Artgel Fernando “Jun” Anabo Jr., the co-owner of one of Oakland’s most popular Filipino restaurants, was shot and killed last Wednesday night. He had been standing in front of the restaurant, Lucky Three Seven, with his 11-year-old son Kiah when gunfire erupted. Anabo died at Highland Hospital shortly thereafter. He was 39 years old.
Born and raised in Oakland, Anabo was a sound engineer by trade before getting into the restaurant business. He loved to blast hip-hop and throw big, rollicking block parties in the stretch of East Oakland where the restaurant’s bright-red facade is located, at the corner of Fruitvale and Brookdale avenues. Friends and family members describe him as an incredible father and a neighborhood fixture—the type of person who was always willing to lend a hand, who always put his Oakland community and Filipino community first. You’d rarely ever see him without a big smile on his face.
When I reviewed Lucky Three Seven a few months after it opened in 2013, I wrote that Anabo had “an easy swagger and a street-hawker’s gift of gab.” Over the years, every time I called to ask about some news about the restaurant, Anabo would say at least two or three things that made me laugh out loud. “What are you, a saint?” he blurted one time, when I told him he shouldn’t try to give me free food.
For several months, Anabo was mildly obsessed with the fact that he didn’t know what I looked like, since I’d only eaten at the restaurant as an anonymous critic. “Was that you? Were you just here?” he would text me out of the blue. “Did you just pick up an order of lumpia?”
Mark Legaspi, Anabo’s cousin and fellow Lucky Three Seven co-owner, says that was just the kind of energy that he always had. Anabo was the youngest in their group of cousins who grew up together, inseparable, in Oakland and Alameda. As a kid, he was a “jokester,” Legaspi says. A child of the ’80s, he loved The Karate Kid more than anything—he would dress up in a gi and imitate the karate moves from the movie.