EBX details Nyum Bai Stall replacement: Minnie Bell’s Soul Food Movement

Published On March 7, 2018 | By Rob Arias | Food & Drink, In the Neighborhood, Local Business, News & Commentary, Restaurants

Although Public Market officials have cautioned that the lease has not officially been executed, East Bay Express restaurant critic Janelle Bitker has broken the news of the replacement tenant for the former Nyum Bai stall. According to the story, Minnie Bell’s Soul Food Movement will soon bring fried chicken and a variety of other soul food classics to the Public Market’s Food Hall.

Proprietor Fernay McPherson has been operating Minnie Bell’s as a food truck and catering business for the past few years. She’s hoping to refine her business model here in Emeryville with an eye on one day opening a brick & mortar in her native San Francisco.


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The stall has been designated as a launching pad for participants in the La Cocina incubator kitchen whose mission is to help cultivate low-income female entrepreneurs. Nyum Bai owner Nite Yun capitalized on her opportunity at the location by recently opening her own full service restaurant in Oakland’s Fruitvale district.

While details of the terms of Minnie Bell’s lease have not yet been made public, Nyum Bai was given a reduced rent, temporary lease to help build a following. At the conclusion of this “pop up” period, tenants are typically given the opportunity to transition to another stall with a longterm lease.

McPherson’s journey and love for cooking is documented in the above Southern Foodways Alliance interview. McPherson grew up in SF’s Western Addition neighborhood that she reminisced was once “a taste of the south” centered around Fillmore Street. The neighborhood has a long history as a population base and a cultural center for San Francisco’s African-American community.

“Minnie Bell’s” is a nod to McPherson’s great aunt “Minnie” and her Grandmother Lilly-Bell who she describes as her inspirations. “When I was a little girl, we had big family dinners and everyone was dancing and having a good time … that’s what ‘soul food’ is to me.”

Minnie Bell’s Fried Chicken is brined in hot sauce, buttermilk, and fresh rosemary for 24 hours.

In addition to this hopefully soon to be offered soul food cuisine, The Public Market currently offers Indian (Wazwan), Mexican (C CASA), Peruvian (Paradita Eatery), Asian Fusion (Koja Kitchen), Japanese (Shiba Ramen & We Sushi), Sandwiches (Mayo & Mustard), Hawaiian (Fish Face Poke), a Sake Bar/Taproom (Periodic Table), a variety of dessert options (Mr. Dewie’s & Oui Oui Macaron) and will soon offer a cocktail bar (Public Bar).

Read more on McPherson’s plans on EastBayExpress.com and visit them online at minniebellssoul.com.

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

9 Responses to EBX details Nyum Bai Stall replacement: Minnie Bell’s Soul Food Movement

  1. Angel-Max Guerrero says:

    This would be a phenomenal addition to the Public Market #Eville

  2. Fotchface says:

    I wonder why Emeryville is littered with vacant retail spaces…

    • Anonymous says:

      Because business owners aren’t stupid?

      • Anonymous says:

        Because getting robbed by city hall and getting robbed by rampant criminals is just not that appealing.

      • Rob Arias says:

        FYI, City Hall got broken into again yesterday for the 3rd time in as many months so at least they’re not immune to what’s going on. Fotchface, our politicians think because we’re geographically close to SF, that we can impose SF-style. labor laws on our businesses. The reality is that we don’t have the public transportation backbone, foot-traffic, or tourism draw that SF has.

  3. Sarah says:

    Has anyone issued any kind of statment, or said anything to anyone about the crime? Why does it seem to be so far off their radar? How can they keep getting broken into and still nothing? How blatant is that?

  4. Cathy Leonard says:

    I can’t wait for Minnie Belle’s Soul Food Movement.

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