Tag Archives: Actual Cafe
The Crayola-blue storefront at 1615 University Ave. has stood empty for three years, slowly collecting window graffiti and dust. But this June, signs of life began to appear. Baking racks appeared in the windows. Long wooden work tables filled the room. Soon, a sign appeared on the front door: The Bread Project is moving in.
Founded in 2001 by Lucie Buchbinder and Susan Phillips, The Bread Project trains low-income individuals in food service skills — specifically baking — and helps them find and retain jobs across the service and culinary industry. Its students come from many walks of life. About 30% are formerly incarcerated individuals, 20% are refugees and new immigrants and others that have other significant barriers to employment. “Everybody is starting over, starting anew,” said Valerie Afroilan, the senior director of programs. … Continue reading »
SALSIPUEDES NOW IN SOFT OPENING Salsipuedes, the long-awaited North Oakland project from Jay Porter, Marcus Krauss and Bradford Taylor is officially in soft opening mode as of August 5. The restaurant will be open for dinner (no reservations) Tuesdays through Saturdays, and has tentatively scheduled a grand opening for August 20. Krauss, who is heading up the kitchen, has developed a menu focusing on “seaside barbecue” and California cuisine; menu highlights include black cod with yuzu ponzu and serrano peppers, corn two ways with salmon roe, and octopus melt bao with Oregon shrimp and cracklings. Wine comes courtesy of Taylor, the owner of Oakland’s Ordinaire wine shop, and it includes coastal and maritime wines from the Pacific, Mediterranean, Adriatic and Sicilian growing regions. Desserts will include creative ice creams (think flavors like fresh corn and nopales) from Luis Abundis of Nieves Cinco de Mayo. Salsipuedes will be at 4201 Market St. (at 42nd Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter. … Continue reading »
On March 2, the city of Oakland raised its minimum wage by 36%. At $12.25 per hour, the new wage is the highest in the country — for now. San Francisco matched this wage on May 1, and Emeryville will leapfrog both cities in July.
The wage increase was voted into law last November as a part of Measure FF. Over 80% of Oakland residents supported the measure. And while all Oakland businesses are now required to abide by the new wage, conversations about its benefits and repercussions and have been most active in the restaurant industry.
Restaurants have notoriously small operational budget margins, and are, according to Saru Jayaraman, the co-director of Restaurant Opportunity Centers United (ROC-United) and director of the Food Labor Research Center at UC Berkeley, one of the largest employers of low-wage workers in the United States. Jayaraman reports that seven out of the ten lowest paying jobs in the country are restaurant jobs. … Continue reading »
OAKLAND RAISES MINIMUM WAGE Oakland’s minimum wage went up to $12.25 on Monday. Many local restaurants are in support of the wage hike, and have been actively informing customers that prices will rise as a result. Restaurant owners and their staff have joined in on a hashtag campaign, #oaklandlivingwage, to garner city-wide support for small businesses. Piedmont Avenue’s Homestead and Dopo, as well as Camino on Grand Avenue, have made the most drastic changes to their pay structure: all have eliminated tips and increased prices to accommodate the increased wage for employees. Aunt Mary’s Café and Toast have added 15% service charges to their bills to be divided up among the entire staff. Guests may tip in addition to the service charge. Other restaurants will simply raise prices to make up for the wage increase. Actual Café‘s Sal Bednarz has been an active supporter of the wage hike, despite the challenges he and other business owners are facing. In a press conference on Wednesday with Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf, he said: “It was a difficult thing for me to do as a business owner, and I’m still unsure what the ongoing customer impact will be of having done that. We’re here today to remind all of Oakland that we’re doing this for good reasons. Spend your dollar where your vote was. Support the minimum wage increase by supporting small businesses in Oakland.” … Continue reading »
Bites is Berkeleyside Nosh’s round-up of restaurant, bar and food-related news in the East Bay. To stay up-to-speed with all that’s going on locally, read our daily Nosh Wire, and check out previous editions of Bites. We always love receiving food-related tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VICTORY BURGER Last week, we gave notice that Victory Burger, a new venture in north Oakland from the folks behind Actual Café, was about to open. Well, the first official day of business was Friday. In addition to the burgers, hand-cut fries and shakes on the menu, there’s also roasted chicken banh mi and both pork and gluten-free veggie arepas (a cornmeal South American street food). There are also several interesting “add-ons” for both the burgers and fries that sound pretty delicious: Avocado Mayo, Chicken Skin Mayo (wait, what?), and Bacon Gravy. Victory Burger, 1099 Alcatraz Ave., Oakland.
INNA JAM INNA Jam, the artisanal preserve company started by former freelance commercial video editor Dafna Kory in Berkeley, moved into a new commercial kitchen in Emeryville at the beginning of the summer, and has been busy processing a big crop of berries and stone fruit since then. Kory also recently opened an INNA Jam store — really just a shelf in the corner of the kitchen. It’s stacked with jars of every jam they make, many of which are not available in retail stores or online. Regular hours are Tuesdays and Wednesdys from 2–5 p.m. (and by appointment). INNA Jam, 1307 61st St., Emeryville, 510-214-6620. … Continue reading »
Update, 11.29.12: Victory Burger opened on Friday Nov. 23. (Read Berkeleyfarm’s snapshot review in the Comments.)
Victory Burger, a new venture from the good folks behind Actual Café on San Pablo Avenue, will open imminently, says Sal Bednarz, owner of both operations. How soon? Well, he wouldn’t be specific, but put it this way: burgers are cooking up on the grills already. “We will be open by the time you publish your story,” he told Berkeleyside Tuesday. (Given how quickly we go to press, we would advise readers to follow Victory Burger on Facebook for updates on its actual opening, however.)
The burger place, which is at 1099 Alcatraz Ave., next door to the Actual Café, will serve locally and sustainably farmed meat burgers, with artisan buns and organic produce, along with other sandwiches, crispy fries, and shakes. … Continue reading »
Actual Café has had a novel idea for groundhog day — which, as it happens is today — and for every week after today. The whole point of groundhog day, after all, is that it repeats itself.
The San Pablo Avenue café is launching “Bicycle Bingo”, a weekly fundraising bingo game and party that will benefit several nonprofits active in Berkeley and Oakland.
The event will feature the area’s only bicycle-driven bingo ball machine, and will be MC’ed by Berkeley’s Steffy Sue on the Uke.
“We like games and parties, and we like to support organizations who do good work in our own backyard, so this event is a no-brainer,” says Sal Bednarz, owner of Actual Café, which is known for its love of all things bike-related. “We want to help these organizations find a wider audience, and make it easy and fun for folks to give them some support (and maybe win a prize!).” … Continue reading »