Rio California Preservation Park Oakland

Rio California, Oakland City Center Pioneer Restaurant, Needs Help To Stay Open During Pandemic

The Pandemic, and the close-but-don’t-compensate business policy that’s a response to it, and has wrecked California’s Economy, has hurt many popular restaurants and bars like The Alley Cat Bar and now Rio California at 1233 Preservation Park Way, Oakland.

A yummy Rio California Food photo from Yelp!
A yummy Rio California Food photo from Yelp!

I mention Rio California because it was and remains one of the favorite places for City of Oakland workers to grab a bit of brazilian cuisine during lunch time. It was also the haunt of my old business attorney William Taylor. As I recall, David Glover, the late Oakland Citizen’s Committee for Urban Renewal (OCCUR) honcho, and I ate there once. Even Jerry Brown was known to eat there when he was Mayor of Oakland. Indeed, many Oaklanders have been to Rio California at least once, and for good reason.

Rio California was one of the pioneer restaurants to give the then-new Oakland City Center Complex a chance. The 12-block project of the Oakland Redevelopment Agency, and the lynchpin dream of Oakland revitalization spearheaded by the late Oakland Redevelopment Agency Director John Williams, took a while to fill-up with places to eat because, prior to Oakland City Center, there was really no there, there. Steve Wuebens’ Gertrude Stein, and two other eateries, joined Rio California as the first restaurants in Oakland City Center in the late 1990s. Of all of the pioneer restaurants that helped Downtown Oakland become the place to be, only Rio California and Le Chaval over in Old Oakland remains.

Rio California's Preservation Park Home (photo by
Rio California’s Preservation Park Home (photo by

Now, it needs our help to save it. Go here at, and order a meal for take out or delivery via Door Dash.

Stay tuned.

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