'This is it folks': Oakland's Rooz Cafe shutting down after 22 years due to crime

The owner of Rooz Cafe said after 22 years in business, it's time to close because of crime in Oakland.

Saturday was the last day to catch a cup of coffee or conversation at the well-known gathering spot on Park Boulevard near Lake Merritt.

"This is it folks, the time has come to call it quits at Rooz cafe," said Steve Ranjbin. "It’s been rough doing business in Oakland with all the nonsense and no accountability from city officials."

KTVU spoke with Ranjbin before opening for his last day.

"We just feel so alone here," he said. "We can't run a business by ourselves. We need the support of our city officials, city council, mayor, to take care of issues when we bring them up."

The announcement of the closure is a bummer for the cafe's regulars. Warren Wilson moved to the Bay Area 20 years ago and has been a customer since.

In a statement, Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas said "We will all miss the Rooz Cafe very much. For over two decades, it has been our friendly neighborhood cafe and gathering spot, and the owner Steve has been a pillar in our community. The City and I are committed to supporting our local small businesses to recover and thrive from how the pandemic has dramatically changed our economy and communities. We need each other more than ever."

"This is our little get-together crew," said Wilson. "We're missing a few people, but this is where we sit, gather and talk."

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"It's been a very neighborhood-oriented spot," said Elizabeth Hillberry, who has been a regular for the last 10 years. 

"You know everyone's name and if you don't know it, you learn it pretty quickly," she said.

Ranjbin says he will take several months off from work. He's also considering selling his home in Oakland and leaving the city for good.

"Getting older, I don't enjoy anything in this city anymore," he said 

"Be safe, be good to each other and always support your local small businesses, they need you," said Ranjbin.