Philly’s Best, home of Southern California’s most authentic Philly Cheesesteaks, is excited to announce that it will open its very first Northern California location in Oakland this summer! Located near Oakland International Airport in the Hegenberger Gateway Retail Center by Chipotle, Philly’s Best’s authentic Philly Cheesesteaks, Hoagies, Cheesesteak Fries and other genuine Philly favorites will now be available to Oakland-area locals. 

With 19 locations operating in Southern California, the very first Northern California Philly’s Best is owned by husband and wife team Bruce & Latrina Hopson. As longtime Oakland-area residents who have 50 years of food experience between them, this duo is proud to bring Philly’s Best to Northern California and show residents what “Real Deal Philly” is supposed to taste like. A true family business, their son Ki will help run the front of the house and daughter Jada will manage the back office.

“Born and raised in Oakland, I know everything there is to know about the city and that includes what it’s missing. Bruce and I fell head-over-heels for Philly’s Best cheesesteaks and there is just nothing in Oakland, and all of Northern California for that matter, that comes close to the taste, quality and authenticity,” says Latrina. “We take great pride in having the responsibility, and ultimately the opportunity, to introduce the award-winning Philly’s Best brand to Northern California, and we are eager for guests to experience Philly’s Best for themselves.”

Not interested in the overly saturated burger, pizza and chicken segments, the Hopson’s search for a new franchise venture led them to Philly’s Best. The brand checked off all their boxes, from providing a superior product to a proven model for success and a highly supportive franchisor. It was clear right away that the founders of Philly’s Best, Bob and Andrea Levey, were all in when it came to the success of their franchise partners.

The Philly’s Best story began when Philadelphia native Bob Levey was stationed in San Diego, California while serving in the Navy. Far from home and finding no place to satisfy his cheesesteak cravings, the dream of bringing his favorite Philly food to Southern California was born. Along with his Philadelphian wife, Andrea, the couple opened their first Philly’s Best Cheesesteak and Hoagie Shop in Fountain Valley in 1992. Since then, the brand has expanded throughout Southern California and has long been hailed by Philadelphia transplants as the most authentic Philly Cheesesteak in the southland.

“We feel very fortunate to have experienced so much success in Southern California; it’s been a goal of ours for quite some time to bring Philly’s Best to Northern California and we’re proud to partner with the Hopsons to make this dream a reality,” adds Bob Levey. “Philly natives in Southern California choose Philly’s Best when they’re craving a taste of home, and we’re confident Philly transplants in Oakland will find that same comfort in a Philly’s Best cheesesteak.”

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