What could be more hometown than Croll’s corner bar, since 1883? How about two homeboys to run it? The newly revived corner of Central and Webster is called 1400 Bar and Grill (named for its Webster Street address), and is under the careful guidance of native sons Mike Cooper and Yanni (John) Placourakis.
Cool cats and swanky kittens, rockabilly swells and sweet little vintage gals might unify around these few truths: the foot-tapping appeal
of a swinging boogie-woogie beat, the swagger of bold and brassy sax solo and the eternal appeal
of a blues woman’s sultry wail, rounding the bend of heartbreak and pine, right at the mighty junction
of Ruth Brown and Etta James.
At the age of 14, Amy Abels started working in her family business as a waitress.
Since her father’s retirement nine years ago and after graduating from the California Culinary Academy and the Culinary Institute of America, Abels has been running Grand Catering, well, rather grandly.
Mi’Chelle Fredrick is a Wisconsin native who has lived in Alameda for nearly 20 years. That’s almost long enough to be considered a local, by some accounts. And with all she is doing for her adopted home, it may be time to bestow that honorific title.