabol & Pamir

2 mins read

First, the good news: We Sushi finally opened yesterday after signing a lease back in September 2015. Now the bad news: Bay Burger, Pamir Afghan and Sorabol Korean will sadly be vacating their stalls as the Public Market’s owners look to complete the final construction phase of its massive food court revamp.

OPEN: We Sushi

We Sushi is the latest business with food truck origins to go “Brick & Mortar” at the Public Market joining Koja Kitchen & Mayo & Mustard which just opened last week. We Sushi offers various Japanese staples including rolls and Bento boxes, but also offers the increasingly popular Sushi Burrito which is fish, vegetables and white rice wrapped in nori (an edible seaweed). “We’re excited to finally open to the Emeryville Community” noted proprietor Thomas Wu. Opening hours are from 11am to 8:30pm.

The We Sushi Menu

CLOSING: Bay Burger, Pamir Afghan and Sorabol Korean

The Public Market transition has divided many in our community with some mourning the loss of some of their favorite cheap bites while others have lauded the more exotic replacements and healthier menu choices. Many appreciate the new rustic accents and inclusion of public art while others remain nostalgic about the neon and menus with food pics (and at least a few lamenting the removal of the kid’s ball pit). Pamir Afghan and Sorabol Korean are two of the Public Market originals that have reportedly been around for close to 30 years.

Sorabol, which is actually a franchise with several other Bay Area locations, noted they were still pondering opening in one of the new stalls but require a corner stall and City Center Realty Partners seemed reluctant to guarantee this. Once source noted that Pamir’s owners were looking at a possible new location in Berkeley. Best Coast Burritos is a former EPM food court tenant (then known as Viva Mexican Grill) that successfully made the transition to a standalone restaurant. Tenants were reportedly given a few months notice about the plans.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes are afoot at the Public Market as three longtime tenants will be vacating.

These departures will leave Wazwan Indian as the last holdout from the pre-renovated Public Market. Some of businesses we were told had the opportunity to move to one of the new stalls but clearly the Public Market is being more discerning about its tenants, the aesthetic that they are adhered to and of course commercial rents increases. Sorabol will be closing this weekend while Pamir and Bay Burger will close after the first week of December.

Public Market has already announced two replacement tenants including Fish Face Poke from Sacramento and The Period Table Sake and Craft Beer stall from the proprietors of Shiba Ramen and Granja Eatery by acclaimed Peruvian chef Carlos Altamirano.

The Public Market will host the second in its free Second Friday Market Beats series tonight with the live music of The Steve Carter Trio from 6:30-8:30 pm.

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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. My kids and I ate at the Public Market earlier this week and while we were eating, a homeless(?) guy came in and started rummaging through the trash bins (centrally located in the dining table area), pulling out leftover food and putting it in his bag. It wasn’t the most appetizing dinnertime entertainment, and the ladies that clean off tables did nothing (nor should they — that’s not their job). But if the EPM is to succeed in transforming itself into a more upscale food court, they need to have full time security officers to make sure it is a clean, safe, and family-friendly environment.

  2. Gentryville is working!!!

    Our City is doing a great job running everyone out. If we could raise the minimum wage a little higher, we could wrap this process up by the end of next year.

  3. Hi Rob, why has the Public Market been gutted to the extent it has? I remember the place 3-4 years ago when there were still some 15-20 restaurants, now all of them are gone. I know there’s been a change of ownership. Is it rent increases that’s causing all of them to flee?

    • Emeryville is no longer a good place for small independent businesses. High end fare serving the upper class and chain franchises are the only real workable business models for restaurants in the city.

  4. I’m single so cooking has become a thing of the past. I live across the street from the Market and eat there several times a week. Wazwan is one of my favorite restaurants in the area, not just in the Market. I hope they remain a staple during the revamp. The addition of Mayo and Sushi further reduces my desire to cook at home. I can’t leave Ramen or Koja out of this post. Love them all.

  5. Sorry to hear that Pamir, Sorabol, and Bay Burger will be leaving. They all will be missed!! It is a shame that their food will no longer be represented in the complex. I miss the days of all the restaurants that have closed. The French crepes, the German cusine, and many more.. Too bad…all will become a drive through Memory Lane. Thank you for the great food, you will be missed !!

  6. Good to see that the market is finally getting some solid new tenants and starting to look a little less like a construction zone. Pamir was decent, would be nice to have another Middle Eastern option to replace it. Whatever replaces Bay Burger and Sorabol will be an upgrade, won’t miss either, but I will miss Bay Burger’s blatant usage of a BK Whopper photo for their signage, unbelievable. The Jamaican place needs to come back.

  7. Thank you? No. No, no, no. The exact opposite. Pamir Afghan Cuisine was the only thing keeping me remotely interested. Enjoy your soulless mediocrity henceforth. Only one original tenant remains : the worst one. Why keep the name? The public market is dead. Rename it to the “Corporate Center for Mediocre Lunch” or something more fitting. Goodbye forever.

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