Celebrated Oakland Italian restaurant Oliveto is definitively closing down this weekend after a temporary reopening earlier this year.
The Mercury News first reported the closing date of the farm-to-table Rockridge eatery, which first opened in late 1986 and became an area institution under chefs including Duende’s Paul Canales, Quince's Michael Tusk and Paul Bertolli, as noted by Berkeleyside.
The retiring owners told SF Gate, that new owners will be taking over the space, something they previously discussed but haven't revealed details.
Founding owners Bob and Maggie Klein made the decision to retire at the end of 2021, with New Year's Eve their last day in business, before reopening early in the new year to ease a transition to new owners in the space.
“We hadn’t been looking for a buyer,” Bob Klein told Berkeleyside in January, “but then we were contacted by a significant restaurateur.” More recently, he confirmed to SFGate that new owners will take over the space soon, but still didn't share their name.
The restaurant announced the temporary reopening to followers at the time in a message that opened with the message, "OK, it's not actually over!"
"We agreed to reopen so our neighbors would have a place to go, and so this familiar corner space won't be a void during its transition to new ownership," the message went on to say.
At the time, Klein had this to tell Berkeleyside about the prospective owners: “Whoever it is, is focusing on who we are and who our neighborhood is, and they’re planning a food style that is consistent with a really amazing, knowledgeable food customer.”
So, did those buyers work out, and who will now occupy Oliveto's spot in Rockridge Market Hall? Looks like we'll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, the Bay Area is saying goodbye to a pair of pioneering restaurateurs and their talented team with a last dinner that the Merc says may include duck confit, pan-roasted steelhead and mozzarella ravioli with kale — plus pizzas made with the flour from the Kleins’ California-grown heritage wheat flour, pasta, and bread company.
There may even be a few dinnertime reservations left via OpenTable on the Oliveto restaurant website.