Restaurant That Ran Its Own Oakland Greenhouse Closes

The 1,000-square-foot West Oakland greenhouse and 2,000-square-foot outdoor space grew turmeric, cardamom, and more.


Anneli Star Josselin Rufus

Sustainability-focused San Francisco restaurant The Perennial, which opened in 2015 and grew its own greenhouse crops in West Oakland, closed last week

A Feb. 9 Instagram post revealed that it would be the restaurant's last night of service.

"We always tried to embody and imagine a new way forward ... always open to the challenge of dreaming the impossible into existence," the post read, as reported at ProduceGrower.

Husband-and-wife restaurateurs Karen Leibowitz and Anthony Myint started Mission Chinese Food and Commonwealth before founding The Perennial. Its "Director of Living Systems," Nathan Kaufman, helmed the restaurant's 1,000-square-foot greenhouse and 2,000-square-foot outdoor production space in West Oakland, growing a global array of produce including turmeric, Australian finger limes, and dwarf cardamom. 

A 2017 article in ProduceGrower revealed his highly sustainable strategy: 

"Kaufman takes leftover food prep that the back-of-house staff has divided into two categories (the first being produce and the second being being meat, dairy and bread) and composts it. He uses worms to break down the produce and black soldier flies to break down the meat, dairy and bread. In turn, he feeds the fly larva to sturgeon and catfish that power aquaponic systems."

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