Panera Closes; Emeryville Monster Pho ‘Hibernating’; Two More Bay Street Casualties; Horn Barbecue Expanding
Four more closings to announce since our last report in April (one temporary). In positive news, West Oakland’s thriving Horn Barbecue is adding two new food options and Emeryville has a new Mediterranean-inspired delivery-only option.
Panera Bread – Closed
The Panera Bread on 40th Street near Target abruptly closed their doors back in April. Their ten year lease had expired and they opted to not renew according to once source. A sign was briefly posted on their window thanking their Emeryville customers.
The building remains boarded up and no activity has been reported. The Alameda and East Oakland locations remain open.
Monster Pho 2 – Temporarily Closed
Monster Pho owner Tee Tran announced that the Emeryville location of his popular pho restaurant was going into “hibernation” pausing their takeout and restaurant business indefinitely.
“We’ve been fortunate enough that our to-go orders have tripled, thus needing a bigger kitchen space,” Tran noted in a social media post. “Monster Pho 2 will be going into hibernation and converting into our ‘Monster Pho Kitchenette’. This will help support our growing Oakland location with to-gos, Doordash & Dining.
No timetable was provided for when this renovation would be complete and what capacity their kitchenette model might accommodate. Tran noted that they were able to keep all our staff at both locations.
Emeryville residents will need to pick up their orders at their Oakland Broadway location or have their order delivered through Doordash.
Bay Street Alex and Ani, Sleep Number – Closed
Two more Bay Street closures to report adding to the growing list of closures since the pandemic began. Alex and Ani, adjacent to the former Old Navy space, is now vacant. In addition, one closure that we neglected to report was that Sleep Number closed soon after the pandemic began back in February 2020. Their signage was only recently removed.
The struggling mall was sold to CenterCal Properties back in May. The East Bay Times noted “major redevelopment” is being eyed for the space including to the long vacant “site B” lot that was slated for a Macy’s department store before the deal collapsed. While CenterCal’s vision for revamping the mall is not totally clear, one source has divulged that the new owners have been offering buyouts to some tenants.
Horn Barbecue bringing Taco Trailer and Chicken Sandwiches to West Oakland
The growingly legendary Horn Barbecue is branching out.
Proprietor Matt Horn recently announced that he was backing out of plans to open a stall as the forthcoming Jack London Square “Oakland Assembly” food hall. He will instead be opening a Fried Chicken Sandwich focused restaurant dubbed Kowbird at the former Pretty Lady spot at Peralta and 18th in West Oakland.
Horn has also announced plans for a Taco Trailer called “Dalia” in front of their flagship Mandela Parkway Barbecue establishment. Dalia will serve items like breakfast tacos with smoked meats and handmade tortillas.
Just Fare Delivering Mediterranean-inspired menu
A new delivery-only restaurant has launched out of a commercial kitchen on 61st street near Doyle-Hollis park. Just Fare offers Mediterranean-inspired from-scratch dishes like roasted Tahini Chicken, Harissa Braised Pork, Flatbreads, fresh salads and house-made sauces.
Just Fare pivoted from corporate catering to feeding food-insecure communities amid the pandemic-induced office shutdown. Since May 2020, they have provided over 235,000 meals through various Bay Area organizations.