The long-awaited third restaurant from Pizzaiolo/Boot & Shoe Service chef-owner Charlie Hallowell is finally set to open in the next week, and the name has been shortened to just Penrose (3311 Grand Avenue, Oakland). Initial reports on the project, which is in a space across the street from Boot & Shoe Service, had it as Penrose & Sons Fine Meats and Spirits, and later Penrose & Company, but the general idea has remained the same: a bar and grill with nice meat, fish, and vegetables, and good cocktails.
Penrose, by the way, was Hallowell's grandfather's name.
Hallowell cut his teeth in the kitchen at Chez Panisse Café before opening Pizzaiolo in 2005 to pretty much instant success. Not only was this one of the pioneering businesses in the quickly gentrified Temescal neighborhood of Oakland, but he was focused on making one of Michael Bauer's favorite foods, pizza, which garnered him a Chronicle rave and a spot on the Top 100, which it now shares with sister restaurant Boot & Shoe.
As the 40-year-old Hallowell tells the Chron today, the third restaurant "is a real turning point. With two, you can still shoot from the hip and go for it. With the third restaurant, you have to grow up a bit."
Part of the reason for the delay in the project, which was first discussed back in the spring of 2012, is Hallowell's ambitions for it exceeded the square footage he initially had. He ended up combining two next-door spaces, one a nail salon and one a cafe, to create what's now a 60-seat restaurant with a 20-seat bar. Cocktails will be taken care of by Pizzaiolo's Cate Whalen, and the chef here is Miles Schaefer, who's put time in at Rich Table and wd-50 in New York.
The menu will be made up almost entirely of raw and grilled items, with a selection of salads, crudos, and tartares alongside the fire-cooked stuff. There is a "bread" section of the menu, but that means grilled flatbreads, not Hallowell's Cali-politan-style pizza.
Expect an exact opening date to be announced next week (they're hoping for November 20).