New Ceron Kitchen restaurant will soon open in Alameda
Ceron Kitchen, a new restaurant from a duo of novice restaurateurs, is taking over the former space of Mexican restaurant Otaez at 1619 Webster Street in Alameda and plans to open by mid-October. Chef Juan Jaquez describes the menu as a New American with global influences – think, ceviche, risotto and fresh pasta, accompanied by a short mole-braised rib and sous vide Spanish octopus. There will be a full bar with beer, wine, and cocktails, as well as weekend brunch. Jaquez brings the experience of Paradiso, the gourmet restaurant of San Leandro with an equally global menu, where he has worked for over a decade; before that, he spent time in the kitchen at Boulevard, Nancy Oakes’ newly renovated and reopened dining establishment in San Francisco.
Jaquez, who grew up in Fruitvale and was born in Mexico, posted on Instagram about the long journey that brought him to Ceron Kitchen, saying the pandemic has allowed him to reassess what he wants to do with his career. “I never wanted [open my own restaurant] because I see how difficult things can get, ”says Jaquez. “But after COVID, I could sit and breathe and think about what I should be doing. COVID actually made me think about what I can do next. He started selling food from his home on weekends during the pandemic, then planned to buy his own food truck. But when his friend Vicente Ceron approached him about a business partnership, he knew he wanted to take the risk.
It was quite a feat for Jaquez and Ceron to turn the restaurant upside down. Otaez only closed at the end of June, but the duo have spent the intervening weeks doing renovations at a breakneck pace; Ceron owns a construction business, which has helped keep things on track. Jaquez says they were drawn to space for its good bones and, frankly, because it was a good deal. They are excited to take the risk of bringing the concept to Alameda, he says. “Yes, Alameda, I heard it was tricky. But I don’t see why we shouldn’t [try]. ”
Ceron Kitchen plans to open in mid-October and will be open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch, dinner and brunch. To follow Ceron Kitchen on social media for updates on the opening date.