Grand Avenue, West of 580 – January 2014

On Grand Ave., West of 580
Hello, Neighbors!  Watch this space for monthly news and notes about tasty gems, handy services, art, and changes on Grand Ave., west of 580.  —  LZ.


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Five years ago, the Adams Point neighborhood watched eagerly as Amir Asli, the new owner, and his family, transformed a shabby, closed liquor store on the corner of Grand Ave. and Park View Ter. into Bacheesos — a beautiful, yet casual restaurant with indoor and patio seating, serving healthy (mostly organic) Mediterranean dishes.  On opening night, I arrived with a neighbor at 8:10 PM to find the new enterprise sold out of everything but rice. “We’re so sorry!” the servers told us latecomers. “We had no idea the response would be so great! Please come back!” And we did, many times.

The neighborhood’s anticipation had grown while Bacheesos’ opening day was delayed for several months. Amir had to negotiate with the City of Oakland for permission to provide covered patio seating surrounded by only a low wall with no gate. Amir finally won grudging consent when he told the City, “If there is a problem with homeless people here, it will be my problem. I will take care of it.” (It has never become a problem.)  These days, the patio is a favorite seating area for people-watching and chatting with friends passing by, whether you are dining or just sipping Turkish coffee, Persian saffron tea, soy chai latte, or wine. (I recommend the Petite Syrah from Israel.) Both inside and outside, Amir enjoys making friends with the wide range of people enjoying Bacheesos. “Judges, police, bicyclists, healers . . .  they are all in my house.” Customers respond to his friendly encouragement, “Here you talk to people and become friends.”


Bacheesos features daily luncheon buffets serving a variety of Mediterranean recipes, some standard and some invented in the kitchen, including many vegetarian dishes. Everyone may make two trips through the buffet for only $8.90 on weekdays or $10.90 on weekends. Enjoy standard Mediterranean favorites or sample unfamiliar ones. Or for lunch or dinner you may order from a menu of 35 Mediterranean dishes — as well as some American sandwiches (BLT, hamburger, ham & cheese) if someone in your party has a non-adventurous palate.  The lamb is always slow-cooked, so it is never gamey. Amir’s father, a chemist, is creating flavor combinations for an all-organic juice bar with take-out service to begin next summer. “Life Juice”, a combination of beets, apples and grapes, is available now.

SERVERS: JOSE AND FERN  Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge

On Friday and Saturday evenings, there is often live entertainment. For example, on 3rd Saturdays (Feb. 15, Mar. 15) enjoy traditional belly dancers performing the candle dance and sword dance, accompanied by drummers playing Egyptian classics.

One Friday each month (Feb. 7, Mar. 7), jazz vocalist and songwriter Branice McKenzie performs from 7pm to 9 pm accompanied by a piano and base. Ms. McKenzie has performed with Harry Belafonte, Greg Hines, Roberta Flack, Hugh Masekela, Carly Simon, Peggy Lee and others. She is a vocal music educator at Oakland School for the Arts, contributing to local talent development like Vocal Rush, the a cappella ensemble whose music we have enjoyed at our Splashpad Farmers’ Market and who placed third on NBC’s Sing-Off in December.

TIP:   Oakland School for the Arts will perform “Fame – The Musical” at the Scottish Rite Auditorium (1547 Lakeside Dr.) on Fri., Feb. 17, 2 pm; Sat., Feb. 15, 2 & 7 pm; and Sun. Feb. 16, 2 pm. Tickets are on sale now at

246 Grand Ave. (at Park View Ter., across from Fairyland Park) 
Oakland, CA 94610
(510) 891-1496

Mon 10:30 am – 4 pm
Tue-Thu, Sun 10:30 am – 10 pm
Fri-Sat 10:30 am – 11 pm

Wheelchair accessible
Catering available



7 responses to “Grand Avenue, West of 580 – January 2014”

  1. […] awning that was installed two weeks ago during a break in the rainstorms. Nearby enterprises, like Bacheeso’s restaurant and St. Paul’s Episcopal School have dropped in to welcome X-Core to the neighborhood. One of the […]

  2. Thanks for the update, Stasha. Sounds delightful.
    I also notice that Bacheeso’s is offering a “Hummas Hour” special of free hummas with beer or wine purchases every M-F from 4 pm to 6 pm.

  3. Thank you for the write up LZ, I’m the candle dancer you kindly mention. My Middle Eastern Band (kanoon, violin, drums & percussion) have the best time each 3rd Saturday, and the food is excellent, it’s a really fun night. Here’s the scoop for you, Valentines night at Bacheesos in two words: Snake Dance! A rare opportunity to see this exotic performance by Bay Area founding mother of Middle Eastern Dance, Asia. I’ll be DJing dreamy Arabic lounge music for an unforgettable evening for dear ones: friends, family and lovers, all will be captivated and delighted by this unique evening. You are cordially invited!

  4. Thanks for the write up on Bacheesos. We’ve had them on our list of places to try for sometime now, and after reading your wonderful write up, we’ll make sure to make it sooner rather than later.
    So good to hear about all the successes of our neighborhood and town. Go Oakland!

  5. Ken Katz Avatar

    LZ, Best blog yet! I’m really pleased to have you documenting the commercial district west of 580. Keep up the great work.

  6. Love this place, You forgot to mention that it has some of the nicest people who work there, never a nasty look or word.