Oakland Eats: Gaylord’s Caffe Espresso closes; Rocky’s Market opens 2nd location; more – Hoodline

Here’s everything you need to know about Oakland’s restaurant scene this week. In this edition: Piedmont Avenue loses a coffee shop; Northgate Waverly gets a bar serving to-go cocktails; and Brooklyn Basin has a new grocery store. 


Piedmont Avenue

Gaylord’s Caffe Espresso (4150 Piedmont Ave.)

Photo: Albertino M./Hoodline Tipline

Hoodline’s veteran tipster Al M. alerts us that coffee shop Gaylord’s Caffe Espresso has closed its doors permanently. The exterior still bears the name of the business, he said, but “the inside is completely cleaned out.”

The café’s phone now connects to a recorded message, stating that due to COVID-19, shelter-in-place, and the resulting “unprecedented negative financial impact on business,” Gaylord’s had to shutter.

“To everyone that has walked through the doors throughout the years, thanks,” the message concludes.

Berkeleyside editor Darwin BondGraham also noted the closure on Twitter, with many commenting that the space was “a Piedmont Avenue institution” and a “loss for the neighborhood.”


Northgate Waverly

Friends and Family (468 25th St.)

The Friends and Family space at a private event in February. | Photo: Vanessa S./Yelp

This week would have been the grand opening party for Friends and Family, a new Oakland bar from Blake Cole (Hopscotch) and Kimberly Rosselle (Trick Dog, Bon Voyage) in Northgate-Waverly neighborhood.

But because of the shelter-in-place restrictions, the Chronicle reports, the bar is opening in to-go mode, with bottled cocktails, snacks and cake by the slice available to take away.

Options include the Don’t Text Your Ex (dry vermouth, St. Germain and Amaro Lucano, $20 for two servings) and the Melon Mezcal Marg (a mezcal margarita with housemade melon syrup, $45 for five servings). A $26 “happy hour kit” comes with house-marinated olives, spiced nuts and proscuitto with melon.

“While this is not what I pictured opening day to be, it’s a bittersweet solitary internal celebration,” an Instagram post reads. “Thank you to absolutely everyone who has been a part of this special place.”

Pick-up hours are currently Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12:30 – 5 p.m.

Brooklyn Basin

Rocky’s Market (288 9th Ave.)

Photo: Albertino M./Hoodline Tipline

After opening in Oakmore in 2016, grocery store Rocky’s Market has officially expanded with a second location in Brooklyn Basin. Tipster Al says the store is currently in its soft-opening phase, with a limited selection of meat, produce, bread and other items.

“It’s a strange time to open a store,” a Facebook post states. “But we are here for you and hope to see you soon.”

According to Rocky’s website, only six customers are allowed in the store at a time (and only one in the produce section), and face coverings are required. There’s an outdoor sink for hand-washing as well. 

Thanks to our tipster Al M.! Have you noticed a new addition to (or subtraction from) Oakland’s food landscape? Text a tip and a horizontal photo to (415) 200-3233, and we’ll look into it.