Hot Italian Pizza, Christie Ave Subway Close; Ashby “OSH” Reopens; Burger King Remodel Complete

2 mins read

2019 ended on a down note for Emeryville diners as two more establishments called it quits prior to ringing in the new year. While fewer residents will mourn the loss of one of Emeryville’s five Subway chains, the sudden closure of Hot Italian was more disappointing.

It was another brutal year for local restaurants. 612One Asian Fusion, Smashburger, Rubio’s, Fuddruckers, Buckhorn Grill (rumored to possibly return after Bay Street completes its food shed renovations), two stalls at the Public Market (Fish Face Poke and Mayo & Mustard), the Likha popup at Hometown Heroes and Scarlet City Espresso (replaced by Hip Hop Juice Box). Patatas shuttered restaurant service in lieu of a delivery/catering model.

On a positive note, 2019 saw the opening of Public Market Super Duper, Baby Café, a long term lease by Minnie Bell’s and rave reviews for the new Palestinian food pop-up Mama Lamees.

The entire list of Restaurant & Retail closures since 2015 are captured in our Interactive Map:

Hot Italian

Hot Italian Pizza – Closed

Hot Italian’s last day in business was Sunday, December 29th. The establishment had been a family favorite in the Emeryville community for years and garnered an impressive 4-star yelp review.

Hot Italian opened their first location in Midtown Sacramento in 2009. They followed up by opening their Public Market location in 2012 filling a space vacated by the failed “Fuzio” chain. They then opened a Davis, CA location which folded after less than two years.

According to a Sacramento Business Journal report, investors placed the blame on Co-Founder Andrea Lepore noting that the third Davis location may have overextended their resources and caused financial pressures.

Lepore refuted the claims noting the restaurants were profitable when she left the company in 2017 and that they failed under the new investment group’s management. Lepore pointed to a variety of factors, including rising labor costs, as the reasons for the Davis location’s failure.

Photo: @mariquinay via Instagram.

Christie Avenue Subway – Closed

The Christie Avenue Subway abruptly shuttered the week of December 14th. A sign posted on the window referred customer to the Hollis and 65th location in the Glasshaus housing complex.

Emeryville has no shortage of Subway establishments including this Hollis location, EmeryStation North, the Watergate Market and the corner of 40th & San Pablo Avenue.

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Ashby “OSH” – Open (West Berkeley)

The former Orchard Supply Hardware on Ashby, which shuttered last year, has reopened as Outdoor Supply Hardware.

Lowe’s acquired the nearly century old, San Jose-born Orchard Supply in 2013. After an attempt at reviving the brand and an interior overhaul, they announced the closure of all stores five years later.

Central Network Retail Group, who own a plethora of small hardware chains across the U.S. including Marvin’s and Town & Country, have begun acquiring some of the shuttered OSH stores and reopening them under the Outdoor brand including stores in Napa, Moraga and Capitola.

“Customers who enjoyed Orchard Supply Hardware will enjoy the new store as it carries many of the same quality items used in the home and around the yard,” said CEO John Sieggreen in this Berkeleyside article. “There are also some new items and brands that we believe will create an even better shopping experience.”

The interior of the renovated Powell Street Plaza Burger King (Photo: Kendall Williams).

Powell Street Plaza Burger King Remodel Complete

The Powell Street Plaza Burger King completed its store remodel after gutting the interior back in October.

Canadian-owned Restaurant Brands International (RBI), who own the burger chain, have been been rolling out their Burger King of Tomorrow redesign in response to declining sales.

They have also taken bold steps with their menu including the option of a plant-based Impossible Burger in their flagship Whopper product.

The exterior of the renovated Powell Street Plaza Burger King (Photo: Kendall Williams).

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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. Hot Italian’s owners were to open a new restaurant in Berkeley last year. It would be a more formal, sit down restaurant than their Shattuck gelato cafe or Hot Italian. The owners are brother and sister, the sister often worked at Hot Italian.

  2. Best pizza EVER… shame to see them go. I remember Fuzio was there earlier and they shut down as well. We need a veggie grill here. That would be great.

  3. Not sure if this is a done deal but broken rack is being taken over by the adjacent cannabis club (add that to your list)

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