Emeryville Restaurant & Retail Report: 4 Closures, 2 Openings, Target Completes Remodel

3 mins read

In our quarterly Emeryville Restaurant & Retail Report, our area saw four closures, the opening of two seasonal shops and the announcement of a second Old Navy store.

Petco – Closing

Petco is in the process of closing its longtime store in the Powell Street Plaza. No reason was given. However, items are now 70% off or more during their clearance sale.

The next closest Petco stores are its Unleashed locations on Lakeshore Blvd. in Oakland, Fifth Street in Alameda and El Cerrito. Pet Club on Hollis is another pet supply alternative.

Smashburger – Closed

Smashburger closed suddenly after years of serving its signature hamburgers at the East Bay Bridge Center.  Known for smashing its burger patties on the grill, the 370 location fast-casual restaurant did not provide a reason for closing.

The San Francisco and South Bay locations remain open.

Yuzu Ramen – Crowdfunding Effort to help “Save” them

Yuzu Ramen on 65th is apparently struggling and has posted a GoFundMe campaign targeting $100K in donations to help them stay afloat. The restaurant says, “the reality of this, is that there is no profit let alone business.”

After opening in Emeryville in 2016, they recently opened a second location in San Rafael. Contributions collected will go toward assisting both of their locations.

“Specifically, as the costs are high, minimum wage in Emeryville has gone significantly up, and with our rent going up every year, we just have been falling behind on,” noted Yuzu’s Business Manager Julli explaining the motive behind the campaign. “The donations will be used towards the ingredients and produce that we use to maintain quality, support our employee wages, and support the ongoing rising rent.”

Noodle Theory Provisions – Closing (North Oakland)

Noodle Theory Provisions recently announced that they will shutter their San Pablo Avenue location on October 15th. They opened in 2016 after an extensive and lengthy renovation of the space.

“It has been a pleasure serving the neighborhood of Golden Gate District!” they announced via Instagram. Noodle Theory will continue to operate their Rockridge and Moraga locations.

The strip of San Pablo Avenue took another hit recently with the relocation of Donut Farm’s cafe to Jack London Square (The SPA location remains open but will pare down their offerings to just donuts).

Old Navy – Second Location Opening in Powell St. Plaza

In a surprise move, Old Navy will open a second Emeryville location in the Powell Street Plaza at the former DB Shoes location.

While no announcements have been made regarding the future of the Bay Street location, it is not unprecedented for the clothing retailer to operate stores in such close proximity. The City of Concord currently has two locations in adjacent shopping centers less than 1/4 mile from each other.

We’ve reached out to Old Navy for more information and will update this post accordingly.

See’s Candy – Bay Street Store Closes/Powell Street Plaza Holiday Popup Opens

Original Bay Street Mall tenant, See’s Candy, saw its lease expire recently. The company tells The E’ville Eye that they are searching for a new space in the area. In the meantime, it has opened a temporary holiday pop-up store in the Powell Street Plaza shopping Center.

Photo: Cindy Warner

Airport Home Appliance – Open

After months of waiting, Airport Home Appliance is now open in the previously unoccupied three-unit office building at 5815 Shellmound Way, next to the La-Z-Boy furniture store. The local appliance chain continues to expand rapidly with the addition of this new Emeryville location. Airport Home Appliance will close its Berkeley location on October 31st.

GamedayVR – Closed/Spirit Halloween Seasonal Store  – Open

There wasn’t much time to enjoy virtual reality gaming at the Bay Street Mall as GamedayVR abruptly closed after opening earlier this year. The company also closed its Walnut Creek location simultaneously. Their website now shows two new locations in San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square and Pleasant Hill.

However, the wait is over for the annual Spirit Halloween store in its place at the Bay Street Mall.  Opening much later than usual this year, the Spirit Halloween store will be the area’s only go-to location for halloween costumes.

Target  – Remodel Complete

After months of construction and shifting of product aisles, the Target store in Emeryville has completed its remodeling project. The retailer has an ambitious goal of remodeling 1000 of its stores by the end of 2020.

The new store features polished concrete floors, brighter LED lighting and an expanded Starbucks Cafe.

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Bobby Lee

is a Bay Area native who’s lived in the Christie Core Neighborhood since 2010, Bobby enjoys exploring the far corners of our region, trying the newest restaurants in the area, or relaxing to 80's era television sitcoms and game shows. For the past six years, he's hosted a web video series called 2 Minute Finance teaching basic money management and consumer education.


  1. Remodeled Target really nice, it’s a more gentle and sophisticated experience with beautiful lighting, artistic not just functional. Fantastic new optometry section with pricy designer frames that look attractive. Plus when u walk in, a whole Frozen section Devoted to Frozen II the movie opening in November. More Elsa, more Sven, Kristoff. Elsa costumes with wig of blond, long braid. Delightful.

  2. Small businesses folding left and right, chains leaving Emeryville while staying open in other cities. I remember when the zealots in the city dismissed this saying “the sky wasn’t falling!” when it clearly is. I guess we should expect more property taxes in 2020!

    • Ahhhh taxes. Yes you will expect more of them in 2020. Currently there is interest in a sales tax increase (you may have received an email poll/query recently) to cover a lot of things like public safety, early childhood care, etc. Kind of a catch all the city likes to present. When the top 16 salaries and benefits are with the police department, they range from a $250k to almost $335k, there’s got to be some real accountability.

  3. When are we going to get a Red Lobster here in Emeryville (Maybe in the old Elephant Bar location?)
    This is a family friendly, modest cost and good food, which could draw shoppers to our fair city.

    • No Restaurant will open in Emeryville anytime soon… Minimum wage is a no brainier for business to stay away!!! Don’t blame them… 16.30 minimum it’s a job killer and they will never see a profit unless they charged that to the consumer, and of course, if the consumer can drive 5 miles down the road and get the same or similar product for a significant less amount of money, well of course they will do it, who wouldn’t!!??

      • Farley’s is a perfect example. The one in Oakland is still open while the one in Emeryville not so much.

        Who’d a thunk?????

    • You do realize that Red Lobster has to want to have a location there before it will open one, right? You can’t just will restaurants into existence. If the chain isn’t looking to open new locations in Emeryville, then one will not open in Emeryville.

  4. ” Known for smashing it’s burger patties on the grill, the 370 location fast-casual restaurant did not provide a reason for closing.”

    This should be “its.”

  5. If you’re thinking about opening a small business in Emeryville, don’t. Just don’t. We went through the first wave of people who thought they might be able to pull it off who are now closing after less than a year or two.

    It’s a terrible place for small business, and the current City Council is about as anti-small business as you can get.

    Open somewhere else. Anywhere else. You’ll be glad you did.

  6. When our council finishes executing its vision by banning cars and eliminating parking, this is going to be a great place to bike. Unfortunately, they’ll have killed off all the businesses in town and there won’t be anywhere to ride to! We’ll need to hop in our cars and drive to El Cerrito for a reasonably priced bite for the family or our pet supplies.

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