Proposed Bay Street Grocery Store; Oui Oui Macaroon Closes; Roba’s Pizza Vacant; New Bay Street Tenants

Published On September 7, 2021 | By Rob Arias | Food & Drink, In the Neighborhood, Local Business, News & Commentary

Some updates detailing store and restaurant closures and openings around Emeryville over the past month including a possible “game-changing” grocery store at the Bay Street Shopping Center.

Roba’s Pizza Pasta Café – Vacant

Family-run Roba’s Pizza Pasta Café at the Watergate Shopping Center appears to have closed. No note was posted but the restaurant space is completely empty and the bar and counter area have been stripped clean.

The establishment, run by an Ethiopian family, has been open since 1992 according to their website.

We reached out to proprietor Abraham Roba for clarification but have not heard back. Roba’s does not maintain an active social media presence.

The interior of Roba’s has been completely stripped clean.


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Oui Oui Macaroon Public Market Stall Closes

The Oui Oui Macaroon stall at the Public Market announced their sudden closure via Instagram. In addition to the brightly colored Macaroons, they sold Basque cheesecakes and ice-cream sandwiches.

According to their posts, their five-year lease had ended and they opted not to renew. They noted plans to open a brick & mortar location on Divisadero Street in SF later this year.

Bay Street Grocery Store?

The City of Emeryville’s June progress report provided an interesting tidbit of information involving a proposed 48,500 square feet grocery store at Bay Street. The report notes that City of Emeryville staff met with the applicant team to review the plans on July 22.

The plan would require demolition of the existing retail/restaurant building that previously housed Old Navy and Elephant Bar (vacant since 2016). No details on the impact to adjacent businesses including Kara’s cupcakes or Pizza My Heart were provided.

The selection of this location is curious as it is just a half mile and ten-minute walk from the Public Market location slated for a New Seasons Market. The New Seasons site was reportedly rejected by a litany of replacement grocers and instead leased to Memphis Meats.

The eminent completion of the South Bayfront bridge will soon open pedestrian access to the Eastern side of Emeryville and the many existing and under-construction housing units. The presence of a grocery store would likely make living near the shopping center much more desirable.

The applicant is listed as Lowney Architecture who list Whole Foods, Safeway and Sprouts among their many clients. The project is tentatively scheduled for a Planning Commission study session on September 23.

New Bay Street Tenants

Two of the ample vacancies at the Bay Street Shopping Center have been filled.

Spoiled Boutique is now occupying the site of the former Francescas Collections. Foreign Family, an independent clothier, opened at the former American Eagle space on Monday. Foreign Family also has a location at the Solano Town Center in Fairfield.

In addition, the seasonal Spirit Halloween store is occupying the former Forever 21 space.

About The Author

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.

3 Responses to Proposed Bay Street Grocery Store; Oui Oui Macaroon Closes; Roba’s Pizza Vacant; New Bay Street Tenants

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks

  2. Anonymous says:

    Another boneheaded move by our prestigious planning department. They think the number of people living within a certain distance will walk to the proposed grocery store? Not a chance. So they’ll be left with either having to validate their parking or bear the cost of parking.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Roba’s pizza is gone? 😢

    Maybe they decided to retire? They were in business for 30 years…

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