After making history as the first Black mayor of Sacramento, CA, former NBA player Kevin Johnson is still on a mission to empower his community. This time, however, he’s using delicious soul food to do so.

According to Basketball Insiders, Johnson is expanding his Fixins Soul Kitchen, which was established in 2019 in the same city where he served as a leader for eight years.

With its next new location set to open in Denver, CO, in early 2024, additional Fixins imprints are expected to appear within the year in Detroit, MI, and Oakland, CA, as well as a second location in Los Angeles, CA.

Where It All Started

The restaurant Johnson launched alongside his wife, Michelle Rhee, opened its first Los Angeles location in the L.A. Live entertainment complex located in the South Park district in 2021. 

Johnson’s goal is to revive smaller, historically Black neighborhoods, according to Erik Rhee, Fixins’ national director of real estate and development. Rhee shared he has already done so with restaurants that are operating in Tulsa, OK, and Sacramento.

“[Kevin Johnson is] all about promoting Black-owned businesses,” Rhee said, recalling the impact the business owner has made in the Oak Park neighborhood where he grew up in Sacramento.

The Oakland edifice, which is set to open in March 2024, is a prime example of Johnson’s passion for elevating Black communities that are the heartbeat of the culture.

Serving The Local Community

“Fixins Oakland will be located in the Lake Merritt neighborhood, which has become a symbol of resilience combating the erasure of historically Black spaces in the years since the Black Panther Party was founded in Oakland in the late 1960s,” read an announcement from Johnson’s team.

“Oakland’s rich music history will be reflected in the restaurant’s interior wall art, paying homage to the city’s impact on jazz, blues, funk, and hip-hop,” the statement continued.

Beyond that, the restaurant focuses on uplifting the local economy by employing from within.

“We are committed to the Oak Park community and anticipate the creation of 50-70 new permanent jobs with a focus on local hires,” reads the official company website.

Additionally, Fixins works alongside another organization to help underserved youth with an interest in the restaurant field to land positions where they can learn, grow, and ultimately advance their professional careers.

“Fixins partners with Edible Sac High to encourage disadvantaged youth to become interested in the restaurant industry and are committed to being a second chance employer to assist with re-entry into the workforce for underemployed populations,” the site continues.

What's On The Menu?

Popular menu items include traditional soul food entrees such as fried chicken and waffles, oxtails, as well as shrimp and grits. 

Playing on the name, the “fixins” available for customers to enjoy feature collard greens, fried green tomatoes, peach cobbler, and more.

The restaurant also has vegan options for restaurant-goers to choose from.