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ST. FRANCES OF THE GRILL / No one ever went away hungry or mad at Ann's Cafe in Oakland - SFGate
ST. FRANCES OF THE GRILL / No one ever went away hungry or mad at Ann's Cafe in Oakland February 17, 2000
There is no one in Oakland with as many friends as Frances Bienati.

She's made them one at a time, just like the 100 pancakes, 15 dozen eggs and 50 to 60 pounds of potatoes she's grilled up at Ann's Cafe every day, five days a week for the last 42 years.

Every city has a place like this, a hole-in-the-wall breakfast spot that is heavy on atmosphere and legend, and the food is, well, it's filling.

The service and camaraderie are priceless. And that's what will be missed when Frances hangs up her spatula for the last time on Friday. She and her husband, Frank, are retiring and closing the doors to the Fruitvale Avenue cafe.

"It's just kinda down home, and everyone here is on a first-name basis," said Dave Arp, an Oakland police officer and an Ann's regular.

It's family all right, and Frances is everyone's adoring, and sometimes doting, Italian mother.

Three things are sure to happen anytime you pass through the door: You will be greeted and treated like a returning son or daughter. You'll be served so much food that you will not finish the meal, and if you're single, expect to be introduced or referred to someone Frances has chosen especially for you.
Ann  cafe  Fran  Fruitvale 
6 weeks ago by Quercki
Oakland couple contribute much to preservation efforts - Inside Bay Area
Ann Katz is the founder and unpaid executive director of the East Bay Children's Book Project. The nonprofit group has been collecting donated books to redistribute to schools, libraries and community centers for families with little or no access to their own reading materials. Founded in 2005, the EBCBP is on target to receive 1 million donated books by the end of this year to redistribute to the community.
A retired kindergarten teacher, Ann Katz said she realized that too many children in the Bay Area live in homes without books and attend schools where books are in short supply. Encouraging reading is not enough when families and schools do not have books on hand for children to handle.
"Our books are used by teachers, social workers, health care professionals, housing authority employees, even police offers, who use them to engage the children they work with to discover a love of reading," she said.
The book project is housed in a donated space at the Mosswood Park Recreation Center. One of Oakland's oldest parks,

Ken Katz, an antique dealer and estate appraiser, has made his Lakeshore/Grand neighborhood his special project.
A decade ago he was credited with being one of the primary movers to renovate an underused, neglected segment of Lake Merritt parkland that had been sliced off from the rest of the park by construction of the 580 Freeway back in the 1960s. "Folks called it the Splash Pad, because it was essentially a sunken bowl-shaped space no one seemed to want or need."
He saw the potential and worked with his neighbors to raise the funds to bring in noted landscape architect Walter Hood to create a pedestrian-friendly space that could support a variety of uses, including the popular Saturday farmers market.
Ken  Ann  Katz  Oakland  GrandLake  Splashpad  books 
december 2012 by Quercki

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