Bites: $5 Hopscotch burgers, Beer Baron to Rockridge, Father’s Day specials

The First Base Burger from Hopscotch in Uptown Oakland. Photo: Aubrie Pick

HOPSCOTCH TURNS FIVE Uptown Oakland’s Japanese-influenced American diner Hopscotch is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month. In fact, on Thursday, June 15, it’s throwing its own birthday party, offering a tasty gift for fans: a $5 menu. For lunch and dinner, several of its favorite dishes and drinks will be just five bones, including its famous First Base Burger (made with house ground chuck and griddled beef tongue), kakiage (a vegetable tempura dish), donuts and butterscotch cream for dessert and the Maple Old Fashioned cocktail and Asahi beer to wash it all down. If none of those items float your boat, the full Hopscotch menu will also be available — at full price. Hopscotch is at 1915 San Pablo Ave. (at 19th), Oakland.

AND TEMESCAL BREWING TURNS ONE The Oakland brewery and beer garden with a heavy nod to Memphis design aesthetic, Temescal Brewing, is celebrating its first anniversary with a free party this Saturday. Mac and cheese experts Homeroom and musical artist Nebakaneza will be on hand for the fun, but beer enthusiasts will be most excited about this news: Temescal Brewing is releasing its limited edition Birthday Party IPA at the party. This canned ale with 6.7% ABV is made with Vic’s Secret, Amarillo and Simcoe hops and features artwork by Oakland-based artist Sarah Bowser. The 1st Anniversary Party takes place from 2-6 p.m. on June 17 at Temescal Brewing, 4115 Telegraph Ave. (at 41st), Oakland. 

The Beer Baron is opening a new location in Rockridge, offering favorite comfort food dishes like fried chicken and waffles and the Baron burger with duck fat fries. Photo: Beer Baron

THE BEER BARON IS THE NEW TOAST The Beer Baron is opening in the former Toast Bar + Kitchen on College Avenue in Rockridge. The Oakland restaurant-bar will join three other Beer Baron locations: the original bar, which opened in 2012, in downtown Livermore; a restaurant-bar in Pleasanton and a new satellite coming soon to Santa Rosa. The Oakland location will be similar to its Pleasanton site, offering a menu of bar snacks, small plates and main entrees, such as its popular Baron burger with duck fat fries and chicken and waffles, but will probably open with a few new dishes, too. As its name suggests, the Beer Baron has a thing for beer, and its College Avenue site will not disappoint, with 30 rotating craft brews on tap, including a few nitro taps. It also plans to expand on its large bible of whiskeys and bourbon in Oakland, offering more than 300 rare and unique bottles and a new chapter of its whiskey club. If that’s not enough for you, it will also carry a curated selection of craft cocktails and wine. The Beer Baron has just started construction in Rockridge and plans to open at the end of July or August. The Beer Baron will be at 5900 College Ave. (at Chabot), Oakland.

OCEAN VIEW MICROBREWERY COMING SOON Albany is also getting a new taproom and microbrewery. Ocean View Brew Works, a pint-sized operation run by Albany resident Scott Davidson, is setting up shop in a storefront on San Pablo Avenue. We spoke with Davidson, who said Ocean View will only produce about 200-300 barrels a year, a tiny amount even for a small-batch brewer. Davidson got his start as a homebrewer about 15 years ago, after getting a beermaking kit at the Oak Barrel in Berkeley. Since then, he’s gone deeper and deeper into the craft, making all sorts of brews, from light lagers to IPAs and more unique beers, like a pseudo-sour raspberry wheat beer. At the new taproom, he hopes to offer a wide selection, with lots of easy drinking staple beers and a rotating cast of rare brews you can’t find in the grocery store. “I never want to lose the experimental side of the brewery,” he said. Davidson uses organic ingredients for his beers when possible, and is determined that the brewery will become certified organic within a few years of opening. As for food at Ocean View — he plans to invite a variety of mobile vendors to hawk their eats out of the driveway space out front. Ocean View is currently in the permitting process and hopes to start construction on the space soon. Ocean View Brew Works will be at 629 San Pablo Ave. (at Castro), Albany.


Shinmai, an izakaya, will open this summer in Uptown Oakland. Photo: Shinmai

SHINMAI IZAKAYA TO OAKLAND We just got word this week that Shinmai, a new izakaya from co-owners Yingji Huang and Andy Liu (Kakui) and executive chef Jerrod Doss (Aziza, Chef TJ, French Laundry), will be coming to Uptown. The menu will feature both traditional and new takes on Japanese bar foods, including dishes like sous vide Berkshire ribs with miso barbecue sauce, fried potato salad, and watermelon and cold-smoked cucumber. There’ll also be… wait for it… ramen (a choice of tonkotsu and miso) and a raw menu featuring fresh, seasonal seafood. Adam Stemmler of Farm League Restaurant Group (East Bay Spice Company, Tigerlily) helped conceive its Japanese-influenced cocktail program. Expect Japanese whisky, sake and pilsners. Appropriately, Shinmai translates to “new rice,” which is slang for a kitchen newb. This new kid on the izakaya-ramen block is slated to open in late June or early July. Shinmai will be at 1825 San Pablo Ave. (between 18th and 19th), Oakland. 

GREASE BOX UPDATES Gluten-free comfort food café Grease Box moved out of 942 Stanford Ave. in North Oakland in April. Chef-owner Lizzy Boelter signed a lease on a café on 17th Street in downtown Oakland, where the new iteration of Grease Box will be an all-day restaurant serving satisfying and gluten-free breakfast foods, burgers and sandwiches, bread, plus beer and cider. Boelter is currently looking for investors to help her raise at least $25k to build the kitchen and dining area of the new café. In the meantime, we spoke with the new tenants at the old location on Stanford Avenue. Home Grown Oakland, located nearby at 6501 San Pablo Ave., took over the old Grease Box shack about three weeks ago. Home Grown’s owner, Oakland-resident Mike Beatrice, is also the founder of Oakland Fitness Company and lives in the neighboring Golden Gate district. For now, he plans to use the Stanford Avenue space for storage and food prep, but will eventually serve food, beer and wine, possibly as soon as this summer. Home Grown, which has been on San Pablo since January 2016, offers “California comfort food,” like açai bowls, smoothies, rice bowls, salads and sandwiches, but Beatrice said that this new spot will probably offer more street food-style offerings. Stay tuned for more details on both Grease Box and this new Home Grown outpost on Nosh. Grease Box will be at 378 17th St. (between Franklin and Webster), Oakland; the new TBD second location of Home Grown Oakland will be at 942 Stanford Ave. (at Lowell), Oakland.

FATHER’S DAY SPECIALS Don’t worry, we didn’t forget you, dads. This Sunday, June 18, a bunch of restaurants will be offering Father’s Day specials. Here are just a few:

While Hopscotch is still on the brain, note that it’s having a Sunday Pig Roast from 3-7 p.m. for pops who love to pig out. For $24, you’ll get a plate of roast pork, cornbread, kimchi collard greens and potato salad. Tickets will be available for the Sunday Pig Roast at the door on June 18. Hopscotch is at 1915 San Pablo Ave. (at 19th), Oakland. 

Over on Piedmont Avenue, Homestead will be having its weekly Sunday Supper with meat-loving dads in mind. The three-course prix fixe meal will feature smoked brisket served with baked beans, coleslaw, corn on the cob and Texas toast. Rounding out the meal will be a chopped salad and a stone fruit and berry cobbler a la mode. Sunday Supper takes place from 4:30-8:30 p.m. and costs $55 a person. Making reservations ASAP is highly recommended. Homestead is at 4029 Piedmont Ave. (at Glen), Oakland.

The New Catch Holland Herring Festival at Saul’s Deli features pickled herring from Russ & Daughters. Photo: Saul’s Deli

At Saul’s Restaurant and Delicatessan in Berkeley, they’re celebrating papa with the New Catch Holland Herring Festival, featuring pickled New Holland herring from Amsterdam via New York’s legendary deli, Russ & Daughters. Bring your dad to this two-day fest, taking place on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — it’s much cheaper than flying him to NYC or the Netherlands. If your father isn’t much for pickled fish, Saul’s has a special dinner menu on Sunday, featuring dishes like lamb stuffed with pita, herbs and tahina; steak and mashed potatoes; and a bourbon barrel aged stout float. Saul’s Delicatessan is at 1475 Shattuck Ave. (at Vine), Berkeley.

Eureka! burger restaurant is betting your father has a taste of whiskey. On Sunday at its Berkeley and Concord locations, it’s giving out a free Eureka! rocks glass with any whiskey cocktail purchase (while supplies last). If dad isn’t a whiskey guy, he might be into some of Eureka’s nine new summer cocktails, which just launched this week, or perhaps, a Charcoal Lemonade, the burger joint’s new non-alcoholic beverage made with lemon juice, passionfruit and the ingredient of the moment, activated charcoal. Eureka! is at 2068 Center St., Berkeley and 1975 Diamond Blvd., Concord.

Dads will get a free craft beer at Lucia’s Pizzeria in Berkeley by mentioning “Secret Beer” when ordering. Photo: Courtesy of Lucia’s

Lucia’s Pizzeria in Berkeley is offering a free local craft beer to dads who ask for the “secret beer” when ordering during brunch service (10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.) or dinner (5-9:15 p.m.) on Sunday. Lucia’s Pizzeria is at 2016 Shattuck Ave. (between Addison and University), Berkeley.

Albany nursery Flowerland is celebrating dad by hosting a taco bar with Tacos Oscar from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday (or until they sell out). Choose from tacos served with carnitas, soft boiled egg with beans or a vegan option. Flowerland is at 1330 Solano Ave., Albany. Connect with Tacos Oscar on Instagram and Twitter.

We have even more suggestions here. Feel free to leave a comment on this story about where you and your dad will be celebrating this Sunday.

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