I have had my eye on the space for months, driving by and watching with curiosity to see what was going to unfold behind the “Grand Fare Market – Grand Hospitality. Grand Fare” sign that hung outside the old Monkey Forest Road space on the 3200 block of Grand Ave. Given the proximity to Charlie Hallowell’s local gems Penrose and Boot & Shoe Service, my hopes were high.
The wait is over and what now sits in place of that sign, behind a bold blue wall, is a blend of unique spaces, ready to cure any and all temptations for something delicious.
I visited on a warm Friday afternoon during their opening week, and while there was still a buzz of last minute deliveries and details being managed, the excitement was palpable. A mixture of big smiles and concentrated brows visible on all those working hard to bring Doug Washington’s vision to life.
As you enter off the street, you feel a bit like you are entering someone’s backyard. An enclosed outdoor garden, it encompasses an outdoor dining area as well as a more casual seating area tucked away behind potted plants and succulents. A mixture of marble topped tables, large wooden stumps, and retro metal chairs softened with sheepskin cushions create a welcoming vibe.
You are greeted by a sign to help guide you towards whatever your mood desires. Turn to the right for a cup of coffee or a scoop of ice cream served from a restored vintage Spartan Trailer. Turn to the left and you enter the main market space. Plan on spending a few minutes lingering just inside the front door so you take in the lovely florals & succulents on display in the front corner occupied by Brothers & Sisters.
What then awaits is an open, light filled space; a mix of industrial esthetic, classic and clean finishes, and a vintage warmth. From the sleek white marble oyster bar, to the rugged wooden crates used for merchandise display, there is plenty to take in and enjoy as you wind your way around.
Tucked in the corner is the markets bakery, which cannot be missed. Decadent offerings are displayed under glass domes with hand written calling cards such as “Apple Galette” and “Valrhona Double Dark Chocolate Brownie”…yes please!
The center island holds a variety of offerings, from prepared salads, sides, sandwiches, cheeses, meats, and charcuterie. Gourmet groceries are available throughout the space. The back wall has a cold case with dairy and drinks, and opposite the bakery you will find a nice selection of wines.
On your final stretch as you head towards the cashier you can peek into the open kitchen and possibly see what cut of meat is being prepared that day. Pass a wall of open shelves of eye catching olive oils and pastas and you are back at the front, likely laden down with what you need for an al fresco lunch, a quick weeknight meal, or something to have in hand on your way to a friends for dinner.
I was so preoccupied with all the lovely things to take in, on this visit I was only able to grab a couple of chocolate chip cookies to take to Grandma as I headed to pick up my daughter, but I will surely be back for a more decadent visit.
Enjoy your trip to the wonderfully grand Grand Fare Market.
3265 Grand Ave
Oakland, CA 94610
Coffee Trailer 7am-10pm
Note: lunch is available in the market starting at 11:00am, you can order inside and sit in the outdoor garden, your order is brought out to you.
For more information please visit The Grand Fare Market Website
All photos by: Adrienne Schell
NOTE: PER THIS ARTICLE FROM SF GATE ON 11/23/15, GRAND FARE MARKET HAD TO CLOSE ITS DOORS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. We are sad to hear that this wonderful addition to the Grand Ave area is closed. We will await to hear if they are able to open back up and continue serving their wonderful market offerings…we will cross our fingers!