Your neighborhood beer garden & pizza spot in Oakland
The sun is out and if you’re looking for a fun place with delicious food and drinks that is both kid and animal friendly, Arthur Mac’s is your spot. It’s located in North Oakland’s Longfellow neighborhood, behind the MacArthur Bart station . It has an outdoor beer garden, fire pits, handmade pizza and spicy wings. If those wings are a little too spicy, there is soft serve ice cream to cool you down.
I sat down with the owner, Joel DiGiorgio to learn more about this family business he created. Joel is also one of the founders of Farm League restaurant group that launched Drake’s Dealership in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood. “Arthur Mac’s is our little baby,” Joel told me one sunny afternoon. “When we came to this neighborhood, we realized there was a need for vibrancy, a need for affordable food. We didn’t have a concept in mind. We wanted to find out what the area was hungry for.”
Family History in the Restaurant Business
Joel has a long family history running restaurants. His grandfather immigrated from southern Italy in the early 50’s and claims he invented pizza. “I doubt I am the only Italian grandchild that was told their grandfather invented pizza, but that’s the family folklore,” Joel said. What we do know is his grandfather worked his way to the West Coast and opened The Castle Pizzeria in 1951. The family has been at it ever since.
Giving Back to the Community
I remember when the covid lockdown started, Arthur Mac’s was one of the first Oakland restaurants to donate pizzas to healthcare workers. They also donated food to all the volunteers at Piedmont’s first Food Fest and even hosted teacher appreciation events. I asked Joel why it was so important to give back.
“There is something special about feeding people. It’s ceremonial for every culture.” Joel also added the idea of donating food to healthcare workers was not his idea. It came from one of his customers. “One of our regulars emailed us and said, you guys make amazing food but have no one to serve it to. We got all these poor healthcare workers that are struggling. Can’t we help you and help them at the same time?” Together, they created a go fund me campaign and raised more than $12,000. Joel added, “Whichever hospital got back to us first, we would coordinate a time to make a big delivery.”
5 Years and Expanding
Arthur Mac’s just celebrated its 5 year anniversary. Making it to this milestone, especially in Oakland is a huge accomplishment and they are expanding. Look for two more Arthur Mac’s restaurants opening in Emeryville and Hayward. The Oakland location: 4006 Martin Luther King Jr Way.
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