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Oakland brasserie Luka’s Taproom forced to close after 18 years, as new landlord doubles rent

Oakland brasserie Luka’s Taproom forced to close after 18 years, as new landlord doubles rent
Image: M.C. via Yelp
By Joe Kukura - Published on January 07, 2022.

Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood burger-and-cocktail spot Luka’s Taproom opened in 2004, when the area was not much of a dining destination. But it helped lead a neighborhood restaurant renaissance that would later include Duende, Brown Sugar Kitchen and Viridian, and led a restaurant collective called Community Kitchens that has served 120,000 hot meals and counting to unhoused Oakland residents.  

 

 

But Bay Area News Group reports, and Luka’s Taproom co-owner Maria Alderete confirms in the post above, that Luka’s Taproom will be closing because the landlord is doubling the rent. “We survived a pandemic, but not our lease negotiations,” Alderete says above. “We are a tribe, a community of love and we will be back.” 

According to Oaklandside, Luka’s lease is up at the end of January, and the building’s new owner, HP Investors, wanted to double the rent. “We pay $2 per square foot now,” co-owner Rick Mitchell told Oaklandside. “They wanted to double it to $4, plus participation.” (Participation is a revenue-sharing plan where the landlord gets a share of the tenant’s profits.) 

But Hoodline reached out to Mitchell, who told us that the Community Kitchen initiative isn’t going anywhere, and there will be new restaurants growing out from the Luka’s Taproom family.  

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Community Kitchens (@ckoakland)

 

“We're gonna focus on Community Kitchens in 2022,” Mitchell tells Hoodline. “We have a partnership with [Steph and Ayesha Curry’s] Eat Learn Play Foundation for 2022, plus our Dining for Justice initiative, so Community Kitchens will keep us plenty busy.”

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Community Kitchens (@ckoakland)

 

“I'm also gonna be helping Nigel [Jones] from Kingston 11 with his soon-to-be-opened place Calabash.” and adds intriguingly, “Hopefully I'll be helping someone from Luka's get set up in their own place, too.” 

“But at the very least I'll be spending some time making sure everyone transitions  constructively, and moves on to hopefully bigger and better things,” Mitchell tells us. 

According to SFGate, Luka’s Taproom’s final day at their Broadway and West Grand Avenue location will be January 29, “which they plan to celebrate with a yet-to-be-announced event."