Maker’s Common, Salsipuedes, Giovanni, more

The future home of Maker's Common, a cheese and charcuterie restaurant and retail shop, at 1958 University Ave. Photo: Kate Williams
The future home of Maker’s Common, a cheese and charcuterie restaurant and retail shop, at 1958 University Ave. Photo: Kate Williams

Openings, closings…

MISSION CHEESE OPENING MAKER’S COMMON ON UNIVERSITY Popular Valencia Street cheese and charcuterie bar Mission Cheese made plans to open a second, larger restaurant and retail location in San Francisco about a year ago. But after struggling to find affordable space in San Francisco, founders Sarah Dvorak, Oliver Dameron and Eric Miller decided to search elsewhere. They’ve now signed a lease at 1958 University Ave. in downtown Berkeley. The new restaurant will be called Maker’s Common, and it will offer a small, curated retail market in addition to a sit-down restaurant. “We are incredibly excited to dig into our new East Bay surroundings, meet our neighbors, and get this train rolling,” wrote Miller on the company’s blog. The restaurant’s name is a reference to its emphasis on supporting makers — cheesemakers, winemakers, beer makers, etc. “When I think about food and what gets me excited about food, is thinking about the people and the process that has gone into bringing that food to my table,” said Dvorak in the company’s fundraising video. Funding for Maker’s Common is being secured through a $600,000 Direct Public Offering; so far Maker’s Common has raised close to half of its goal. Maker’s Common will be at 1958 University Ave. (at Bonita Avenue), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Roasted corn, nixtamal nieves, trout roe at Salsipuedes. Photo: Kate Williams
Roasted corn, nixtamal nieves, trout roe at Salsipuedes. Photo: Kate Williams

SALSIPUEDES ABRUPTLY CLOSED APRIL 30 North Oakland is now out another restaurant. On the same day that Genova Deli served its last sandwich, Jay Porter’s Salsipuedes served its last dinner. The eight-month-old restaurant made a name for itself by serving a unique menu of Baja-inspired surf-and-turf paired with natural wines, but it apparently didn’t resonate with the neighborhood. Porter said he and his partners chef Marcus Krauss and ice cream maker Luis Abundis were “really proud of the quality of the food at the restaurant” and that he hopes the closure of Salsipuedes will make room for a restaurant that “captures the imagination of the community.” The future of the Salsipuedes space has not been decided, so Porter is making it available for one-off events and pop-ups. As for the restaurant team, Porter will be focusing on The Half Orange, his restaurant in Fruitvale, Abundis will continue to make ice cream at Nieves Cinco de Mayo, and Krauss will be relocating to San Diego. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more about the future of the restaurant space.

Giovanni's after fire, April 24, 2015 . Photo: Tracey Taylor
Giovanni restaurant after the fire in April 2015 . Photo: Tracey Taylor

GIOVANNI WILL LIVE AGAIN In happier news, we hear that longtime Shattuck Avenue Italian restaurant Giovanni will reopen this fall. The Daily Cal broke the news, saying that local developer Nathan George and entrepreneur Xin Jin have partnered to revitalize the restaurant, which closed last spring after a fire. Apparently, Anastasia Schipani, the daughter of the previous owner, had approached George about the sale way back in 2014. George had planned to finalize the sale agreement right before the fire broke out. George and Jin hope to “modernize” Giovanni; they envision the restaurant as a “local pizzeria where families and young couples can convene,” according to the Daily Cal. Some of the potential improvements include an indoor Bocce court, a revamped bar and a larger entrance. Giovanni is at 2420 Shattuck Ave. (between Channing and Haste streets), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.

Grand Fare Market courtyard. Photo: Michael David Rose
Grand Fare Market courtyard. Photo: Michael David Rose

GRAND FARE WILL ALSO REOPEN Last fall, we shared the news that Grand Fare, the ambitious market on Oakland’s Grand Avenue, had closed after only two months in operation. We heard in March that the market would be making a comeback, and now owner Doug Washington has set a tentative opening target of June. Washington told Inside Scoop that Grand Fare 2.0 will have a simplified layout, indoor seating and more food on display. Washington has also brought on Chris Fernandez (Oliveto, Poggio and Terrapin Crossroads) to handle the kitchen. Fernandez will be making much use of the rotisserie — you’ll likely see whole chickens, ribs and roasted vegetables. Also in the menu will be fresh pastas, ragu and polenta, meatballs, soups and stews. Other than these changes, Grand Fare will appear much as it did before: “The whole idea back then was to create a place for the community to come that felt generous, that felt beautiful and fun and easy,” Washington told the Scoop. “I still think the demand here is huge for great food you can take home. There were some changes that we had to make so that when we open our doors again, we’ll be closer to that goal.” Grand Fare Market is at 3265 Grand Ave., Oakland. Connect with the market on Facebook and Twitter.


Itani Ramen on opening night. Photo: Itani Ramen/Facebook
Itani Ramen on opening night. Photo: Itani Ramen/Facebook

ITANTI RAMEN NOW OPEN Kyle Itani’s much-anticipated Uptown Oakland ramen joint is now officially open, after a month or so of hosting pop-up dinners in the space. Itani Ramen is focused on a more casual, Japanese-style of ramen restaurant. Its menu includes four types of ramen, one of which will always be vegetarian. Rotating seasonal ramen soups take inspiration from different prefectures in Japan. A short appetizer menu includes gyoza and crispy pig’s ears with lime and housemade shichimi pepper. Desserts — like Soy Ice, Pocky, It’s-It Ice Cream and Baumkuchen roll cakes — come care of a vending machine. Drinks are heavy on Japanese beverages, including sake and sochu by the glass or carafe. Itani Ramen is at 1738 Telegraph Ave. (at 18th Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Photo: Barclay's Pub/Facebook
Photo: Barclay’s Pub/Facebook

BARCLAY’S PUB WILL CLOSE JULY 15 After close to 25 years in business, Barclay’s Pub will be closing, at least in its current location. The East Bay Express broke the news earlier this week, writing that the bar’s landlord was unwilling to negotiate a new long-term lease. General manager Derek Bromstead told EBX that he was working on finding a new location for the bar, hopefully by its 25th anniversary in October. Inside Scoop later spoke with Bromstead, who said Barclay’s had been on a month-to-month lease “for a while” with a handshake agreement to stay. Bromstead learned in February that the landlord intended to replace Barclay’s with a new tenant. San Francisco Management Company also spoke with the Scoop for the property owner, and it said that the new tenants planned to do renovations and then reopen as another bar and restaurant concept. We will keep you posted as we learn more about the new bar, as well as the future of Barclay’s. Barclay’s Restaurant and Pub is at 5940 College Ave. (at Chabot Road), Oakland. Connect with the bar on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Chicken karaage and waffles at Noodle Theory Provisions. Photo: Noodle Theory Provisions/Facebook
Chicken karaage and waffles at Noodle Theory Provisions. Photo: Noodle Theory Provisions/Facebook

TIDBITS Oakland’s Noodle Theory Provisions is now serving weekend brunch; its menu includes Asian-fusion twists on classic brunch items like a sesame scallion cornmeal waffle with fried chicken karaage, salmon cake Benedict with sauteed greens and Thai green curry hollandaise, and kimchi pork belly hash. In Rockridge, we’ve learned that the Claremont Diner has now officially reopened and is serving “classic diner fare with modern flavors” for breakfast and lunch. It will be adding dinner hours “soon.” Over in Albany, Café Eugene has added a “late night social hour” on Fridays and Saturdays from 8-10 p.m. During that time, all beer, wine and house cocktails are $2 off. Up the street, Bistro 1491 is transforming into Bo’s California Cuisine. Its grand opening is today, with a menu emphasizing local ingredients and housemade dishes. Noodle Theory Provisions is at 5849 San Pablo Ave. (at Stanford), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter. Claremont Diner is at 6200 Claremont Ave. (at Florio Street), Oakland. Connect with the diner on FacebookCafé Eugene is at 1175 Solano Ave. (at Stannage Avenue), Albany. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Bo’s California Cuisine is at 1491 Solano Ave. (at Curtis Street), Albany.

Dinners and events…

Edible Schoolyard Plant Sale. Photo: Edible Schoolyard
Edible Schoolyard Plant Sale. Photo: Edible Schoolyard

EDIBLE SCHOOLYARD PLANT SALE Saturday, the Edible Schoolyard is hosting its annual plant sale featuring food and drink from the likes of Pizzaiolo, Ici Ice Cream, Four Barrel Coffee and Acme pastries. All of the plants for sale have been propagated and tended by King Middle School students. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Edible Schoolyard, and 14th year of the plant sale, which takes place at the King Middle School garden from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In honor of the 20-year milestone, the Edible Schoolyard is also bringing in local musicians, face painting, a petting zoo, live art and a beer garden. Admission is free; food and drink are sold on a ticket system. The Edible Schoolyard at King Middle School is at 1781 Rose St. (at Grant Street), Berkeley. Connect with the organization on Facebook.

Desco Oakland. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Desco Oakland. Photo: Emilie Raguso

MOTHER’S DAY IN THE EAST BAY For those looking to get out of the house this Mother’s Day, the East Bay has plenty to offer. In Berkeley, Revival is serving a special menu of spring dishes, oysters, scallops, housemade ravioli and a complementary glass of sparkling wine for Mom. In Oakland, Desco will offer a special three- or four-course prix fixe menu that includes dishes like a crudo trio of ahi tuna, seabass and smoked trout; handmade small ravioli filled with Certosa cheese, black truffle and buffalo ricotta salata; and a swordfish fillet with saffron broth and organic Iacopi Farms peas. Across the street, District will serve an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet including bottomless mimosas. At Plank, you’ll find a special brunch menu complete with Nutella mascarpone buttermilk pancakes, stuffed French toast, chicken and waffles and “California Sunrise Benedict.”


The newly designed interior of Daniel Patterson's Haven. Photo: Alanna Hale
Haven. Photo: Alanna Hale

Nearby, Haven will serve a special four-course brunch menu that includes the restaurant’s signature “breaking bread” course and a choice of an egg sandwich, smoked steelhead trout or pork confit hash for entrees. alaMar is hosting a pop-up brunch with Pinx Catering from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Its $35 prix fixe menu features lobster mac and cheese, Cajun Benedict and sweet potato pie waffles. On Saturday in Alameda, Rock Wall Winery is hosting over a dozen food trucks for its “Food Truck Frenzy: Mother Trucker.” Admission to the evening event includes a complementary photo booth, henna tattoos and a special “Mother’s only” lounge. In Albany, Café Eugene will offer a special brunch menu, including waffles with strawberries and whipped cream and special floral cocktails. All mothers will also be sent home with special wildflowers. Revival Bar and Kitchen is at 2120 Shattuck Ave (at Addison Street), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and TwitterDesco is at 499 Ninth St. (at Washington Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter. District is at 827 Washington St. (at 9th Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and InstagramPlank is at 98 Broadway (at Embarcadero West), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Haven is at 44 Webster St. (at Embarcadero West), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookTwitter and InstagramalaMar is at 100 Grand Ave. (between Webster and Valdez Streets), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookTwitter and InstagramRock Wall Wine Company is at 2301 Monarch St. (at West Tower Avenue), Alameda. Connect with the winery on FacebookTwitter and InstagramCafé Eugene is at 1175 Solano Ave. (at Stannage Avenue), Albany. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

What else is going on…

Photo: Velocipede Tours
Photo: Velocipede Tours

VELOCIPEDE BIKE AND BREWERY TOURS HEADED TO OAKLAND Starting in two weeks, there will be a new way to get out and explore Oakland’s beer scene — on a 14 passenger bike. Velocipede Tours will bring guests on a two hour of breweries and beer pubs in the Jack London Square area, all via the giant, bus-like bicycle that is decked out with lights and music. Co-owner Josh Rau told Nosh that he is currently finalizing formal partnerships with area bars and breweries, but the lineup will likely include places like Independent Brewing, The Trappist, Beer Revolution, Linden Street Brewery and Pacific Coast Brewery. While Rau says he doesn’t plan to expand outside of Oakland, he would like to eventually expand the fleet of bikes and hold tours of other Oakland neighborhoods like Uptown. Guests will be able to book tours one seat at a time for $30, or can rent out the entire bike for $25 per person. Connect with Velocipede Tours on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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