Bites: What’s new, what’s hot, what’s happening, II

Bites is Berkeleyside Nosh’s round-up of restaurant, bar and food-related news in the East Bay. To stay up-to-speed with all that’s going on locally, read our daily Nosh Wire, and check out previous editions of Bites. We always love receiving food-related tips at nosh@berkeleyside.com.

Freshly served…

Photo: Victory Burger

VICTORY BURGER Last week, we gave notice that Victory Burger, a new venture in north Oakland from the folks behind Actual Café, was about to open. Well, the first official day of business was Friday. In addition to the burgers, hand-cut fries and shakes on the menu, there’s also roasted chicken banh mi and both pork and gluten-free veggie arepas (a cornmeal South American street food). There are also several interesting “add-ons” for both the burgers and fries that sound pretty delicious: Avocado Mayo, Chicken Skin Mayo (wait, what?), and Bacon Gravy. Victory Burger, 1099 Alcatraz Ave., Oakland.

INNA JAM INNA Jam, the artisanal preserve company started by former freelance commercial video editor Dafna Kory in Berkeley, moved into a new commercial kitchen in Emeryville at the beginning of the summer, and has been busy processing a big crop of berries and stone fruit since then. Kory also recently opened an INNA Jam store — really just a shelf in the corner of the kitchen. It’s stacked with jars of every jam they make, many of which are not available in retail stores or online. Regular hours are Tuesdays and Wednesdys from 2–5 p.m. (and by appointment). INNA Jam, 1307 61st St., Emeryville, 510-214-6620.

RONCA’S KITCHEN Another weekly pop-up has popped up: mother-daughter duo Ingrid and Julia Ibarra are turning Oakland’s Beauty’s Bagel Shop into Ronca’s Kitchen every Monday, the East Bay Express reports. There they serve Mary’s organic fried chicken sandwiches, waffles and corn bread. Ronca’s Kitchen, 3838 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, Mondays, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 5-9 p.m.

SCREAM SORBET Scream Sorbet in Temescal has started a Winter Café serving breakfasts in the shop (seeing as sorbet is not your typical go-to food in the colder months). There’s Highwire Coffee Roasters drip coffee, tea, house made Manhattan-style bagels, scones, biscotti and other goodies in the mornings, reports the East Bay Express. They are also making preserves and nut butters (macadamia-nut butter, cashew butter, walnut butter, etc.) that sound a lot like their nut sorbets. Scream Sorbet, 5030 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, Wednesdays through Sundays, 8-11:30 a.m.

IVY ROOM Albany’s neighborhood bar Ivy Room has re-opened under new ownership. Serving handcrafted cocktails created by master mixologist Ronaldo Colli, the Ivy Room is sporting a new look, designed with reclaimed materials and vintage fixtures. Ivy Room, Happy Hour: daily, noon to 7 p.m., 860 San Pablo Ave. at Solano Avenue, 510-526-5888.

Coming soon…

SWEET BAR BAKERY Chef-owner Mani Niall has been busy renovating the former MacFarlanes Candy and Ice Cream space on Broadway in order to open Sweet Bar Bakery in Uptown Oakland. Is it fate that Niall, who was Michael Jackson’s personal chef in the 1980s, is planning to open his new place on Friday Nov. 30, the 30th anniversary of the release of the best-selling album of all time (Thriller)? Baked goods will be both savory and sweet, and there will be sandwiches and salads for lunch. Sweet Bar Bakery, 2355 Broadway, Oakland, 510-788-4997, Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

SLIVER PIZZERIA Sports bar and restaurant Sportivo at 2132 Center St. in downtown Berkeley will not be renewing its lease and plans to close on Dec. 15. Sliver Pizzeria is moving into the space and expects open in January 2013. Sliver says it plans to “use the freshest and finest quality ingredients on our pizza as a means to promoting human health and empowering the fight against human trafficking around the world.” Sounds interesting to say the least. Sliver Pizzeria, 2132 Center St., Berkeley.

RAMEN SHOP As we heard via Inside Scoop, former Chez Panisse maître d’ Sam White and two co-workers are to open Ramen Shop in Oakland’s Rockridge. Diablo has new information about the menu. In addition to ramen, there will be salads, fish, appetizers made with local produce, organic protein, and house made noodles. Alameda’s St. George Spirits is working with them to set up a “killer” cocktail program and they are scheduled to open sometime next month. Ramen Shop, 5812 College Ave., Oakland.

SEA SALT Haig and Cindy Krikorian’s K2 Restaurant Group have sold Sea Salt, the Berkeley seafood restaurant on San Pablo Avenue, on the heels of their September divestment of T-Rex Barbeque. (K2 also owns Lalime and Fonda.) Sea Salt’s new owner is Sung Su Han, according to Inside Scoop which reported that the pair want to downsize. Sea Salt will keep its name and menu through December, when it will close for about a week, and then reopen as Eat. Chef Quyen Vu will stay on board, but will change to a small-plates format, according to Diablo. The adjacent dining room will be transformed into a lounge in the next 6-8 months, after which is will become Eat + Lounge.  The Krikorians will stay involved as outside consultants. Sea Salt, 2512 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, 510-883-1720.

THE FORGE The Forge, a wood-fired pizza spot from Michael Karp and Bob Burke’s Le Bon Temps restaurant group is set to open in January on Franklin Street in Oakland. It will be serving Neapolitan-style thin-crust pizza along with soups, salads, sandwiches, and burgers, reports Diablo. Forge, 66 Franklin St., Oakland.

THE HOG’S APOTHECARY Grub Street SF reports that Bradford Earle (manager of Park Avenue Bar and Grill) and John Streit (chef at Rotten City Pizza) are opening The Hog’s Apothecary in Oakland.  According to our research, it will be an American-style beer hall with 32 craft beers and four local wines on tap. The menu will also include house made sausages, salads and other small plates. The Hog’s Apothecary, 375 40th St., Oakland.

ROSAMUNDE SAUSAGE GRILL Speaking of sausage, East Bay Express has word about San Francisco-based Rosamunde Sausage Grill’s upcoming downtown Oakland location. The Swan’s Market outpost will serve Taylor’s sausages (also a Swan’s tenant) and 18 craft beers on tap. They expect to open next month. Rosamunde Sausage Grill, 911 Washington St., Oakland.

TIMELESS COFFEE ROASTERY AND BAKERY Robert Leimpeter, a former roaster at Sightglass Coffee, plans to open Timeless Coffee Roasters and Bakery on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland, according to Tablehopper. In addition to roasting coffee, the operation will produce baked goods and chocolate. Leimpeter has worked at Bittersweet and Cafe Gratitude. Expected arrival is early December. Timeless Coffee Roasters and Bakery, 4252 Piedmont Ave., Oakland.

HOMESTEAD Staying on Piedmont Avenue, Grub Street reports that chef Fred Sassen of San Francisco’s Waterfront and his wife Elizabeth will open Homestead in the space currently occupied by Zatis. Homestead, 4029 Piedmont Ave., Oakland.

HANDLEBAR You’ll have seen Roland Robles’s Fiveten Burger Truck at Off The Grid and other street food gatherings for the past few years. Now, according to Grub Street SF, Robles plans to open — with partner Jennifer Seideman — a brick and mortar spot. Handlebar will be in the former Templebar Tiki Bar & Grill space on University Avenue in Berkeley. Spring is the expected opening time. Handlebar, 984 University Ave., Berkeley.

DIVING DOG BREWHOUSE Diablo has details about the upcoming Diving Dog Brewhouse which is set to open on Oakland’s Telegraph Avenue and operate on a DIY format. Customers will choose a style and then use a recipe to create their own beer. After fermenting for about two weeks, a personally designed label can be added to complete the package. There’s no kitchen, so just bar snacks will be offered. Owner Rob Bailard plans to open sometime in February. Diving Dog Brehouse, 1802 Telegraph Ave., Oakland.

LOST AND FOUND BEER GARDEN Also on Telegraph, East Bay Express has news about one of many new bars coming to Oakland. Lost and Found Beer Garden is scheduled to open sometimes next spring. The owners of music and bar art lounge The Layover plan to open the family-friendly space with 20 beers on tap and small menu. They also hope to create jobs for recently released felons. Lost and Found Beer Garden, 2040 Telegraph Ave., Oakland.

What else is going on…

MEATBALL POP UP Kyle Itani opened upscale diner Hopscotch in Uptown Oakland this summer, and he also helped establish The Meatball Shop in New York. Now The Meatball Shop is coming to Hopscotch with Chef Daniel Holzman flying in for a one-night-only pop-up. Hopscotch, Dec. 3, 5 p.m. to midnight, 1915 San Pablo Ave., Oakland.

ST. GEORGE’S SPIRITS Tablehopper reports that Alameda’s St. George’s Spirits will celebrate its 30th anniversary Friday with “30 Years Under the Influence: St. George’s Tale of Liquid Courage.” There’s a distillery tour, a panel discussion, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The event is being hosted by the Commonwealth Club. St. George’s Spirits, 2601 Monarch St., Alameda, 7:30 p.m.

Christina Mitchell is the founder of East Bay Dish.

Bites is Nosh’s round-up of restaurant and bar openings and closings in the East Bay. Got a tip or scoop? Send it our way to nosh@berkeleyside.com

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  • Berkeleyfarm

    Oh wow, Roland and his burgers are moving into the old Templebar! That’s one thing the neighborhood has missed (a GOOD burger joint) and that will fill the bill nicely!
    (and yeah, “whaaaaa?” was about what I said at seeing “chicken skin mayo” on the Victory Burger menu.)

  • http://twitter.com/janesuperstar janesuperstar

    Sam White is not a chef. I believe he worked the front-of-house at the almighty CP.

  • http://berkeleyside.com Tracey Taylor

    You’re right. We just checked and he was the maitre d’. We’ll make the correction. Thanks for that!

  • Moriah

    So much delicious and exciting news! Thanks for sharing, NOSH!

  • Berkeleyfarm

    The latest VB Facebook update said they had an awning in place for the outdoor seating.

  • irisandjules

    I looked at the Victory Burger Menu again and see that they have some vegan/vegetarian options and areas – I love those. I had them in Colombia – what a treat. Well, perhaps we have to check out the place this weekend.

  • Mike Duigou

    Seeing the K2 empire shrink has been very distressing. Hopefully Haig and Cindy can land on firm footing.