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Marshawn Lynch is saving an Oakland soul food institution by buying it

NFL: Oakland Raiders-OTA Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Scend’s Restaurant and Bar has been a soul food institution in Emeryville, Calif. since 1967, and this could have been its last year — until Marshawn Lynch stepped in. The Raiders’ running back couldn’t sit back and watch one of his favorite restaurants disappear, so he’s taking over.

Cassie Nickelson, owner of Scend’s, is turning 80 years old, and announced that she planned to retire in August. With no clear succession plan in place there was a chance the restaurant would disappear without Nickelson there to oversee the business, but Lynch, who’s been frequenting Scend’s since he was a kid, is making sure its legacy continues.

Turning over a legacy like this is difficult, but Nickelson is okay with Lynch continuing her restaurant. She remembers a young Marshawn coming to Scend’s to get a $1 meal as a child.

"When he was 9-years-old, he came across the street to get a hamburger and French fries. 25-cent French fries and a 75-cent hamburger," Nickelson said.

New ownership always comes with an inherent risk. Will the restaurant change? Will the food stay the same? Marshawn has no plans to change anything about the place he loves. Everything will remain identical, and one of Nickelson’s sons, who is a cook at Scend’s will continue.

Marshawn Lynch coming home has been the best dang story in the NFL this offseason.