Citing Gentrification, Craft & Spoon Announces Closure


Charleen Caabay will soon close her Oakland restaurant. - SANTANA BELLAS/FILE PHOTO
  • Santana Bellas/File Photo
  • Charleen Caabay will soon close her Oakland restaurant.

Despite the success of chef Charleen Caabay's Filipino restaurant Kainbigan and her rise after becoming the first Filipino chef to win Food Network's Chopped, her latest restaurant Craft & Spoon is set to close on Friday, May 18, after less than one year in business.

Caabay, which owns Craft & Spoon with Christine De La Rosa, Aima Paule, and Michael Schlieker, announced the closure on Instagram. "With the fast moving aches of gentrification, being offered a LEASE for $225,000, is simply absurd and ridiculous," she stated. "It's not easy running a business in a city that's changing by the minute."

The concept for Craft & Spoon (1629 Broadway), which sits in the rapidly developing Uptown neighborhood, is a lunch spot where the office crowd could get something quick, simple, and relatively healthy, with subtle hints of Filipino flavors. It never seemed to find a large audience, despite immediate support from the queer community. Some of Caabay's fans from Kainbigan wanted to see her continue to serve traditional Filipino dishes.

"From this we've learned how much of an importance it is to have a POC presence in the heart of The Town," Caabay continued on Instagram, before asking supporters to spend their dollars with other small, local businesses helmed by people of color.