OAN’s Brooke Mallory
12:17 PM – Friday, February 2, 2024
The only Denny’s in Oakland, California, has permanently closed due to rising crime and other safety concerns.
Safety issues led to the closure of the restaurant, which was situated in the 600 block of Hegenbeger Road, as stated by the company. The following statement was issued by Denny’s corporate on Thursday morning.
“Denny’s has been honored to serve the Oakland community over the last 54 years. Closing a restaurant location is never an easy decision or one taken lightly. However, the safety and well-being of Denny’s team members and valued guests is our top priority. Weighing those factors, the decision has been made to close this location,” the statement said.
“Denny’s offers its heartfelt thanks to the team members and the local community for their love of the Denny’s brand; it has been a pleasure serving you. Team members who are able to relocate will be offered positions elsewhere, where available,” it continued.
There have been several automobile break-ins and robberies around Hegenbeger Road.
“I don’t want it to be where there is nowhere for us to go because people are in fear,” an Oakland resident named Jahlilah Johnson said. “A lot of people are moving out of state. A lot of people don’t want to visit. Don’t nobody want to come somewhere where they are going to get robbed.”
Councilwoman Treva Reid has been collaborating with law enforcement and holding frequent meetings with local businesses, such as Denny’s, in an effort to calm their worries and inhibit more businesses from leaving the area. According to Reid, this endeavor will require local and regional backing.
“I can’t be the primary leader at the table with these businesses,” Reid said. “It’s going to take regional leadership at the table for us all to come together to figure out how we leverage every resource that we got to invest into a corridor that really fuels the economy.”
After a neighboring In-N-Out Burger establishment made national headlines when the Southern California-based food giant said it would be closing its Oakland restaurant in March due to safety concerns and rising crime, Denny’s is now the second restaurant to close in the airport corridor recently.
In the area, other establishments, including Black Bear Diner and Starbucks, have already shuttered for the same reasons.
Additionally, Eddie’s Liquor in Rockridge said that they are having trouble staying in business following four break-ins in the last eight months, one of which occurred last week when criminals crashed a vehicle through their front door and took cash, alcohol, and a large safe from the back.
“We try our best to be here,” said David Shrestha, Eddie’s Liquors owner. “We are not making that much money, and it keeps happening. Just like the other businesses that’s been closing down in Oakland, we might be another.”
Mayor Sheng Thao (D-Calif.) stated that she is aggressively tackling the problem and claimed that there was a 40% drop in crime “around the airport” last year as a result of increased police presence.
“It is outrageous that criminal gangs and groups continue to harm Oakland residents and businesses. I join Oaklanders in demanding more prevention, enforcement, and accountability for the criminal groups inflicting harm upon our community,” Thao said. “As mayor, I have prioritized this critical gateway to Oakland and surged police presence and employed technology to deter and respond to criminal behavior. The surge in public safety resources has led to a reduction in property crimes along the Hegenberger Corridor. However, more is necessary and I will be working with regional and state leaders to protect this tourist gateway into Oakland.”
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