Here’s what’s replacing Bay Area’s Black Star Pirate BBQ

Black Star Pirate BBQ, a hidden gem that shuttered last November at Richmond’s Point San Pablo Harbor, will be replaced by a new restaurant by a Chez Panisse alum.   

The upcoming restaurant is by Arnon Oren, chef-operator of catering service Anaviv’s Open Market, who is expected to open a fast-casual restaurant by mid-February to early March. East Bay Nosh first reported the forthcoming opening.

Point San Pablo Harbor property co-owner Yaella Frankel told SFGATE that the name of the business is being workshopped and that the former space of Black Star Pirate BBQ is under renovation. The restaurant is expected to transform into an outdoor dining destination so it can take advantage of its seaside location.  

“We’re putting up a permanent canopy outside,” Frankel said. “We’ll have more outdoor cooking and eventually barbecue oysters and raw oysters.”

The menu will also include other seafood dishes, woodfired pizza and more. Vegetables from the garden at Point San Pablo Harbor will likely be used on the menu for the new restaurant too, Frankel added. The restaurant plans to host live music by the dining area every weekend. Independently, Point San Pablo Harbor hosts live music events called “Live on the Waterfront” from April to October.  

Oren had previous stints at Chez Panisse and the now-shuttered Oliveto before eventually venturing off into the catering business. According to East Bay Nosh, Frankel and Point San Pablo Harbor co-owners Daryl Henline and Rob Fyfe were interested in working with Oren beginning in 2016 when they bought the property. Initially, Oren declined the opportunity but later agreed to come on board when the space of Black Star Pirate BBQ became available.

“The synergy and values of sustainability we share just felt very good,” Oren told East Bay Nosh. “In addition, there’s not only the restaurant, but the events venue. And the spot is beautiful.”

A forthcoming restaurant is replacing Black Star Pirate BBQ at Point San Pablo Harbor in Richmond, Calif.

Freda Moon

Despite Black Star Pirate BBQ’s popularity, Point San Pablo Harbor did not extend chef-owner Tony Caracci’s lease when it expired at the end of November 2022. Last year, Caracci told SFGATE that he was devastated by the news, before adding that “the show will go on.” Black Star Pirate BBQ is expected to reopen as a monthly pop-up at Baltic Kiss, at 135 Park Place in Richmond, sometime in March.

The specific reasons why Caracci’s lease wasn’t renewed aren’t clear. Frankel told East Bay Nosh that Caracci and Point San Pablo Harbor had “different values” and that “it wasn’t a good fit.”

Frankel told SFGATE that she’s confident that former Black Star Pirate BBQ customers will return to Point San Pablo Harbor to visit Oren’s restaurant once it officially opens. She’s already heard locals share that the harbor itself is a huge draw for people to take the scenic drive up to Point San Pablo Harbor.

“The experience of driving out here is part of the reason why people love it here,” Frankel said. “It’s a feeling that you went through a time capsule. There’s a sense of serenity and it’s special for that reason.”

To start, the forthcoming restaurant plans to operate from Friday to Sunday.

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