Back at the Grind!

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Oh hey, guess what? We’re opening a restaurant in Fruitvale. This is different than the restaurant we’re opening in North Oakland. We’re doing both. Because restaurants are fun and delicious.

Since we moved to the Bay Area, Katie and I had talked about how, after we get Salsipuedes going, we’d like to then work on a casual place featuring handmade sausages, grass-fed burgers, and craft beer, like a streamlined version of the Linkery. For whatever reason, we felt that this, alongside the local-seafood-and-wine-driven Salsipuedes, completed our offerings.

It turns out that we got the order of operations backward — the sausage and beer place will almost certainly open first — but we’re excited to get the chance to do both.

We live in Fruitvale and we love it. Fruitvale is an East Oakland neighborhood, originally an independent city, with a lively, walkable downtown district. Fruitvale has historically been connected by rail to downtown Oakland (about 4 miles away) and other Bay Area cities.

Here in Fruitvale we have a lot of really good restaurants, and Katie and I patronize them a lot. Restaurants here tend to specialize in Mexican food, often specifically from Jalisco, Durango, Michoacan and/or Sinaloa. Those are all areas with amazing cuisine, but it seemed to us there was probably room in the neighborhood for a burgers & brats place, too. And when we would dine at Taco Grill in the Fruitvale Village BART plaza, we’d often think about how that was the sort of venue that would be perfect for said sausage and beer restaurant.

Well, we weren’t the only folks dining at Taco Grill — that restaurant has been so successful they moved last month to a bigger location in the same plaza (they also changed their name to Obelisco). So when that space became available, Katie and I only had to talk for about thirty seconds before we agreed we wanted to do this.

The name of the new joint is The Half Orange, which is kind of a play on the old Linkery logo. It also plays on the history of the neighborhood as being a place filled with fruit trees (thus the name, Fruitvale). And the phrase “half orange”, in Spanish media naranja, translates as a person’s “better half” or “other half” — the person who completes them. Our idea is that what we’ll do here, along with what we’ll do at Salsipuedes, completes what we have to offer you.

We hope you like it.