Oakland family restaurant parklet destroyed

Editor’s Note: The quotes in this article have been translated from Spanish to English.

Manuel Torres was at a loss for words when he arrived at his Oakland restaurant, Molcajete Cocina Mexicana, and found his old little park in ruins.

The collapsed structure lay flat just outside his business at 1734 Webster St. along with the parklet’s chairs, tables and televisions which were also damaged in the event. Torres, who spoke to SFGATE in Spanish, said the parklet was destroyed after a car slammed into the structure early Sunday morning.

“We are devastated because it was the bridge that connected our business,” Torres said. “We are a family business and we haven’t stopped working for three years, seven days a week. Inevitably, we had to close… on Sundays and Mondays. We reopened on Tuesday but our customers prefer to sit outside.


The Oakland Molcajete Cocina Mexicana restaurant, located at 1734 Webster St., had its parklet destroyed over the weekend.


Molcajete mexican food

The Oakland Molcajete Cocina Mexicana restaurant, located at 1734 Webster St., had its parklet destroyed over the weekend.

The Oakland Molcajete Cocina Mexicana restaurant, located at 1734 Webster St., had its parklet destroyed over the weekend.


Molcajete mexican food

The Oakland Molcajete Cocina Mexicana restaurant, located at 1734 Webster St., had its parklet destroyed over the weekend.

The Oakland Molcajete Cocina Mexicana restaurant, located at 1734 Webster St., had its parklet destroyed over the weekend.


Molcajete mexican food

The Oakland Molcajete Cocina Mexicana restaurant, located at 1734 Webster St., had its parklet destroyed over the weekend.

The Oakland Molcajete Cocina Mexicana restaurant, located at 1734 Webster St., had its parklet destroyed over the weekend.


Molcajete mexican food


Family-owned Molcajete Cocina Mexicana in Oakland had its parklet destroyed on Sunday.


Torres said he found a police report slipped under his business door and the person responsible for the damage showed up later that morning to offer his sincerest apologies and share his insurance information. The encounter was brief and Torres said the person did not provide any further information regarding the incident.

After spending around $38,000 to $40,000 to build the parklet, Torres thinks sorry isn’t enough. Without financial backing or PPP loans, Torres fears the lack of outdoor dining will take a significant financial hit to running the business as operational expenses rise.

Oakland restaurant Molcajete Cocina Mexicana, located at 1734 Webster St., found its parklet destroyed over the weekend.

Oakland restaurant Molcajete Cocina Mexicana, located at 1734 Webster St., found its parklet destroyed over the weekend.

Molcajete mexican food

“How can we stop working? The bills won’t stop coming,” Torres said. “We want this to work so we can keep going.”

Torres said he filed an insurance claim from the person claiming to be responsible, but hopes he can also receive reimbursement for lost sales earlier this week. In the meantime, he hopes to be able to use a shipping container to replace the destroyed parklet.

SFGATE has contacted the Oakland Police Department for comment, but has not heard back as of press time.



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