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Oakville Grocery (SF) CLOSED????

denochow Feb 28, 2007 04:40 PM

Anyone have any idea what happened to Oakville Grocery in Fishermans Warf. I've heard they are closed for good. I tried calling and there is no answer.

  1. Melanie Wong Mar 9, 2007 04:55 PM

    I am parked across the street from Oakville Grocery in Healdsburg (using the open WiFiHealdsburg network). It's still open for business, even seems busy tonight with many patrons having a glass of wine on the patio. But a couple months ago, I felt that the shelves were rather thinly stocked and the cheese counter was a shadow of its former self.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong
      fini Mar 9, 2007 06:24 PM

      Their website resembles that as well. They show most of their products as being out of stock

      1. re: Melanie Wong
        Melanie Wong Jul 22, 2007 10:55 PM

        Just wanted to update this thread after a walk-through of Oakville Grocery in Healdsburg yesterday. The cheese counter is looking better than it has in ages. Della Fattoria bread has returned, but at $6.95 per loaf vs. the $5.95 charged at Supper in Plaza Farms, you can guess where I'll head. I didn't check the inventory carefully, but at least the shelves are stocked again and the deli counter seemed to be doing a good business.

      2. fini Mar 9, 2007 12:17 PM

        Is their mail order site also being run be D&D at this point?

        I used to like their shop in Oakville years ago. It's too bad.

        1. oakjoan Mar 9, 2007 11:59 AM

          Oakville Grocery has always symbolized the snooty, precious, and expensive stores that I hate (and most are tourist traps). Everything is more expensive than elsewhere, and the customers are looking to be part of that "Napa" or "Sonoma" lifestyle by buying something that they can take home and show off to friends or eat and say they partook of the wine country experience. I feel pretty much the same way about Dean and DeLuca, Sur la Table and Wms Sonoma. They've hooked me in the past, and years ago I bought a knife and some pans at WS that cost at least half as much more than in other places, e.g., on sale at Macy's.

          Sorry for the ravings, but the mention of Oakville Groc. made me remember the last time I was there and saw all these different-colored chicken and duck eggs for sale at high prices.

          1 Reply
          1. re: oakjoan
            larochelle Mar 9, 2007 03:04 PM

            Thank you! I totally agree. Years ago it was a decent little store but now its just a expensive souvenir shop.

          2. HungryMojo Mar 7, 2007 06:44 PM

            Update from "The Inside Scoop" at SFGate.com, for those who haven't read the SF Chronicle's Food section today: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi...

            Turns out Oakville Grocery is "teetering on the brink of bankruptcy," according to the article. It also says that all of the stores, including the original store in Oakville, are "on life support." Their attorney says they are trying to avoid Chapter 7 or 11. Article also confirms that Dean & Deluca, as mentioned in other replies in this thread, is interested in buying "the stores" (not just the SF location).

            2 Replies
            1. re: HungryMojo
              e
              Earl Grey Mar 8, 2007 07:32 AM

              Need to clarify. It's not Dean and Deluca, it's the guy who owns the local D&D franchise.

              1. re: Earl Grey
                singleguychef Mar 8, 2007 08:39 AM

                Actually, SFGate says it's the former CEO of Dean and DeLuca. I don't think D&D is franchising its concept. Awhile back they considered going public and selling stock and reverted from that idea too. So I doubt they would franchise to outsiders. I think because this guy used to work for D&D, he's been able to tap those connections to see if there's an interest in Oakville. I guess we just have to wait and see what happens.

            2. f
              frontrail Mar 6, 2007 11:04 PM

              As a supplier to the Oakville Grocery Stores over the last five years, I can tell you about the most frustrating collection efforts ever experienced over the last 20 months: PURE HELL! Now a true glimmer of hope; we were contacted today to resume deliveries...sure enough (as I was told today by management); it will now soon indeed be operated by Leslie Rudd & Co. So delighted and hopeful.

              1. m
                MikeW Mar 2, 2007 10:10 AM

                I heard at the Cannery location they were bringing in chains. The Cannery has new owners, and many of the merchants are leaving or have left.

                Oakville at the Wharf was rarely packed in the year or so they were open, nothing like the wine country locations.

                1 Reply
                1. re: MikeW
                  Gary Soup Mar 2, 2007 07:26 PM

                  That's a tragedy. Allan Temko described the Cannery as "a map of the inside of Leonard Martin's mind" or something of the sort (can't find the original quote). The Martins had a certain spark of genius which the Cannery's location unfortunately throttled. How many Chowhounds even went to the Cannery's all-organic Farmers' Market?

                  The article I dug up provides some of the sad details:

                  http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/s...

                2. e
                  Earl Grey Mar 1, 2007 03:19 PM

                  I just heard that Leslie Rudd who owns the local Dean & Deluca bought Oakville. It's not D&D.

                  1. a
                    Agent 510 Mar 1, 2007 02:23 PM

                    That Dean & Deluca rumor is interesting. It's well-known enough that it could successfully expand its national presence, and a location in SF, one of the great food cities, seems logical. On the other hand, there's a lot of competition in the "upscale grocer" market here, and it's not clear how many San Franciscans will want to brave the Fisherman's Wharf tourist crush to reach a Dean & Deluca location at the Cannery.

                    1. singleguychef Mar 1, 2007 08:29 AM

                      Is the store at the Stanford Shopping Center closed too? I always thought they did fine business there. I liked browsing their products. Never been to the store at Fisherman's Wharf though.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: singleguychef
                        z
                        zin1953 Mar 1, 2007 12:07 PM

                        The chain was poorly run for a long time.

                        1. re: zin1953
                          rworange Mar 1, 2007 12:27 PM

                          I've never been a fan of any of the Oakville Groceries I've visited, especially the FW one. So, are they all gone?

                        2. re: singleguychef
                          k
                          katg Mar 1, 2007 03:12 PM

                          it's still open. was there on presidents day and waited a good 15 minutes for my sandwich. i guess a good tip is not to visit on a holiday since they hadn't stocked the shelves in the refridgerated part that day.

                        3. z
                          zin1953 Mar 1, 2007 07:42 AM

                          Oakville Grocery is dead. Filed bankruptcy and closed up shop. Last day for the SF store was 2/14.

                          Big, long discussion here: http://dat.erobertparker.com/bboard/s... Look for the words in red.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: zin1953
                            maria lorraine Mar 8, 2007 11:03 PM

                            Wow and wow and wow. That discussion of Oakville Grocery's shameful stiffing
                            of wineries and winemakers on the erobertparker link above is fascinating. Not only is it an insight into despicable business practices, but also into wine and food retailing. I was riveted. Many thanks for the link, zin1953.

                            1. re: maria lorraine
                              Gary Soup Mar 9, 2007 06:33 AM

                              I'm in no way an Oakville Grocery fan, but I thought that discussion was a tempest in a teapot created by a bunch of whine-lovers. Enterprises going into bankruptcy almost always "stiff" creditors (by definition, you might even say), and OG is too small an enterprise to cause serious damage to the industry. It was also full of preposterous half-truths. The reported new owner does not own Dean and Deluca, and I doubt it was a former principal of Oakville Grocery that went on to single-handedly "found" Ferry Plaza.

                              1. re: Gary Soup
                                maria lorraine Mar 9, 2007 11:05 AM

                                Yes, any time you have a group of folks telling their stories, there will be inaccuracies and subjective (biased) opinions. It's true Leslie Rudd was mischaracterized. He's the new owner of the Oakville OG store, and also owns the Dean & Deluca store in Napa Valley.

                                It's those individual stories that made the discussion so interesting in my mind:
                                the impact of OG's fiscal irresponsibility on individual people's lives, especially in regards to the small-label winemakers trying to make their label thrive and who can't afford to take a hit. The tales of OG employees and wine buyers who were put in an awkward position are in the discussion as well.

                                The collective stories point to a larger story that goes beyond Oakville Grocery --
                                the general difficulties of wine selling and retailing, and the frustration at the inaction of the alcohol-licensing body when a retailer sells the wine and then doesn't pay the the winery.

                                The "facts" presented in the discussion were sometimes inaccurate, as you point out, Gary, but the discussion was rich with anger, humor, frustration, rants, praise and insights into the real workings of the wine industry. I was fascinated by all the voices.

                          2. Non Cognomina Feb 28, 2007 05:35 PM

                            I heard a Dean and Deluca might be taking it over.

                            1. r
                              rtmonty Feb 28, 2007 04:56 PM

                              We were in there maybe 2 weeks ago, had friends who had never been here and wanted to see the wharf. It was mostly empty and didn't seemed to be very well stocked. Was certainly nothing like the Oakville grocery in Oakville. I even commented that the place looked like a ghost town so wouldn't be surprised at all.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: rtmonty
                                Gary Soup Feb 28, 2007 05:00 PM

                                Their old location near the Jug Shop never had much business, either.

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