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East Bay staple reopens following year-long closure


OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Jack London Square in Oakland will get a much needed economic boost Thursday night.

Yoshi’s Oakland is reopening for the first time in more than a year.

The kitchen is back open at Yoshi’s Oakland more than a year after the 40-year-old staple at Jack London Square closed due to the pandemic.

“Breaks my heart to see so many businesses out of business forever,” Hal Campos said.

General Manager Hal Campos says he feels fortunate that will not be the case for Yoshi’s.

He says the venue has not reopened until now, because operating at a quarter capacity or outdoors-only would have been too costly.

“It’s a lot of money just to reopen, because you need fresh food — everything’s fresh,” Campos said. “So, if you reopen and two weeks later, you have to close back, that is, I mean, so — no business can survive that.”

For now, about one-third of the pre-pandemic staffing positions have been filled.

Safety protocols will also mean a new experience, including spaced tables and improved ventilation.

“Wearing a mask. you know, hand sanitizers everywhere,” Campos said.

Campos believes this reopening will provide Jack London Square the jolt it needs to bring visitors and other businesses back.

“Unfortunately, when you walk on the square, everything is closed. Especially after the pandemic, now it’s even worse,” Campos said. “So, we do hope that, you know, some new tenants will come over. I want to have another restaurant across the street. I want competition.”

At this point, the music side of the business will remain closed.

Possibly resuming concerts when the state eliminates the tier system as expected mid-June.

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