When Eskender Aseged began offering dinners under the name Radio Africa & Kitchen six years ago, he taught a lot of San Franciscans what a pop-up was. Now, as Aseged readies his first brick-and-mortar restaurant, in Bayview, he hopes to redefine the notion of a community-rooted business.
Last month, Grub Street reported a tip that Radio Africa had scored space at 4800 Third St. (at Oakdale), after Yats bowed out. Today, Aseged told us he hopes that when Radio Africa & Kitchen opens in September (barring delays), it'll feel like the opposite of gentrification. The site is newly constructed, part of the developing Bayview Town Center development. But Aseged, who's spent three years doing pop-up dinners in the Mission at Coffee Bar, is sensitive about being tagged an outsider.
“I don't want to be labeled,” Aseged says. “I really want to get everyone in the community out here involved.” To that end, he's been making a point to meet everyone he can find in Bayview for the past few weeks, homeless and homeowners alike, trying to establish his presence in the largely African American neighborhood.