Township Restaurant nears launch in downtown Oakland
Abeni Ramsey (right) with her business partner Stephanie Essig in front of the garden they harvest and maintain at the Community School in Oakland. Photo: Mike Kepka/The Chronicle 2013
Abeni Massey is nearing the home stretch for her Township Restaurant in downtown Oakland. It’s been a long haul for the founder of inner-city urban farming program, City Girl Farms. Word first leaked about her plans early last year, and she’s now set a tentative opening date for the first week of May.
True to her roots, Massey is paying close attention to where she gets her ingredients, sourcing from local purveyors as well as from the 220 acres of farm land she owns in the Capay Valley. Even more local: the city has approved her plans for a rooftop garden from which she hopes to supply some of the kitchen’s produce. Eggs come from chickens raised in West Oakland.
Crystal Wilnos, formerly of Plum Bar, is heading the cocktail program, which will include made-in-house liqueurs such as chartreuse, curaçao, and limoncello from local lemons. Township’s chef (almost ready to be announced) brings experience from several well-known San Francisco restaurants and is planning a menu of market-driven contemporary American fare. One dish that’s a definite is a beet salad with a homemade goat cheese burrata.
The 80-seat restaurant, located at 1542 Broadway, will be dinner only. However during the day, an adjacent overflow space will function as a café that doubles as an urban farming supply store, serving grab-and-go soups and sandwiches and locally brewed Red Bay coffee. Massey is also looking to tap into the local cultural scene, featuring local artists on the restaurant wall and working closely with new next-door performance venue Flight Deck to offer special dinners and theater packages.
Township: 1542 Broadway, near 16th, Oakland.
· Previously: City Girl Farmstore expanding [San Francisco Chronicle]