Residents of Oakland, California are pushing back against the opening of a new ghost kitchen location from Travis Kalanick’s super-secretive CloudKitchens company (h/t Berkeleyside). The facility is slated to open in July. But in an online petition, residents argue that the city of Oakland issued permits for the building quickly “without public notice or any consideration of the impacts on our neighborhood.”
The planned CloudKitchens facility at 5325 Adeline St. in North Oakland will house space for 35 commercial kitchen spaces, which is huge by ghost kitchen standards. The kitchens would operate seven days per week, 18 hours per day, according to the online petition.
Those opposed include the Golden Gate Community Association and the Oakland Neighborhoods for Equity. These groups as well as residents of the North Oakland neighborhood are pushing for a freeze on construction at the forthcoming CloudKitchens location until the city can address a list of concerns around having a massive ghost kitchen facility in the area. That includes more traffic from the assumed influx of drivers that will be coming and going from CloudKitchens, a loss of parking for neighborhood residents, and “a more dangerous Adeline Street” because of these things. The petition also cites noise, exhaust, odors, and pests as other potential problems.
This is not the first time CloudKitchens has gotten pushback from residents of a city. Earlier this year, those in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood complained of traffic, parking, and garbage issues from the CloudKitchens facility that opened in 2020. The city finally intervened, but only after police recorded numerous parking violations , calls for disturbance, and crashes in the span of three months.
Nor is this the first time the issue of ghost kitchens’ impact on surrounding neighborhoods come up. As the format has grown in popularity over the last year or so, restaurants, kitchen operators, and city residents alike have surfaced the discussion about the impact of these facilities on daily life and local business, not to mention basic safety on the streets. Talks stand to get even more nuanced as major ghost kitchen operators like CloudKitchens expand and more restaurant chains redesign their store formats to accommodate the uptick in pickup, delivery, and drive-thru orders.
Oakland residents are asking their city to delay the CloudKitchen’s opening as well as its number of food businesses and hours of operation.