Oakland Chop Bar

Oakland, CA

When Chris Pastena and his business partners decided to open their restaurant, Oakland Chop Bar, they were a little worried about taking on this challenge in the middle of a recession, but they knew it was something the neighborhood needed.

“I had lived in this neighborhood for five years before opening Oakland Chop Bar and I really felt we needed a place where people could walk from their homes, have a great meal and just hang out together,” said Pastena. “People come here to relax and meet their neighbors. We’ve become part of this community.”

Over the past six years, the Oakland Chop Bar located near Jack London Square has become a local favorite and Pastena says the business is thriving. He says providing high quality food at a reasonable price is the main reason for his repeat business, and his wine selection is also a draw.

“We created a new way of presenting wine on tap; we have a system with eight different wines on tap. Each container has five gallons of wine.”  Pastena says he approached some of his favorite wineries and asked if they would provide wine in a keg container so they could cut down on bottles, corks and deliveries. “We’re able to offer top notch wines in a more environmentally friendly way and at a lower cost. A lot of other restaurants have now implemented similar systems, so we’re proud to have led the way in this area,” said Pastena.

As most restaurant owners know, obtaining the financing needed to open a restaurant and make necessary improvements can be difficult. Pastena applied for a loan with Main Street Launch (then OBDC).

“Working with Main Street Launch has enabled us to create a business that is kind to the environment, provides an excellent product and is embraced by the community we serve,” said Pastena.