Following the shuttering of Levende East (for, um, maintenance work, a sign on the door says), there’s more bad news for Old Oakland. Baia Food + Wine — chef Edward Higgins’ modern Italian concept planning to move into 465 Ninth Street this fall — has pulled out, according to Cornish and Carey broker Stephen Rusher.
Higgins, who built an impressive resume in Manhattan before moving to Oakland, currently works at Quattro at Four Seasons Silicon Valley. At the start of 2011, Higgins was seeking to raise $25,000 via micro-lending site Indie GoGo. It's not clear whether those efforts were successful, but Higgins explained by email that he's taking a pass on Oakland in favor of a spring 2012 opening somewhere in San Francisco: "The new location and landlord are simply better matches for me and the restaurant, so it is a positive move in every respect. There will be more information on the BAiA website soon with plan details, etc." As an Oaklander, may I be the first to to offer a big old dag.
Meanwhile, there’s mixed news at nearby Swan’s Marketplace. The bad news: Rio de Parras has pulled its farmstand from Swan’s, citing weak demand, according to Catherine Lim of EBALDC, owner of the Swan's property. The good news: Jaynelle St. Jean has moved her popup pie shop PieTisserie to the former Rio de Parras space (St. Jean had been popping up at nearby 1015 Clay). St. Jean will begin with a weekly Friday popup coinciding with the Old Oakland Farmers’ Market (she did a soft launch last week), with the goal of extending to three or four days a week, Lim said. For now, PieTisserie's Friday hours are 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Also according to Lim, another popup — Jem African and Caribbean Food Market — is also launching soon at Swan’s, in the stall directly behind PieTisserie, facing Old Oakland bright spot Cosecha. Details are still emerging, including a launch date.