Calavera, Mexican Kitchen & Agave Bar, pays homage to regional Mexican food and culture. Their food and Mexican art create a beautiful customer experience in their Uptown Oakland restaurant.


Chris Pastena, owner, always knew he would own restaurants: “This is my destiny. I can’t remember not thinking about owning my own restaurant. I wanted the freedom of expression to do what I wanted to do where I didn’t have to play by other people’s rules.”


Calavera has been open since 2015, and they have 45 employees. Their loan from Main Street Launch was used for furniture and kitchen equipment. Main Street Launch funded one of Chris’ other restaurants, Chop Bar, so he knew where he wanted to go for start-up capital. “The loan helped us present a more sophisticated experience to our guests because we didn’t have to compromise because of costs,” explains Chris.


A serial entrepreneur, Chris offers advice to aspiring small business owners: “You can’t be afraid of failing. Stick to what you set out to do, and commit for the long-term. The first year is a struggle, but persist and stick to your vision. It will pay off.”


Visit Calavera to experience their delicious food and fun atmosphere.