Openings and closings: Mezzo, Barclay’s, The Well, LocoL

The Veggie Delight salad at Mezzo in Berkeley is as big as you remember it. Photo: Sarah Han

Berkeley

Open

BARCLAY’S RESTAURANT AND PUB Former Rockridge family-friendly watering hole Barclay’s found a new home in a new city. The nearly 25-year-old institution celebrated its grand reopening in Berkeley on June 15, almost a year after the casual, bar-restaurant was forced to close on College Avenue. The new Barclay’s, located on Shattuck, is in full swing, offering local craft beers on tap, as well as an extensive menu of pub food for daily brunch, lunch and dinner.
Barclay’s Restaurant and Pub, 2430 Shattuck Ave. (at Haste), Berkeley

Lunch time at Mezzo in Berkeley. Photo: Sarah Han

MEZZO AND RALEIGH’S They’re baaaack! Berkeley’s salad café Mezzo (the new iteration of Café Intermezzo) and sports bar Raleigh’s have finally reopened. The Southside institutions, which are now connected and share a back patio, had their soft opening on Tuesday, June 27. Nostalgic salad and beer lovers have already started flocking to both spots to get a taste of the past. We stopped in to Mezzo this week and saw people bubbling with excitement, taking photos of their massive salad bowls and sandwiches, and contemplating whether the food was as good as they remembered. From what we could tell, the people were happy.

Inside Mezzo in Berkeley. Photo: Sarah Han

Manager Michelle Ent told us that customers have been thanking them for reopening and taking them down memory lane through their food. If that sounds like hyperbole, we actually heard it with our own ears during our visit this week. (People looove that poppy seed dressing!) Aside from salads, sandwiches and soup, Mezzo’s new menu has daily toast specials, pastries and breakfast burritos for the a.m. crowd and an expanded hot drinks menu, with coffee drinks and nitro brews using roasts from Café Moto in San Diego and AKA Coffee in Oakland, hot chocolate made with Tcho dark chocolate ganache and four types of lattes: chai, turmeric, mint matcha and nitro mint matcha.

The beers on tap at Raleigh’s. Photo: Sarah Han

As for Raleigh’s, Ent told us that the pub’s beer taps are flowing, but it is currently offering a limited food menu, with a plan to expand its eats soon. Also, due to permitting issues, only the lower level of the back patio is in service, but Ent said she expects both sides of the outdoors area to be open within a couple of weeks.
Mezzo and Raleigh’s, 2438 Telegraph Ave. (at Channing), Berkeley


POKI POKE Another build-your-own poke bowl restaurant has opened in Berkeley this month, making it the fourth restaurant to serve the Hawaiian-influenced dish of raw fish over rice in the city. Poki Poke, which has a sister restaurant in Fremont, takes the place of former Bonita Fish Market and so far, the mostly positive reviews on Yelp have proven that Berkeley’s still on board the poke train. As with most restaurants of this type, customers choose a base (rice, salad greens or both), a protein, a sauce and optional add-ons, like corn, fried onion and wonton chips. Poki Poke offers a wide variety of fish, including salmon, yellow tail, ahi or spicy tuna, octopus and shrimp. There’s also a tofu option for those who don’t dig fish. And if you need a little pork with every meal, Poki Poke serves Spam musubi, a block of rice topped with a slice of the salty and savory canned meat product.
Poki Poke, 1941 University Ave. (at Bonita), Berkeley 

Closing

LINDGREN’S COFFEE AND CAFÉ Last week, the café at 2120 Dwight Ave., first opened by Eric Lindgren in 2013, announced its sale. The new owners are longtime friends, Peter Snyderman (former owner of San Francisco’s Elite Café and Alta Plaza) and Warren Spicer. The business partners plan to reopen the space as Way Station Brew, which will offer coffee, beer and wine, low ABV cocktails and an expanded food menu. Snyderman has brought on chef Jeremy Weiss, who he worked with at Elite Café, to develop Way Station’s menu. Plans for the transition from Lindgren’s to Way Station are still developing, but Synderman and Spicer hope to open their new café in the fall.

PHIL’S SLIDERS Today is the last day of service for Phil’s Sliders! As we reported on June 16, owner Hugh Groman is closing his six-year-old downtown Berkeley burger spot to concentrate on his catering ventures (Hugh Groman Catering and Greenleaf Platters). Groman said he plans to unveil a mobile version of Phil’s Sliders as a catering option, to be hired for outdoor festivals, fundraisers, weddings and other events. Phil’s Slider’s neighbor next door, California-Mexican restaurant Comal, will take over the space in the coming months, where they plan on offering lunch, dinner and possibly breakfast. All other details are currently still developing.

Oakland

Open

Blue Bottle in Old Oakland. Photo: Blue Bottle

BLUE BOTTLE Bay Area coffee chain Blue Bottle opened the doors to its newest café in Old Oakland last week. Located on Ninth Street on the ground floor of the historic Henry House, this location is also the training grounds for future baristas.
Blue Bottle, 480 Ninth St. (between Broadway and Washington), Oakland

BOSS KAT KITCHEN Temescal’s new BBQ joint is located in the space formerly occupied by The Mixing Bowl. It opened on June 19 and is still in soft opening mode this month. Here, diners can order a variety of smoked meats (beef brisket, pulled pork, hot links and turkey) to top sandwiches, baked potatoes or salads.
Boss Kat Kitchen, 4920 Telegraph Ave. (at 49th), Oakland.


DIAMOND DOGS PUB & GRILL Back in February, Nosh reported that Rob Wertheimer, a bartender at The Double Standard, was working on a new Jack London hot dog joint right next door to Beer Revolution. Well, it finally opened earlier this month! Diamond Dogs boasts a bevy of loaded “hot dogs for grownups.” The appropriately named Bourgeois Dog, for example, is topped with a white cheddar bechamel, confit garlic, crispy fried leeks and watercress. Another offering, the Sonora Dog, has bacon, pinto beans, jalapeño relish and crema. And its namesake dog comes with beer mustard, sauerkraut and bacon jam. French fries, chicken wings, beer, wine and cocktails are also served here.
Diamond Dogs Pub and Grill, 468 Third St. (at Broadway), Oakland 

The only way to get to the Oakland Zoo’s Landing Café is in one of these gondolas. Photo: Oakland Zoo Facebook

LANDING CAFÉ A visit to the Oakland Zoo’s new hilltop eatery requires a ride on a gondola. Fancy! The Landing Café is located 650 feet above sea level at the Kaiser Permanente Visitor Center, a site with a million dollar view of the sprawling Bay below. The café is housed inside a floor-to-ceiling glass-walled building with 176 seats for indoor and outdoor dining. While the location is luxe, the choice of food itself is pretty standard amusement park fare: burgers, sandwiches, pizza, salads, as well as snacks and ice cream, albeit the zoo claims that much of its ingredients are locally sourced and that you cannot get the same food elsewhere in the park.
Landing Café at the Oakland Zoo, 9777 Golf Links Rd., Oakland. Wheelchair accessible.

MOCKINGBIRD This Oakland bistro has taken flight once again! Owners Melissa Axelrod and William Johnson closed the restaurant at its original location at 1745 San Pablo Ave. in 2016 to move to a bigger venue that would allow them to serve beer, wine and cocktails. Mockingbird is currently open for lunch, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday and happy hour. Starting on Wednesday, July 5, it will offer dinner service.
Mockingbird, 416 13th St. (at Franklin), Oakland. Wheelchair accessible.

Simple Sweet Porridge made with amaranth and a reishi roast herbal “coffee” from The Well in Oakland. Photo: Sarah Han

THE WELL If wholesome and nourishing foods are what you seek and crave, you’ll want to visit The Well in Temescal. After a sneak preview event on June 10, this café specializing in herbal drinks and food, officially started service on Tuesday, June 27. Opened by a team of herbalists and healers, The Well offers a unique menu, in that most of its fare contains ingredients that have natural medicinal properties. That means a daily herbal tea freshly concocted on site, bitters tonics to support digestion, drinking chocolates made with organic, fair-trade cacao and a variety of invigorating herbs and spices, seasonal grain bowls chock full of vegetables from local farms, hearty breakfast porridges topped with herbal-infused honey and nutrient-rich bone broths. The Well is currently open for breakfast and lunch from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. The café, which is found within the East Bay Community Space, eventually plans on offering wellness and community workshops with local healers, farmers and other like-minded makers and friends.
The Well, 5443 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. Wheelchair accessible.

Opening soon

ROSES’ TAPROOM  Husband-and-wife team Luke Janson and Hillary Rose Huffard are opening the doors to their new brewery-taproom in Temescal on Saturday, July 1. This project is four years in the making for the duo, who have a shared love of brewing beer and had been looking for a place to share their brews with others in a “beautiful, family- and female-friendly environment.” When they couldn’t find one, they made their own within the former Shaver & Cutlery Shop on Telegraph Avenue. Roses’ Taproom will serve a rotating variety of classic and experimental styles of beers and ciders made on-site in its backroom brewery. Roses’ is having its opening party tomorrow (note, they will not have food and it will be cash only, so eat and get cash beforehand) If you like what they have to offer, you’ll want to know about its Mug Club membership program, which gives members pint discounts, first dibs on new brew releases and a handmade ceramic mug by local artists. The first mug will be made by Berkeley potter Sarah Kersten.
Rose’s Taproom, 4930 Telegraph Ave. (at 49th), Oakland 


Closed

CITY CENTER GRILL Hoodline was the first to report that this breakfast and lunchtime spot in Oakland’s City Center complex shut its doors this month. City Center Grill offered typical counter-service café fare, like omelettes, breakfast croissants, burgers and sandwiches, but it also added a little Korean flare to its menu. We enjoyed its Kimchi Corned Beef Burrito, filled with corned beef, potatoes, cooked spinach and kimchi in a tortilla. True, it stretched the definition of a burrito, but was delicious nevertheless.

LocoL Bakery in West Oakland is now the sole Oakland LocoL restaurant. Photo: LocoL

LOCOL The Uptown location of Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi’s fast food chain shuttered on June 15. LocoL has consolidated its Oakland operations in its West Oakland bakery site at 3446 Market St. In an Instagram post on June 19, Patterson reposted a long explanation by @bambudepistola for the closure, citing that the plan is to focus on its Market Street location now that the lease has ended at 2214 Broadway. The posted response also made reference to naysayers, including New York Times reviewer Pete Wells, who gave LocoL a zero-star review in January, and to the successes that the business has had so far: “We shook a lot of y’all up, challenged expectations + proved to y’all we can hang with a $20 burger, while recycling money into The Town on wages above proposed gov’t minimums, using high quality ingredients + applying the science of a Chef. We trained people who’d never held a job, who’ve since moved on to work in ‘fine dining’ — an industry we’ve been systematically excluded from. We’ve had our obstacles, but we’ve learned from them, licked our wounds, flipped our fingers to the ops + kept it moving. On behalf of the whole squad, I say THANK YOU for supporting Uptown. NOW get your a** over to the West + see what LocoL is really about!” LocoL is now solely operating at 3346 Market St. (at 35th) in Oakland.

PICÁN On June 11, “Southern infused California” restaurant Picán shuttered. Picán was founded in 2009 by New Orleans-native Michael LeBlanc, and is credited for being one of the pioneering businesses that helped define and bring more people and commerce to Oakland’s Uptown district. However, the restaurant’s expansive 6,500 sq. ft. space at 2295 Broadway had been a challenge, making it expensive to staff, especially due to rising labor costs and the number of new restaurants opening in downtown Oakland. Picán hopes to eventually reopen, but for now, a location is undetermined. In the meantime, the space, as well as the lot next door at 2251 Broadway, formerly occupied by Ozumo, will be turned into four smaller spaces for four new restaurant tenants. So far, Brown Sugar Kitchen and Bocanova have called dibs.

Temporarily closed

SEQUOIA DINER Laurel district’s Sequoia Diner is closed for the next few days while they get a new roof. The old roof, in turns out, was more than 25 years old and just needed an update. In a newsletter sent this week by the restaurant, husband-and-wife team of Andrew Vennari and Sequoia Broderson said that they will reopen on July 5.  So if you were hoping to get brunch at Sequoia, you’ll have to take a raincheck until after the Fourth of July.
Sequoia Diner, 3719 MacArthur Blvd. (near 35th Avenue), Oakland

Beyond

Open

PATATAS NEIGHBORHOOD KITCHEN Chilean-born chef Marcos Quezada’s new take-out and eat-in restaurant is officially open after being in soft-opening mode for a couple of weeks. Patatas also offers catering. Quezada told Berkeleyside that his vision is for Patatas is to be a place where “folks can stop by and grab a bite of delicious, healthy, home style food.” Customers can order ahead for pick up or have it delivered to their door via Caviar, UberEats, GrubHub or Postmates. Patatas offers Spanish and Latin American specialties like paella, herb roasted chicken and Spanish tortilla, a potato and egg omelette. Note that Patatas is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Patatas Neighborhood Kitchen, 3986 Adeline St. (at Yerba Buena), Emeryville

Want to keep up-to-date on all the food, drink and restaurant news in the East Bay? Subscribe to NOSH Weekly, the free weekly email packed with delicious news. Simply sign up here.