May 29, 2024
The NBA All Star and former Sacramento mayor is bringing shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles and "Adult Kool-Aid" to Lake Merritt.

Kevin Johnson, the former NBA player and mayor of Sacramento, is planning to expand his soul food empire to Oakland.

Called Fixins Oakland, the full-service restaurant is scheduled to open next spring near Lake Merritt. There are other Fixins Soul Kitchens in Sacramento, Los Angeles and Tulsa, and an upcoming one in Denver. Johnson will formally announce the new location on Sept. 6 at a private event in Oakland, with city mayor Sheng Thao and Fredrika Newton, widow of the Black Panther Party’s Huey P. Newton, in attendance.

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Johnson, a former NBA all-star who served two terms as Sacramento’s popular, first Black Mayor, albeit with some controversy, founded Fixins Soul Kitchen in 2019 with his wife, Michelle. The restaurant chain celebrates the family-style soul food of his childhood with dishes such as chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits and deep-fried deviled eggs. Also on the menu will be collard greens, mac and cheese and Grandma Gladys’ Famous Peach Cobbler, as well as beverages such as sweet tea and Adult Kool-Aid cocktails.

“Fixins Oakland will be located in the Lake Merritt neighborhood, which has become a symbol of Black resilience combating the erasure of historically Black spaces in the years since the Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland in the late 1960s,” Johnson’s team said via email. “Oakland’s rich music history will be reflected in the restaurant’s interior wall art, paying homage to the city’s impact on jazz, blues, funk and hip-hop.”

The 7,000-square-foot restaurant, which is scheduled to open in March of 2024 at 306 24th St., will offer indoor and outdoor seating for up to 215 diners. Here are some early renderings:

A rendering of the interior of Fixins Oakland, a planned expansion of NBA star Kevin Johnson’s Fixins Soul Kitchen restaurant chain. The restaurant plans to open spring 2024 at 306 24th St. in downtown Oakland, near Lake Merritt.(HOK) 
Bar area of Fixins Soul Kitchen, located at 306 24th Street in downtown Oakland, Lake Merritt area, concept.(HOK) 
Private dining room of Fixins Soul Kitchen, located at 306 24th Street in downtown Oakland, Lake Merritt area, concept.(HOK) 
Fixins Soul Kitchen, semi-private dining area, located at 306 24th Street in downtown Oakland, Lake Merritt area, concept.(HOK) 

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