April 2021 pic from Keba Konte, owner of Red Bay Coffee 4

The Central National Bank building is at 3136 International Boulevard (formerly East 14th Street) on the northeast corner of International and Fruitvale Avenue. The building was constructed in the 1922-23 as the Fruitvale branch of the Central National Bank. The branch became part of United California Bank, and it is not clear when this building was last used as a bank. In the early 2010s, the building was home to a Money Mart check-cashing business and Fruitvale Mart which sold various items. On the morning of December 11th, 2014, the building was badly damaged in a fire and subsequently "red tagged," meaning it was not safe for occupancy. 1

The building has since been restored, and as of April 8, 2021, is the new home of Red Bay Coffee. 4, 5

Central National Bank building, shortly after the December 11, 2014 fire (Courtesy @woolie)

Bank History

Western Banker, October 1922
(fair use; by way of Google Books)
Central National Bank is an outgrowth of a bank first known as Home Savings Bank and later as Central Bank, originally organized in 1892. On August 12, 1909, the commercial business of the Central Bank was turned over to a new institution known as the Central National Bank of Oakland, while Central Bank kept the savings business. In April, 1911, Central Bank's title was changed to the Central Savings Bank of Oakland.2 Both banks' headquarters were at 14th and Broadway in the Central Building.  The Central National Bank failed on April 24, 19333

The October 1922 edition of Western Banker included an announcement that Central National Bank had purchased a site at the corner of "Fruitvale avenue and East Fourteenth street, the center of one of the most rapidly developing sections of the city," where the Bank intended to construct a branch.

The branch opened on Saturday, December 29, 1923, and the opening was announced in the Oakland Tribune with a picture of the new building and its manager, along with an article about the new branch office.

Oakland Tribune, Saturday eve, December 29, 1923 (fair use)Oakland Tribune, Saturday eve, December 29, 1923 (fair use)

Links and References

  1. Oakland: Fruitvale district building could be condemned after two-alarm fire Oakland Tribune December 11, 2014
  2. Central National Bank of Oakland Past and Present of Alameda County
  3. Bank Suspensions 1892 - 1935, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  4. Red Bay Coffee opens a big Oakland cafe and events space in a 1920s bank Monday San Francisco Chronicle April 8, 2021

  5. Red Bay Coffee announcement on Facebook April 8, 2021

March, 2017 CC SA-BY Our Oakland