New beer garden, burger spot for South Berkeley

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The new craft beer garden and burger restaurant will open in the Casa Vino space on the corner of Sacramento and 66th streets

Moxy Beer Garden, a new craft beer garden and burger restaurant is set to open as early as next month in south Berkeley, at Sacramento and 66th streets, in the old Casa Vino space.

Long-time Berkeley residents and restaurateurs, Mike and Amy Voisenat, who run The Hobnob restaurant on Park Street in Alameda, say they are excited to be bringing  their new venture into the area, not least because they live just four blocks away. Also, they describe the Lorin district as a community “poised to blossom like Temescal.”

Moxy plans to have 14 craft beers on tap and a choice of bottled beers, as well as wine by the glass. The menu will include grass-fed beef and Moroccan lamb burgers, Greek veggie burger, blackened turkey burger, vegan “Buffalo Wings” with cauliflower and vegan “buttermilk” dressing, housemade fries and salads. There will also be gluten-free bun options.

Burger

A Moxy veggie burger: housemade bun, kalamata olives, tzatziki sauce

The Voisenats met when they were both working at Curve Bar in San Francisco. Amy was the Executive Chef there in 2001-02, the year San Francisco Magazine named the restaurant Best American Bistro.

They plan to continue running The Hobnob, which they own, as well as the new place in Berkeley.

“For years we have driven by the location and thought how great a beer garden would be on the patio,” Amy told Berkeleyside Nosh.

They move into the space on April 1 to begin renovating.

“We decided to do a beer garden because we thought it was the perfect idea to showcase and enjoy the large deck out front — and what better to accompany beer than a nice artisan burger?” Amy said.

Moxy will be five blocks west of the intersection of MLK and Adeline and Ashby BART, an area which is seeing a lot of new food-related arrivals on the back of some long-established favorites such as Sweet Adeline bakery.

New haunts include the cooperative-run Alchemy Café. Coming down the pike is Easy Creole, which started as a pop-up in San Francisco, and is set to open a brick-and-mortar joint in the old Ming’s Chinese Kitchen at 1761 Alcatraz (at Ellis). A bar with attached micro-brewery is going through the application process for 1763 Alcatraz Ave. And controversial San Francisco Housing Authority Director Henry August Alvarez III and his wife are planning to open Next Door Restaurant in the old Addie’s Pizza Pie space at Adeline and Ashby.

The fact that Berkeley’s original, 25-year-old farmers market moved to the Lorin last summer, transposed from Derby Street, completes the picture of a neighborhood enjoying a culinary renaissance — and explains why recently erected “The Lorin” street banners included images of food.

The plan is for Moxy Beer Garden to be serving lunch and dinner, Tuesday to Sunday, at 3136 Sacramento St. Follow the restaurant’s Facebook page for updates.

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  • EarlyMorningCoffee

    I live right around the corner from casa vino, and I never went in. I looked at the menu once and it seemed that they were trying to be everything for everyone. It felt disorganized and a little unfocused. you’d think it would be a destination that would be bustling, based on the huge/free parking lot, but it looked like a junkyard for rusty VW bugs. I welcome the change!

  • Bryan Garcia

    I know some will roll their eyes, but I for one am happy to see them offer some vegan options.

  • EarlyMorningCoffee

    I agree with you! A beer garden should be inclusive. That’s what make beer gardens so good. (F.T.R., I am not a vegan).

  • westie

    I live in the general area. I’ve been longing for a nice pub. I tend to stay away from Shattuck and Solano, but I like the San Pablo/Dwight intersection and have been hopeful that other pockets south of University/west of MLK would start popping up. Casa Vino never looked good to me, but this place sounds very promising.

  • Lori Erokan

    Berkeley, you are so lucky to have Amy and Mike open a restaurant there! Just ask Alameda.

  • The_Sharkey

    f this is even remotely like Beer Revolution – and it sounds like it will be – this place is going to be a hit.

    Should be a great addition to the neighborhood!

  • irisandjules

    I was wondering what Casa Vino was…I am excited about the new venture – especially since it is inclusive offering vegan and gluten-free options. We will definitely try it out.

  • irisandjules

    Also, I am excited about the new Pan-Asian Restaurant “Claypot”(I believe) that will open at the corner of San Pablo and Dwight.

  • Chris

    Casa Vino definitely needed work on the physical property, but the 3 times I ate there the food was excellent.

    I always wondered why they never took advantage of the patio area. It could be really amazing. I hope Moxy steps it up a notch!

  • Chris J

    Huh. I’ve biked past or driven past that ‘Casa Vino’ place innumerable times but the place always kinda freaked me out, not sure why. Well, now that it will be opening as a ‘another burger place’ (sigh) we may or may not give them a try. Who knows? And Victory Burger and all their pricey extras is just down the street, relatively close, eh?

  • serkes

    Moroccan lamb burgers AND craft beer?

    I’m sooo in!

    Ira

  • Araminta

    In addition to creating a place for craft beer and, I imagine, locally sourced foods, I hope the owners will incorporate true locals — African Americans — among the employees. If they need assistance, perhaps they can turn to successful restos like Miss Ollie’s for advice to recruit staff.

  • dsd510

    Casa Vino actually had really delicious food every time I ate there, but I’m excited to try Moxy! I’ll definitely be going there for some vegan buffalo wings soon after they open.

  • Chris

    Beer Revolution – in JLS – is opening a vegan restaurant right next door – in addition to Souley Vegan. Not in Berkeley, but a good option for those who hunger for beer and vegan food.

  • southberkeleyres

    It sounds like the owners are locals. I’ve lived here more than 15 years and agree it will be great to see African Americans among the employees and customers. Am I not a “true local” if I’m not African American? Does one have to be both African American and born here to be a true local in your eyes? I simply hope the restaurant and owners will be inclusive and welcoming everyone, local, visitor, young and old, gay,straight, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist etc. The Bay area is my home because I love the diversity and accepting attitudes, among the beautiful scenery and wonderful weather.

  • bgal4

    south Berkeley is roughly 52% black. Are you suggesting race-based recruitment ?
    Shouldn’t employees be selected through the typical methods, like showing up and asking for an application.

  • foo

    I love the idea and will definitely spend some time and money there. I just wish they could build a new building for it without the auto-oriented setback. Such an ugly, strip-mall layout going on there. Well, I can dream. http://goo.gl/maps/FY3dA

  • southberkeleyres

    I bet the owners are clever enough to use some planters with small trees and creative landscaping to make it lovely!

  • Mari

    Yay!! I live around the corner and the neighbors and I are so excited!

  • Justin Olsson

    Too bad that Casa Vino is gone — I really liked those guys — kind of surprised they didn’t tell folks it was happening. Never really was busy once in the three years I went off-on, though, so I guess no surprise. Looking forward to trying Moxy!

  • Truth Sayer

    Regarding the selection method. Please go first with personal hygiene and adherence to food safer standards. Also, it pants are well below the belly button, no!

  • superb0nb0n

    You ever work over a grill. Work in a kitchen? There’s a reason why cooks dont wear chef pants like urkel.