25-Year-Old Zza’s on Lake Merritt to Become Bar Lago

Sorella di Zza's
Sorella di Zza’s Photo: Zza’s/Facebook

Significant news over in Oakland as we discover this morning that Grand Lake staple Zza’s, which added a wine bar in 2007 and became Sorella di Zza’s and Zza’s Enoteca (550-552 Grand Avenue), is not long for this world. Owners Regina Passalaqua and Lewis Canyon took over the business, which began as the family-friendly Zza’s in 1988, in 2005, and soon added the next door, adults-only wine bar space, billing it as Oakland’s first wine bar. Today we find that another local restaurateur, Philip Raskin of Filippo’s, is taking over the space for something called Bar Lago Italian Kitchen. And in addition to an Italian menu, there will be a full bar.

Filippo’s has two locations, in Oakland’s Rockridge neighborhood (5400 College Avenue) and nearby Elmwood in Berkeley (2930 College Avenue), with the Berkeley location serving thin-crust pizzas. And one can expect that Bar Lago will be a family-friendly place as well, keeping up that tradition, since Filippo’s has a kids’ menu and they run a promotion in which kids eat for free every Tuesday.

We should note another expansion of a well known brand, The Star from one of the partners behind Little Star, is still on its way to 3425 Grand Avenue.

Please note that Sorella di Zza’s and the wine bar remain open, and this liquor license transfer is likely to take a while. We’ve reached out to Passalaqua and Raskin about a possible timeline, and for further details on Bar Lago. Stay tuned.

Related: Little Star Expanding to Grand Avenue in Oakland [Updated]

25-Year-Old Zza’s on Lake Merritt to Become Bar Lago