'Artistic Taste 7' Creator Launches West Oakland's 'Crave BBQ' With Pop-Ups

Chef Rashad Armstead of Berkeley's Artistic Taste 7 is bringing his newest venture, Crave BBQ Restaurant, to West Oakland. But because there is still work to be done in the new space, early customers are reserving spots at pop-up events held at 1700 Center St.

The new restaurant is located on the site of a former gas station built in 1928. According to its reservations page, Crave is in the process of raising capital and revitalizing the space for its dining area.

Photo: Google Maps

The restaurant's web site says Armstead chose this specific neighborhood because his great-grandmother "Sarah Rawls opened her first restaurant with a hot plate and serving egg sandwiches" in this area when it was home to many businesses owned by African-Americans.

The restaurant won't be ready for some time, according to photos posted on its Facebook page yesterday. Armstead is holding pop-ups in the coming weeks to get acquainted with the neighborhood and its residents and raise funds.

Photo: Crave BBQ/Facebook

The first pop-ups rolled out this week, but curious diners can book online to reserve a spot tomorrow between 11:30 and 4:30.

The initial menu consists of barbecued ribs and chicken, as well as pulled pork and hot links. Traditional sides like baked beans, collard greens, potato salad, and cornbread are available, along with peach cobbler for dessert. All items are reportedly "inspired by Southern traditions and soulful flavors."

For those unable to attend this weekend, there will be more events in coming weeks, so check Crave's website and Facebook page for details.

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Artistic taste 7 creator launches west oakland s crave bbq with pop ups