Emeryville Arizmendi Owner-Workers Eyeing Reconstruction and Reopening of Bakery

1 min read

Emeryville Arizmendi is close to beginning reconstruction of its bakery after a devastating fire and subsequent water damage. They’ve been closed since December 11th after a vehicle crashed into a gas line causing the fire and activating their sprinkler system.

Arizmendi had initially targeted a Spring reopening but this may have been a bit ambitious. “This process has been so much more than we expected!” noted owner-worker Aja Green through email. “Permitting, licensing, construction … all of that is a slow process, which we found, we have little control over.”

A collision from a vehicle ruptured this gas meter in the Promenade parking lot

Arizmendi is taking the opportunity while closed to redesign and upgrade their interior space which hasn’t changed much since they opened in 2003. “The Community will start to see construction happening on the back wall sometime in the next few weeks. Once that is done, we’ll have power and can begin working on the inside as well.”


Many community members have graciously reached out asking for ways they could support the owner-workers while closed. “When we first closed, we heard that our insurance company is covering living expenses, which eased all of our worries pretty quickly. But, as it turns out, working with an insurance company is a slow process, who knew?”

Arizmendi’s owner-workers have been reluctant to endorse a crowdfunding effort fearing insurance implications. Because of the pace of insurance claims, they are now reconsidering but want to do so with a clear goal. “We need to clarify our needs and decide how we want to proceed.”

Rest assured, Arizmendi will reopen and intend to come back better and stronger than ever. “Spring was our goal but it’s looking like possibly early Summer at this point,” Green added. “We’ve been going for 15 years and we want to be able to stay for many more beyond that!”


Feature Image: Arizmendi owner-workers gather to discuss their next steps (Photo: @ArizmendiEville via Instagram).

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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.


    • Permitting is not just about the original structure, and there are lots of different kinds of permits (use & zoning, structure, utilities, etc.) Just like with any work done in an existing home or business, all plumbing (gas or water) work, electrical work, and structural work has to be permitted to ensure it’s safe and confirms to code (and to keep the inspectors employed). I’m sure there’s a fair bit of all of that going on in the restoration, not to mention any remodeling they’re planning on doing.

  1. From the first time I heard about this I’ve been profoundly hoping the the insurance on the automobile covered a substantial part of the expenses. Doesn’t sound like it. Was the guy/gal insured at all?

  2. Regardless the driver’s insurance is responsible for the property damage. The question is does the property owner’s insurance handle all damages realtive to full coverage but even if they don’t have full coverage; by law they should have liability coverage! with that said, Ariz Mendi does not own the building; they lease (the space ‘ONLY”).Therefore the building owner’s insurance should be dealing directly with the driver’s insurance company. duh!

  3. Permits are required to make sure the new work is up to codes. Also if new standards were added, this is how they get installed. One comes to mind is auto door openers.

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