In January, 17 employees accused Oakland chef and restaurateur Charlie Hallowell of sexual harassment, prompting the Bay Area culinary star to sell his bustling Grand Avenue pizzeria, Boot & Shoe Service, to a former employee in April. Now, Hallowell has sold his second restaurant, Penrose, to another former employee.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Rico Rivera, a former employee of Hallowell’s Pizzaiolo and the current chef at Flora, will take over as chef and owner of Penrose this fall. Rivera told the Chronicle he doesn’t plan to make significant changes to the wood-fired seasonal menu or the community-driven space, which is also on Grand Avenue.
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In an emailed statement, Hallowell told the Chronicle that he and business partner Richard Weinstein of restaurant group Analog Food Conspiracy are “sad to let Penrose go” but believe “this is a group opportunity for him [Rivera] to become an owner of his own restaurant for the first time.”
Rivera graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, where he worked at Gramercy Tavern and later at Lark Creek Inn. He is a native of Oakland.
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Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle