Newest ‘Chopped’ champion to open BBQ pop-up at Shops at Hilltop

Oakland chef and restauranteur Rashad Armstead (Photo credit: Shops at Hilltop)

Oakland chef and restaurateur Rashad Armstead, who last week was crowned the Food Network’s newest Chopped Champion, is set to open a pop-up BBQ shop at the The Shops at Hilltop in Richmond starting Aug. 1, it was announced today.

Chef Rashad, who currently owns popular Grammie’s Down-Home Chicken & Seafood in Oakland, will launch Crave BBQ, a new blues house concept featuring live music and authentic BBQ, on Aug. 1 for a limited time only.

The restaurant will open in a 4,952 square foot space at The Shops at Hilltop, which is undergoing a transformation under new ownership at 2200 Hilltop Mall Road. Crave BBQ will be located in Suite D107.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Chef Rashad and his top-notch, nationally-recognized culinary talent to The Shops at Hilltop,” David S. Goldman, Managing Partner in charge of leasing for LBG Real Estate Companies, said in a statement.  “As we continue our work to transform The Shops at Hilltop, the addition of Crave BBQ not only further expands our growing food and beverage offering, but illustrates our commitment to bring the Greater East Bay marketplace a premiere, multicultural shopping and entertainment destination.”

The Shops at Hilltop’s transformation plans include:

1) a new outlet/value shopping component;

2) an expanded collection of foodie-centric food and beverage concepts focusing on a wide variety of Asian cuisines along with other more traditional offerings and;

3) a variety of new, major entertainment venues and services. 

Currently, the mall is anchored by Macy’s, Walmart and 24 Hour Fitness.

In the longer term, a master plan for the 77-acre property called Hilltop by the Bay aims to add residential, office and hotels.