Everett & Jones BBQ Threatened to Be Shut Down by City Administrator After Unpermitted Fundraiser “You really feel the racism here,” said Dorothy King, owner of E&J BBQ

L to R: Rev. Cheryl Ward of Cheryl Ward Ministries, B.G. Anaraki of the warehouse artist community, and Dorothy King of Everett & Jones BBQ. The three are part of the taskforce to address Oakland's eviction crisis. Photo by Tulio Ospina.

L to R: Rev. Cheryl Ward of Cheryl Ward Ministries, B.G. Anaraki of the warehouse artist community, and Dorothy King of Everett & Jones BBQ. The three are part of the taskforce to address Oakland's eviction crisis. Photo by Tulio Ospina.

The Oakland City Administrator’s office sent an official warning letter to Everett & Jones BBQ on Dec. 28 for hosting a fire safety fundraising event without a permit, threatening to close the cornerstone Black-owned restaurant if it fails to obtain a cabaret permit next time it holds events. 


The letter from Administrative Assistant Nancy Marcus was brought to the public’s attention by Rev. Cheryl Ward from Cheryl Ward Ministries at Wednesday’s community forum on safe and affordable housing solutions at City Hall.


“(The city) sent this letter because (Everett & Jones) held a fundraiser for the artist community and particularly for the Salt Lick warehouse next door to her so that they could raise money to bring buildings up to code,” said Ward on Wednesday.


Since the Ghost Ship fire that claimed 36 lives in early December, community members have been fearful that the city would respond by cracking down on unpermitted living spaces, which would force massive evictions of people already struggling to stay in Oakland.


After the fire, Dorothy King, owner and founder of Everett & Jones, and members of the warehouse neighboring her restaurant came together to create a taskforce to address the eviction crisis of longtime Oakland residents and its artist community.


One solution they came up with was to hold monthly fundraisers at the restaurant to raise money for do-it-yourself spaces to make necessary safety improvements in order to avoid being red tagged by city inspectors.


To many in the community, the letter by the City Administrator’s office to Everett & Jones is indicative of the response they feared the aftermath of the tragedy would spur.


For Dorothy King, whose restaurant has served Oakland since 1973 and is one of the few Black-owned businesses in the city, the letter represents deeply-rooted issues in the city government’s leadership.
“It just resonated with, ‘Dorothy, you’re Black,’” King told the Post.


“You really feel the racism here. You think you broke through barriers but you haven’t. It really hurts,” she said.


King told the Post that her restaurant has been holding fundraisers for over 20 years, “for just about anything.”


For Rev. Ward, the city’s response also reflects a disconnect between the city’s administrative branch, which is led by Mayor Libby Schaaf and run by her appointed city officials, and the city’s residents.


Letter sent to Everett & Jones BBQ on Dec. 28, 2017.

Letter sent to Everett & Jones BBQ on Dec. 28, 2017.


“Saying that the (administrative) department needs to be overhauled is an understatement,” said Ward.
“They are busy not doing their jobs. Just like they should be focusing on addressing building violations instead of evicting people–they are wasting our taxpayer dollars by writing letters like these.”


Meanwhile, here is an Oakland resident who is doing the work that the city should have been doing to help those who are marginalized and is being punished for it, Ward said.


King was planning to host another fundraiser later this month and says that despite the threat, she is going to go through with the event.


Assistant City Administrator Karen Boyd told the Post that the letter is a standard courtesy notice “advising the property owner of the violation and the appropriate departments to contact” to be in compliance in the future. Everett & Jones’s event was not shut down, and the restaurant was not fined, she said.




Tulio Ospina is the assistant editor of the Oakland Post and editor-in-chief of El Mundo.

Email tulio.postnewsgroup@gmail.com

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  3. Tiffanye Young

    This is the reason why she doesn’t deserve to be the mayor. She is a nasty, racist witch. First she attacks people playing music on the lake, then black police officers in the midst of a scandal that she could’ve stopped, and now that people ( black ) are stepping up to the plate to help remedy this horrible crisis, she becomes the tyrant that she is and tries to shut it down, she’s not a mayor, she’s a monster who needs to be recalled, and should’ve been last year. I can’t stand her!

  4. Rountree

    That’s what happens when you joint venture with Whites, Blacks must DO For Self and Kind first. NELLIES JUST CLOSED ANYTHING DONE FOR HER, JUST SAYING, UP YE MIGHTY RACE YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH WHAT YOU WILL WE USED TO HAVE 20 BUSINESSES IN Jack London square Black mayors, by the way Black Churches are hurting all over town it time for Blacks to Jesus

    • Some Body

      Okay, wingnut.

    • Dottie

      Nellis closed because they was bought out by the cannabis club they are reopening inside the brick house fyi my mother has helped lots of black people and business she is the type if person that doesn’t have to be seen giving or doing for others Happy New Year

  5. steve kava

    oakland sucks that’s why no one good lives there

    tom hanks left a long time ago and aint moving back

  6. No Body

    So she switched gears and decided to help the warehouse next door?

    And wasn’t E&J already a venue with a cabaret license to begin with?

    None of this makes any sense at all.

  7. GoatManDan

    You are totally ignoring the press conference they called to rat out the Salt Lick in the first place. I find it pretty questionable for the owner to be having fundraisers now. She cried wolf, now shes gettin punished for it.

    • YouShallKnowThemByTheirDeeds

      I agree with half your statement – I feel her calling out the Salt Lick in the manner she did was tasteless but she already got punished by the community (see Yelp reviews if they’re still up). Holding the fundraiser for the Salt Lick was a “good faith” move that seemed to make up for it. But the city coming down on her for holding the fundraiser in the first place? That’s just..wrong. Sounds like a troll was up the city admins ass, or the city admins are going overboard to make up for past discrepancies. I’ve never heard of a restriction on fundraisers being held at established businesses. No doubt if it was a fundraiser for anything else she wouldn’t be getting this pos letter.

    • Rev. Cheryl Ward

      The media turned it into an attack against the warehouse. She and the artist United to work together at the press conference and the fundraiser derived from there.

    • Otenant

      That entire situation was resolved between E&J and the Salt Lick (residents of the warehouse have made public announcements telling people this). These fundraisers were being done WITH the residents of the Salt Lick.

    • Otenant

      You’re ignoring the fact that this media sponsored feud was resolved within a week.


    • Dottie

      Fact check my mother she didn’t rat them out her conference actually help them out and once they researched her they saw that she is a activist for homeless and transitional housing treatment in the millions of dollars to fund a project called dignity housing West that is downtown Oakland on Clay and 16th I believe so just a little history so that you know exactly who you’re talking about before you just talk based on what the media put out most people just saw black women talking and assume that she was missing and she was ratting someone out but with her conference today was actually make the city put a mandatory don’t evict

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