Oaklanders have welcomed a new restaurant, Locol – Revolutionary Fast Food, located at 2214 Broadway near Grand Avenue.
Now In its second month, the restaurant offers healthy fast and affordable entrees for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The restaurant was listed last month at one of Food and Wine’s 2016 Restaurants of the Year.
Step into Locol, and guests are greeted by hip hop music, an energetic staff and a wall covered with a larger-than-life, black and white photo featuring an African American bicyclist.
Locol’s menu features green smoothies, BBQ turkey burgers, collard greens, ice cream sundaes, corn bread and more. The brain child of Roi Choy and Daniel Patterson, Locol was just an idea a year ago, and now the duo boasts two sites within six months, one in Watts in Los Angeles and the other in Oakland.
Choi recruited his friend Dan “Bam” Deocampo to run the two locations as the community liaison and regional manager.
“Offering the community whole, delicious and affordable foods has been our goal and also employing locals – to date about 30 employees,” said Deocampo.
“At our first Bay Area location in Oakland, we have hired locals of east and west Oakland with a focus in three areas; students and youth, low wage fast food workers who have been union busted out of work and the previously incarcerated, re-entry folks,” said Deocampo.
Locol has plans to open a location in West Oakland at 35th and Market this year, which will feature a café-style setting serving coffee and pastries. Another spot in East Oakland on East 14th Street is on the horizon.
Deocampo says the company’s ultimate goal is to tackle areas in East and West Oakland that are considered, “food deserts,” where communities are without grocery stores or fresh affordable foods.
“In our communities, we typically feed ourselves pre-packaged food, fast and affordable, and we don’t want to change that model, we just want to change what’s inside that model,” he said.
Growing up Watts in a working class family where his mother juggled three jobs Deocampo says he can relate to the modern lifestyle of fast foods. “My mother never had time to cook and understandably so, but instead of changing the culture of how we eat, we take the culture in which we eat and change the ingredients to green based, organic and farm raised meats.”
Deocampo, an Oakland resident for six years, considers himself an artist and community organizer who promotes change in the midst of gentrification, homelessness and joblessness. “Society tells us that you can’t raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, that prices can’t be affordable and food can’t be accessible,” he said. “Well, we are proving this theory is not true. We pay way above the current minimum wage, and our price points are very low.”
Deocampo says menu items in Oakland are all under $7 and $6 in Watts. “Our model empowers the community, and we plan to expand very quickly to Detroit, Atlanta, Ferguson, MO and Newark, New Jersey.”
For information visit www.WeLocol.com