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

Bites is Nosh’s round-up of restaurant and bar news in the East Bay. Got a tip or a scoop? Send it our way at nosh@berkeleyside.com. Bites is produced by Nosh in collaboration with Christina Mitchell, founder of East Bay Dish. (And we’ve started numbering Bites so you can check out previous editions of Bites and be sure you are up with all the food news.)

Freshly served…

Pho Huong Nam. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Pho Huong Nam. Photo: Emilie Raguso

PHO HUONG NAM A new Vietnamese restaurant is set to open today, Feb. 15, on San Pablo Avenue in Albany. Pho Huong Nam takes the place of a former Japanese restaurant. The inside is completely remodeled, and appears light and spacious. Let us know if you give it a try. 938 San Pablo Ave., Albany; 510-526-3878.

BLACK BEAR DINER The East Bay Express reported about a new Black Bear Diner in Emeryville. The Mt. Shasta-based chain has 55 locations, including this new one. The menu looks like traditional diner fare with plenty of options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hours: Sunday – Thursday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday – Saturday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. 5750 Christie Ave., Emeryville; 510-654-2327.

LA CASCADA La Cascada Taqueria on Center Street in downtown closed its doors Jan. 18 after 18 years in business. The Mexican food purveyors are planning on expanding their retail line — which sells in grocery stores such as Berkeley Bowl — as well as their catering division. La Cascada shuttered its College Avenue restaurant in 2011.

Coming soon…

Hutch bar & kitchen logoHUTCH BAR & KITCHEN Diablo has an update on Hutch Bar & Kitchen, which will be replacing 2022 on Telegraph Ave. in Oakland. Chef-owner David King is originally from Memphis and has experience at several San Francisco restaurants: Southpaw BBQ, Delfina, 25 Lusk, as well as eateries in Bangkok and Copenhagen. His new restaurant will feature a raw bar (think fresh oysters, cured fish and crudo) and southern dishes made with local, seasonal ingredients. A section of the menu will feature grits with various toppings (shrimp, pork, country ham). The full bar will focus on classic cocktails made with Tennessee whiskey. He plans to open in early March. 2022 Telegraph Ave., Oakland.

Troy Greek Cuisine on College: set to open on Solano

TROY GREEK CUISINE Troy Greek Cuisine is set to make its debut on Solano Ave. this summer in the space formerly occupied by Italian delicatessen A.G. Ferrari. Troy, which serves traditional Greek dishes such as mezza platters, tzatziki and gyros, already has one Berkeley restaurant — at 2985 College Avenue in the Elmwood, and has a second in Alameda. A.G. Ferrari closed its Solano Avenue store in April 2011 in a streamlining effort after the parent company went bankrupt.

THE HOG’S APOTHECARY The Hog’s Apothecary will bring sausage and beer to Temescal, according to East Bay Express. House made sausage, mustard, sauerkrauts, Bavarian-style pretzels, as well as various appetizers, salads, Co-owners John Streit and Bradford Earle. Streit (Rotten City Pizza, Pizzaiolo, Pizzeria Delfina) will be chef. Earle (bar manager at Park Avenue Bar and Grill) 36 beers on tap, including custom brews. Planning to open in late April or early May. 375 40th St., Oakland.

Northbrae Bottle Shop

Art Kinsey and Ryan Murff

NORTHBRAE BOTTLE SHOP As tipped by Berkeleyside on Jan. 15, the former Monterey Liquors on Hopkins St. has been taken over by Art Kinsey of next-door Gioia Pizzeria, and Ryan Murff of Café Rouge, and they are working on re-opening the shop as an artisanal liquor and drinks store, selling wines, craft beers, bitters and spirits. Kinsey says they now have a name for the new venture: Northbrae Bottle Shop. 1590 Hopkins Street, Berkeley 94707, 510-525-5323.

What else is going on…

Photo: Emilie Raguso

Photo: Emilie Raguso

SCREAM SORBET Ever wonder how Scream Sorbet gets its sorbet so smooth and flavorful? You’ll be able to watch the unique process in person, ask questions and taste 10 freshly whipped sorbets at a special public demonstration. RSVP to mena@screamsorbet.com. 5030 Telegraph Ave, Oakland. Sunday, Feb. 17, noon to 1:30 p.m. Cost: $25

BEER CELEBRATION If you’re looking for an affordable way to celebrate making it through SF Beer Week, this may be the spot for you. The Celebrator Anniversary Official After Party will be at Rosamunde Sausage Grill and there will be plenty of beer, plus writers and luminaries too. 911 Washington St., Oakland; 510-338-3108. Sunday, Feb. 17, 7-10 p.m. Admission is free.

celebrator 25th anniversary 2BEER ANNIVERSARY Coinciding with the last day of SF Beer WeekCelebrator Beer News is celebrating its 25th anniversary at the Oakland Convention Center, with Celebrator writers, “beer industry luminaries, pioneer figures in the craft beer movement” and over 50 breweries. 1101 Broadway, Oakland; 530-470-0191. Sunday, Feb. 17, 4:30-8 p.m. Cost: $55 in advance, $75 cash at the door

ALBANY TAPROOM Albany’s newest entry to the East Bay beer scene, the Albany Taproom, at 745 San Pablo Ave. next door to, and part of, Grazzy Burgers, had been planning to open in time for SF Beer Week. However, final inspection approval did not happen until recently. When they open in early March, they will have over 20 rotating taps of craft brew, along with a huge selection of bottled beers in their ‘To Go’ section.

homeroom mac & cheese cookbookHOMEROOM Allison Arevalo and Erin Wade opened Homeroom two years ago and since then, they’ve served thousands of orders of mac & cheese, and have a new cookbook that will be released in August. This week, a special anniversary mac will be served: Gorgonzola cheese, caramelized pears, sautéed onions, topped with walnuts. Brunch will also include customizable omelettes and garlicky roasted potatoes. In a couple months, they’ll celebrate with an All-Star Anniversary party, which will bring back 6 different macs from previous menus. You can vote for your favorites to decide which ones should be back on the menu. Of course, there will also be music, a raffle, and the bar will be open for business. 400 40th St., Oakland. Monday, April 22, 6-9 p.m. Cost: $25

Quick hits and tidbits…

Bites is Nosh’s round-up of restaurant openings, happenings and closings in the East Bay. Got a tip or scoop? Send it our way to nosh@berkeleyside.comFollow Berkeleyside NOSH on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Some of these items may first have appeared in Shop Talk, Berkeleyside’s regular column in which we post updates on Berkeley businesses. If you’re a Berkeley business with news, or a Berkeleysider who has spotted a change in your neighborhood or on your travels, email us with the details. Read previous Shop Talk columns here.

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  • Ginny D.

    What’s the address for Albany Taproom, can’t wait to check it out!

  • bingo

    I don’t know if the black bear diner is any good, but the bear they have dancing on Powell street all the time is kind of amusing. great personality inside that suit.

  • Victoria

    Black Bear has become our beacon when driving up to Seattle from the East Bay. Good, basic, real food. Real turkey, pot roast, salads, etc. Huge portions, though. Very good pie. Denny’s it isn’t.

  • Berkeleyfarm

    I haven’t eaten there myself but a foodie friend of mine (who does a lot of traveling for her work) really enjoys it. Good food, huge portions. I hope it does well – there is always room IMO for places that do this sort of thing well (think Fatapple’s).

  • http://berkeleyside.com Tracey Taylor

    It would be at 745 San Pablo Avenue. (Sorry we omitted that detail!) Here’s some background: http://albany.patch.com/articles/councilwoman-appeals-san-pablo-avenue-beer-pub-application

  • Emily

    Just tried Pho Huong Nam for lunch–it was terrific! The interior is really pleasant, and the food delicious. We had an order of pho ga (excellent) and a *wonderfully* spiced broth in the regular beef pho. Other diners had delicious-looking rice bowls, and the photograph of the bahn mi on the menu looked good as well. It’s cash only, has a small selection of beer and wine, and we will definitely be return visitors.

  • emraguso

    Oh cool — can’t wait to try this! Maybe tonight…

  • B2B

    We went for pho today too! The place was quite busy, the pho was very good and the cha gio were really really good! Service is a bit bumpy and there was a mix up on our order, but I’m sure they’ll be working out the kinks for awhile. Emily, I saw someone else’s banh mi — big, stuffed and looked delicious! Definitely going back!

  • B2B

    BBD has terrific home fries and home made biscuits and gravy. Seriously heart-stopping food and served in enormous portions. Used to go to the one in Willows when we were doing motorcycle racing. A BBD breakfast always hit the spot. Glad they’re here!

  • emraguso

    Just found them on Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/AlbanyTaproom