Oakland’s Korner Kitchen & Bar is the foodie hotspot you’ve been waiting for

On a recent Sunday, the twinkling light-filled patio of Oakland’s new Korner Kitchen & Bar was buzzing with activity.

Claude Hizon of Pound 4 Pound Grilled Burgers flips a colossal Adobo burger. Grecia Sarabia of La More Artisanal Latin Kitchen passes by with a plate of Tres Leches French toast. And Dan Miranda, one of Oakland’s most famous bartenders, concocts a halo-halo-inspired cocktail with ube-infused vodka, bitter melon syrup and whipped cream.

The vibe — multicultural, laid-back, and a bit underground — is unique to this commissary kitchen and outdoor bar, which doubles as a food incubator for the emerging Bay Area food companies that call it home. Their hours of operation to the public may vary, but this mural-covered building next to the Fruitvale BART station is their production facility and collaborative home.

Customers walk past a mural decorating the aisle of the Korner Kitchen & Bar in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland., (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Located at 1014 Fruitvale Ave., around the corner from James Beard Award-nominated Wahpepah’s Kitchen, the line currently includes Bad Walters Bootleg Lactose-Free Ice Cream, Garlic Noodle Favorite Noodle Belly, and Designer Baking Studio Full Belly Bakery. And Korner Kitchen is growing.

Just six weeks after its official opening in January, the owners are already welcoming two new businesses – Sammy’s, maker of Korean stuffed hot cakes, and Padrón Grill, which offers plant-based Mexican dishes – and hosting weekend pop-ups. end, like the Neapolitan pizzeria HapaZa. In April, Korner will add Wednesday hours to its current Thursday-Sunday operations.

La More’s Brunch Huarache, with eggs, chorizo, refried beans and pickled red onions, comes with an orange sauce made with tomatoes and chili de arbol, a family recipe from Mexico. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Co-owner Alex Tejada thinks the place’s popularity has to do with the times we live in – outdoor dining rules – and people’s growing desire to support businesses in their community. Most of Korner Kitchen’s businesses originated in, or found their home in, Oakland.

“It feels like people are always looking to support local, but it’s hard to know where to do that,” says Tejada, who also owns West Oakland’s Magnolia Mini Mart, another community hotspot for chefs and food manufacturers. “We want it to be that hub for everyone.”

Tejada is a connector and a problem solver. A culinary school graduate, she has worked in all aspects of the restaurant industry, from washing dishes at Slanted Door to serving cocktails with the Future Bars Group, which owns Rickhouse and Pagan Idol in San Francisco. But helping small brands grow and become “legitimate” has always been his dream.

“Here, we give everyone comprehensive advice, whether it’s sourcing ingredients, packaging or finding a good graphic designer,” she says. “(Chefs) exchange ideas all the time. It’s really great to see.

They’ve certainly helped fresh-pressed sugar cane company Sugar Mama Sugarcane, which just signed a lease to open its first brick-and-mortar business in Oakland’s Chinatown. They’ve been at Korner Kitchen since August.

“Korner Kitchen has really helped us accelerate our growth,” says Linda Nguyen, co-founder of Sugar Mama. “Not only did they provide us with a location to create and sell our beverages directly to customers, but they also provided mentorship and helped grow our business.”

Tejada says it was also important to her and the other owners to ensure that Korner’s food and beverage programs reflect the neighborhood, hence the emphasis on Latin and Southeast Asian flavors. Is. And they support their neighbors. In the bar alone, they use coffee concentrate from Red Bay, which is headquartered up the road, and horchata from the Obelisco restaurant on 12th Street.

“We want to pay homage to the region and don’t want to compete with anyone,” she says. “We are planning block parties and non-profit fundraisers this summer with our neighbors.”

Here are six Korner Kitchen & Bar businesses to check out. Unless otherwise stated, they are open to the public from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Thursday to Friday and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Saturday to Sunday. A website will be available soon, but in the meantime, check www.instagram.com/korneroakland for updates and to see who’s appearing over the weekend.

Bar manager Dan Miranda whips up two cocktails on a Sunday afternoon at the Korner Kitchen & Bar. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Korner bar: Renowned bar consultant Fred Acebo helped create the bar’s comprehensive program, which includes 10 Asian and Latin-inspired craft cocktails, such as the Toki High Ball with Japanese whiskey and lemon oil, and the El Diablo fueled in tequila with creme de cassis, lime and ginger beer. Also look for sake, wine, and craft beer, including a Belgian-style Dokkaebier lager made with yuzu.

Noodle Belly: Korner Kitchen & Bar co-owners Eugene Lee and Kevyn Miyata are also the garlic noodle specialists behind this operation. You can get their noodles with everything from grilled salmon to barbecue pork belly or braised greens. Don’t miss the brunch dishes, like the deliciously sky-high chanterelle mushrooms on toasted sourdough and Uncle Kevo’s hand-squeezed lemonade with li hing mui powder.

Noodle Belly’s Chanterelle Mushroom Toast features leeks and herbs on toasted sourdough. (Jessica Yadegaran/Bay Area News Group)

Contraband Ice Cream from Bad Walters: Sydney Arkin’s hand-wrapped, made-from-scratch ice creams are made with real dairy and lactose-free. Look for thick, imaginative flavors like Campfire, made with burnt marshmallow custard, candied rice krispies and a bourbon fudge swirl. Details: Online pre-orders open at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and 9:30 a.m. Friday for pickup Saturday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. www.instagram.com/badwalters

La More Artisan Latin Cuisine: Husband and wife Antonio de los Santos and Grecia Sarabia specialize in gourmet versions of Latin American comfort food. Brunch staples include Strawberry Caramel Tres Leches French Toast, and Brunch Huarache, an oblong cake of organic corn masa with chorizo, eggs and beans served with a tangy Mexican orange sauce. Details: Open 3-9:30 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday; www.lamorekitchen.com.

La More’s Very Leche French Toast Plate is a popular brunch dish at Korrner Kitchen & Bar. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Full Belly Bakery: This cake design studio is the brainchild of Oakland native Eva Allen. Its signature flavors, like Caramel Pecan Carrot, Triple Chocolate and Strawberry Vanilla, are made to order and available in 16-ounce cake jars and in small (6-8 servings) and medium (12-16 servings) cakes. Allen also makes tiered cakes and pastries. Details: Order two days in advance for pickup Wednesday through Sunday. Local delivery available; www.fullbellybakery.com.

At Samy’s: Sammy Pak will begin offering its stuffed Korean hot cakes or hodduck, a Korean street food rarely seen in the Bay Area, on April 6. Look for three versions of the crispy, fluffy pancakes (sometimes spelled hotteok), including mozzarella slathered in oily garlic butter and a sweet hodduck with brown sugar, cinnamon and sunflower seeds. Top it all off with Pak’s Halal South Korean Style Fried Chicken. Details: Dinner service on Wednesday and Thursday; www.instagram.com/sammysf00d

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