Oakland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen to Close, Re-Open as Test Kitchen Concept

Originally posted on SFgate.com

After more than a decade as a favorite hangout for locals, tourists, rap artists and Golden State Warriors players alike, Tanya Holland’s iconic West Oakland soul food spot, Brown Sugar Kitchen, will soon cease to exist in its current form.

Holland told Inside Scoop the restaurant will close on May 18 and re-open on June 6 as Brown Sugar Test Kitchen. She plans to use the concept as a dinner pop-up space where she will also test recipes.

“It’s something we’ve even thinking about doing for a while,” Holland said.

Holland is also working on a counter-service oriented restaurant called Brown Sugar Kitchen Counter she plans to open at San Francisco’s Ferry Building later this year.

The Brown Sugar Kitchen Counter menu will have the same spirit as its predecessor by offering signatures like chicken and waffles. Holland said the restaurant’s aesthetics will be tweaked as well.

The model is a direct response to a changing restaurant industry, Holland said. She unveiled the Brown Sugar Kitchen Counter idea in 2017 while taking over the Ferry Building’s former Il Cane Russo space.

“The current business model for Brown Sugar Kitchen just doesn’t really work anymore,” she said. “I just want to make sure what we’re doing next with Brown Sugar Kitchen Counter, we’re doing it right.”

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