This episode of On the Fly is with Sarah Kirnon, the chef and owner of Miss Ollie’s in Old Oakland. Miss Ollie’s is much more than just a place renowned for its skillet-fried chicken—Sarah is a builder of friendships, a teacher to many in the Bay Area culinary community, and at Miss Ollie’s, is nurturing a sacred space for her community to gather in, a place where Black and queer folx are celebrated, seen, cared for, honored, uplifted, and yes, well-fed.
Miss Ollie’s is a place of healing and a charging station for the community—it’s also a rare and endangered third place—not only as a queer, female, Black-owned business, but also as one of the thousands of local restaurants struggling and fighting so hard to keep the doors open and the records spinning, for themselves, and their community during this pandemic.
California governor Gavin Newsom visited Miss Ollie’s in early June, a couple weeks after the George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests began, and of all the restaurants and places to visit, I was so happy to see he called upon this one. Which is why I reached out to Sarah for this episode—I wanted to hear directly from Sarah herself about what wisdom she had for Gavin and for us. I also craved a deeper conversation with Sarah about what Miss Ollie’s stands for, why it resonates so much, and the many ways she feeds and shows up and holds space for the community.
I look forward to seeing you at Miss Ollie’s, enjoying Sarah’s goat curry and rhum punch and it would be great if you could buy a community plate while you’re there for someone else in need of a meal made with love and care. There’s more we can do, but that’s an excellent place to start.
Miss Ollie’s: 901 Washington St., Oakland
Feed Hospitality box: visit cuesa.org/feedhospitality
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