Bites: Super Duper Burger is opening in Berkeley; Drip Line is closed

A burger, fries and shake from San Francisco-based chain Super Duper Burgers. Photo: Super Duper Burgers

BURGER TIME It was November 2016 when Nosh first reported that San Francisco-based burger chain Super Duper was taking over the space on Telegraph Avenue once occupied by Smart Alec’s Intelligent Food, and we finally have an opening date to announce. Nosh confirmed with representatives from the restaurant that the Southside Berkeley Super Duper will open its doors on June 18, as first reported by the Daily Cal.

Back in 2016, Stuart Baker of the Telegraph Business Improvement District had warned us that it might take a while for this location to open because it was a major remodel of the space, but the opening seemed to take longer than usual, especially in comparison to the quick turnaround of Super Duper’s sister restaurant, The Bird in the former The Melt space. We checked back in with Baker this week to find out more. It turns out there were unexpected delays due to a zoning code discrepancy. “Smart Alec’s was supposed to be full service but they were never that. When Super Duper came in they thought a permit would be easy. But it was not. They went through months of waiting because the City forced them to get an UPPH (Use permit requiring a public hearing) rather than a simple over-the-counter permit,” Baker said. Fortunately, since then, new zoning code changes are being considered that would “simplify the process of opening new businesses and cut pointless red tape” to prevent other restaurants from going through these same delays, he added.

As with its other locations, Super Duper’s Telegraph Avenue spot will serve burgers made from humanely raised beef, veggie burgers and chicken sandwiches, as well as french fries, salads and organic shakes and soft serve featuring Straus ice cream. Along with soda, lemonade and iced tea, there’s beer and wine on tap for those old enough to partake.   Super Duper Burger will be at 2355 Telegraph Ave. (at Durant), Berkeley.  

DRIP LINE HAS CLOSED Big news dropped yesterday that West Oakland café Drip Line (1940 Union St.) has closed. According to publicist Emunah Hauser, “Chef Nora Haron-Dunning is leaving Drip Line and moving on to other opportunities” because the “partners and chef Nora had different visions.” The café’s co-owner, Josh Larson, confirmed the closure via email. “At this point, the café will be closed for the summer and beyond that is still TBD,” he wrote.


Drip Line was opened on February 14, 2017 by Larson and Carrie Shores, architects who have an office upstairs. The partners brought on chef Haron-Dunning, who brought a unique menu of Singaporean-inspired dishes, like Singapore Chicken Rice, to the table, along with more common café offerings, like coffee and pastries. Drip Line became a popular brunch and lunch spot, and this February, Haron-Dunning started offering dinner service, which included a seven-course tasting menu featuring flavors from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.

Right now, there are few details about what’s next for Haron-Dunning, but Hauser hinted we might soon be hearing of her appearing at another location in the East Bay. We’ll keep you updated on Nosh as details emerge.

NEW EATS TO COME IN BERKELEY Nosh tipster Sean Rouse pointed out signage for two new eateries coming to Berkeley. First up, opening on the ground floor at the Higby Apartments at 3015 San Pablo Ave. (near Ashby) will be a new location for Chai Thai Enterprises, which currently has two locations of its Chai Thai Noodles restaurant in Oakland and Hayward, and its Laotian outpost The Saap Avenue on Piedmont Avenue. We sent a request for more information from Chai Thai, but have yet to hear a response. Meanwhile, a new spot called Tea Time appears to be taking over the space at 2502 Telegraph Ave. (at Dwight) once occupied by Taiwanese hot pot spot Peak Point, which closed in February.

LEGALIZE HOME COOKING In February, Oakland food startup Josephine ended operations of its online platform that allowed home cooks to sell meals to neighbors. The embattled startup had run out of resources to keep the business going, but the co-CEOs behind Josephine continued to advocate for its community of home chefs through an advocacy group they started called Creating Opportunities, Opening Kitchen (C.O.O.K. Alliance). The completely volunteer-run alliance has worked for more than three years to pass legislation ABA 626, or the Homemade Food Operations Act, which would legalize the sale of homemade food. Although the bill passed the assembly floor vote in late January,  it is still awaiting approval by the Senate. In the meantime, C.O.O.K. Alliance is looking to drum up support from the public. From noon to  2p.m., June 10, at Forage Kitchen, supporters of ABA 626 will host a rally featuring food, music and speakers, including members of the office of Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (author of the bill) and many local food activists and advocates. Forage Kitchen, 478 25th St. (between Telegraph and Broadway), Oakland