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Alex Y.

Paulista’s New Local Partners!

By Behind the Scenes No Comments

At the very foundation of Paulista is a belief in and a commitment to our local community. As we have planned, and planned, and planned some more for our opening, we have been guided by a dedication to build more than just a restaurant and more than just a craft beer taproom; first and foremost, we have dedicated ourselves to building an amazing gathering place for our community.

And it is in this spirit that we are incredibly excited to announce two partnerships between Paulista and local businesses!

Mr. Dewie’s Cashew Creamery

When we open this summer, we will feature the wildly popular local organic cashew ice cream, Mr. Dewie’s! Ari Cohen, another Glenview Elementary School dad (along with Alex and Jesse), and his brother Andrew, have created an incredible product that even the most cynical of ice cream purists can’t help but love. And here’s the exciting part – we won’t just be “featuring” Mr. Dewie’s, we will actually have an 8-flavor “Dipping Station” in our restaurant where young and old can come and get an ice cream cone throughout the day and night. So yes, the Glenview district will now have an ice cream shop, as well as a Brazilian restaurant, and a craft beer taproom. We think you will agree that these are all things we need in the neighborhood!

Studio M Merge

For the last couple of months we have been working with Andrea Sessa, Kira Goodman and Helmina Kim from Studio M Architecture right here in Glenview. They have helped us craft an incredible floor plan and design that we can’t wait to bring to reality when we start our buildout in the next couple of weeks. The fact that they personally know our neighborhood and understand who our customers will be gives them the unique ability to not only put together a strong architectural plan for us, but to help us create something that will be an amazing fit for the community.

Again, we couldn’t be more excited about these partnerships with our Oakland friends and neighbors, and we look forward to working with them for years to come!

– The Paulista Team

Paulista: What’s in a Name

By Behind the Scenes One Comment

For us, settling on a name for our to-be restaurant was a tricky process. Starting with a blank slate, Jesse and I complied words that embodied our goals of providing a family-friendly environment with great food and a fun vibe. We had everything from names of our favorite Brazilian cities to “Casa (pronounced ‘cah-za’, meaning ‘home’)” to “Terra (pronounced ‘te-ha’, meaning ‘Earth’)”. So how did we settle on Paulista?

First, Paulista means “a person from São Paulo, Brazil” which is in the southeast part of Brazil, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Paraná e Mato Grosso do Sul. I resonate with this personally, being from São Paulo and all.

Underneath the beautiful parks, stunning city life, and great gastronomy, São Paulo has an eccentric yet relaxed and friendly vibe that appeals to almost everyone that takes the time to get to know my home city. Everything about São Paulo, especially the people, has a chill atmosphere, and we realized, that’s exactly what we want our restaurant to have.

Another contributing factor in name-picking, was pronunciation. Since we dabbled in only Brazilian words, we had to factor in how people said each word. Since, Brazilian portuguese and Spanish are such similar languages, most people would pronounce the different options with a spanish accent and pronunciation instead of with portuguese influence. For example, our other choices were “Casa e Terra”, meaning “House and Earth”, “Bauru”, “Fortaleza” and “Bahia” which are all Brazilian cities. We decided to survey kids, since we all know they’re the most honest. We found that they liked Paulista the most. After conducting many surveys (with kids), we found that most people liked “Paulista” the most and it was also the word with the highest correct pronunciation.

To be more specific, Parati was one of our top choice, which is a historical city in Brazil on the coast, between São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. It’s known for its gorgeous beaches and very relaxed, family friendly vibe; it’s also one of my family’s favorite spots to visit when traveling. The only thing holding us back from naming our restaurant Parati was pronunciation. During our informal pronunciation trials, we found that most people mispronounced Parati as “puh-rah-tee” instead of the correct “pa-ra-chi”; this was a challenge but eventually led us to Paulista.

So that was it: we found an easy to pronounce word that fully represents authentic Brazilian roots that we can’t wait to share with you and our community.

Awesome Paulista piece in Nosh

By Behind the Scenes No Comments

Two friends are teaming up to open Paulista in Oakland’s Glenview district

It’s taken almost six years, but this summer, a dream of two friends will finally come true. It will be in the form of Paulista, a Brazilian restaurant and craft beer bar, headed to the former Rumbo al Sur location in Oakland’s Glenview district.

But Paulista won’t be a Brazilian restaurant of the churrascaria steakhouse sort; instead, it will focus on home-style comfort food drawn from the wide range of native and immigrant cooking in the South American country.


Co-owners Jesse Madway and Alex Yamamoto met as parents of kindergarteners at Glenview Elementary in 2011. The two immediately hit it off and began talking about their passions — Madway is a longtime home brewer and self-described craft beer nerd and Yamamoto, who was born in Brazil, is a lifelong cook and Brazilian “food enthusiast.” During these discussions, they came up with a vision for a craft beer taproom that serves Brazilian cuisine, the kind of food that locals eat on a daily basis. They believed such a restaurant, bolstered by a hyper-local beer list, could be a real community draw in their neighborhood.


Yamamoto told Madway that there are plenty such places in his hometown of São Paulo, but for whatever reason, the trend hasn’t yet caught on in the states.

The partners started drawing up plans for their restaurant, but life continued to intervene. It took until last summer for the idea to truly take hold. And as it happens a new restaurant space, perfect for their vision, had become available. The old Rumbo al Sol, with its large bar and 160-seat dining area, was open.

It’s right down the street from both Madway’s and Yamamoto’s homes and will offer patrons plenty of space to bring their families and friends.

“There are so many young families here,” said Yamamoto. “Paulista will be opening in this little strip of businesses that are all really small. It’s challenging for them to accommodate families. … We want to make Paulista a place where our kids can come and have fun too.”


Added Madway: “Paulista … is going to be a gathering place with great food and great beer, an anchor for the community where they can meet for food and drinks at all hours. … Our neighborhood doesn’t currently have that.”

The partners have already involved families in their planning process. They knew they wanted the restaurant to have a Brazilian name, but Portuguese tends to be challenging for Americans to pronounce. So they enrolled a group of kids to test out over a dozen different restaurant name options to see what what easiest to say. The answer was Paulista, which translates to “a person from São Paulo.”

Madway and Yamamoto intend for Paulista to be open all day long, from around 7 a.m. until at 10 p.m., and later on the weekends. It’ll serve its menu in phases, starting with healthier breakfast options like acai bowls and smoothies, and moving towards heartier fare, in both individual and sharable sizes, as the day progresses. Yamamoto will run the kitchen and Madway will be “the beer guy,” he said.

Yamamoto, who ran a similar restaurant called Yes Brazil in Hiroshima, Japan in the 1990s, is drawing on a range of influences for the menu. Its highlights include coxinhas, Brazilian croquettes with chicken and cheese or vegetable filling; feijoada, a rich, soulful stew of sausages, collards, oranges and black beans; moqueca, a Northeastern Brazilian stew made with fish and coconut milk; and esfihas, flatbreads of Arabic origin with a range of flavorful toppings. Much of the menu, especially at dinner, will be structured around shareable small plates.

paulista_coxa“The menu will be Brazilian fusion because the country is such a melting pot,” said Yamamoto. “There’s African and Arabic influence, and there is even Italian influence in some dishes.”

What there won’t be are servers walking around with grilled meat on sticks.

“It’s been a challenge for me to find traditional Brazilian homestyle food here in the states,” said Yamamoto. “Most of what we see here are steak houses, which are delicious, but that’s not what we eat every day.”

For his part, Madway hopes to celebrate the growing cadre of beer makers in the East Bay to populate the restaurant’s 30 taps. “We’ll have a hyper-local craft beer focus,” he said. “We want to take advantage of all the beer being made here and highlight all of the new brewers we have.”

His local tap list will, he said, be a natural extension of the restaurant’s community focus. “We may have some beers not from the immediate area, but the focus will be on the best, the freshest beers we can get.”

Paulista will also serve wine, but will not have a full bar.

Madway and Yamamoto are currently in the process of applying for a new conditional use permit to operate the restaurant all day long. (Its current permit is only for evening hours.) Once the permit has gone through — “We’re feeling good about it,” said Madway — they will begin construction.

Madway said he hopes to be up and running by July 1.



Nosh on This!

By Behind the Scenes One Comment

It’s been a big week for us. As we continued to inch our way through our 17-day posting of our change of hours to our conditional use permit, we posted our 30-day Type-41 Beer and Wine application notice. All the while, we continue to prepare for our initial health department visit, get ready for our build-out, make final decisions on our floor-plan, our signs, our tabletops, our glassware, and it goes on, and on, and on. Oh, and work at our day jobs (yes, we both still have those).

And who knew that you have to notify all neighbors within a 500-foot radius on your liquor license application via U.S. Mail? And no, you can’t hand deliver the notification – we’re talking post office. How do you even figure out who to deliver these to? A combination of walking and the internet, as it turns out, is the answer. In the end, we learned that there are about 200 addresses within 500 feet of us – that’s a lot of stamps! It’s also, obviously, a lot of potential Paulista customers, so ultimately, this is a good thing.

But the best part of our week was getting our first non-social media press via Berkeleyside Nosh. Big thanks to Kate Williams for the really well-written piece! I’ve been a part of quite a few newspaper and internet write-ups over the years, and this is honestly the first time where a reporter has gotten it all 100% right! We will be fans of hers for life.

Thanks for reading!

Mount Paulista

By Beer World 3 Comments

In honor of SF Beer Week, this bit of beer geekery appeared in the Chronicle this past weekend, asking some of their writers what they thought were the 4 most iconic beers ever made in the Bay Area. The “Mount Rushmore” of Bay Area beers.

Paulista’s list looks like this:

Anchor Steam – That’s an easy one. No Anchor Steam, no craft beer, no Paulista.

Lagunitas IPA – For years this was THE IPA in the Bay Area. In fact people would walk into a bar, and just order an “IPA” because they thought that there was only one.

Pliny The Younger – If people camp out overnight in the rain for a beer, it gets to be on Mount Rushmore.

Bombay By Boat IPA – Our top 3 picks are rather obvious, but here’s our underground pick. Moonlight Brewing started making this beer back in 1992! One of the first IPAs made in the U.S. And you can still get it today.

Okay future and fellow Paulista beer nerds, what’s on your Mount Rushmore of Bay Area beers?


Paulista Team