Newest ‘Chopped’ Champion to Open BBQ Pop-up at Shops at Hilltop

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Oakland chef and restauranteur Rashad Armstead. (Photo credit: Shops at Hilltop).

Oakland chef and restau­rateur Rashad Armstead, who last week was crowned the Food Network’s newest Chopped Champion, is set to open a pop-up BBQ shop at the The Shops at Hilltop in Rich­mond starting Aug. 1, it was announced today.

Chef Rashad, who current­ly owns popular Grammie’s Down-Home Chicken & Sea­food in Oakland, will launch Crave BBQ, a new blues house concept featuring live music and authentic BBQ, on Aug. 1 for a limited time only.

The restaurant will open in a 4,952-square-foot space at The Shops at Hilltop, which is undergoing a transformation under new ownership at 2200 Hilltop Mall Road. Crave BBQ will be located in Suite D107.



“We’re thrilled to welcome Chef Rashad and his top-notch, nationally-recognized culinary talent to The Shops at Hilltop,” David S. Goldman, managing partner in charge of leasing for LBG Real Estate Companies, said in a statement. “As we continue our work to transform The Shops at Hilltop, the ad­dition of Crave BBQ not only further expands our growing food and beverage offering, but illustrates our commitment to bring the Greater East Bay marketplace a premiere, mul­ticultural shopping and enter­tainment destination.”

The Shops at Hilltop’s trans­formation plans include:

  1. a new outlet/value shop­ping component;
  2. an expanded collection of foodie-centric food and bev­erage concepts focusing on a wide variety of Asian cuisines along with other more tradi­tional offerings and;
  3. a variety of new, major entertainment venues and ser­vices.

Currently, the mall is an­chored by Macy’s, Walmart and 24 Hour Fitness.

In the longer term, a master plan for the 77-acre property called Hilltop by the Bay aims to add residential, office and hotels.

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