Back in September, the owners of SliderBar remodeled and renamed the space to the more brunch-friendly Ovok. It was an attempt rebrand itself after some bad publicity due to two Health Department closures.
Now the owners have decided to move on and sell the business to someone else.
The site of this restaurant has seen a lot of change in recents years since long-time 24-hour restaurant Bagdad Cafe closed in 2011. Afterwards it was briefly taken over by the soul food restaurant Criolla Kitchen before becoming SliderBar in 2012.
A change of ownership posting recently went up at the location indicating that a restaurant called The Castro Republic will be the next occupant of the sharply triangular corner location. It's part of a group of local mostly-Mexican restaurants called Monteros Cafe, under long-time owner Juan Romo.
Hoodline sat down with him to talk about the new restaurant and what to expect from The Castro Republic.
Originally from Jalisco, Mexico, Romo lives in Berkeley and currently owns Tacos Club in the Castro along with four other restaurants in the East Bay: La Mission Mexican Grill, Taqueria Monte Cristo, Talavera Mexican Grill and Casa Latina Bakery.
With 20 years in the restaurant business, Romo has a lot of experience and knowledge in how to run a successful operation.
He tells us that The Castro Republic will offer small food plates, tapas and will see the return of sliders along with an expanded draft beer and wine selection. He's also exploring the idea of getting a full liquor license in order to offer cocktails.
He's currently working on the menu with his chef and plans on converting over to The Castro Republic in about two weeks. In the meantime, the location will continue to serve the menu from Ovok until all the changes have been made.
Romo is well aware of the Health Department problems Ovok & SliderBar have had in the past and he was confident that those problems would not persist. He says "that's just not how I do business," and plans to stay on top of any pest problem by having regular pest control cleaning done.
Also expect to see some changes with the interior in the coming weeks as the team prepares for the changeover. Romo tells us that the Ovok signage will be coming down by Monday.
We will keep you updated with any more information about the new restaurant as it becomes available.