Tag Archives: Berkeley dining

Bites: Vegan butcher shop plans go kaput, more

The former La Farine location on Solano Avenue. Photo: Whitney Moss/Twitter
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Openings, closings

VEGAN BUTCHER SHOP NO LONGER COMING TO SOLANO Last fall, we brought you news of a vegan butcher shop and deli called The Butcher’s Son that was moving into the former La Farine location on Solano Avenue. We’re sorry to report that the butcher shop has pulled out of the location. According to a Twitter tip, there is a sign up on the building indicating that it is now for lease. On the Butcher’s Son Facebook page, the owners Peter Fikaris and Christina Stobing have stated that they decided to abandon the location due to “a number of disagreements with the property owners.” Fakirs and Stobing are currently hosting pop-ups and delivering lunchtime meals on Mondays while they look for a new location. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Drake’s at Hive Oakland getting close, more

Drake's Brewing Company, which is based in San Leandro, is expanding into the Hive Oakland complex in Uptown. Photo: Drake's/Facebook
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Openings, closings

DRAKE’S AT HIVE OAKLAND GETTING CLOSE San Leandro’s Drake’s Brewing Company is expanding to Uptown Oakland. It will soon be opening a brew pub in the Hive Oakland complex, along with Calavera, Firebrand Artisan Bread, Red Bay Coffee and Numi Tea. No word yet on the opening date, but Drake’s has put out a call for new employees to staff the Hive location; a job fair will be held on Saturday at Jupiter in downtown Berkeley. Drake’s at Hive Oakland will be at 2325 Broadway (at 23rd Street), Oakland. Connect with the brewery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

BREWS & BRATS OPENS IN HAYWARD A new beer and sausage restaurant has made its way to Downtown Hayward. Called Brews & Brats, the restaurant opened on June 11 and offers around nine different sausages (everything from garlic beef sausage to hot boudin and even sweet potato brats, according to Yelp) and craft beers from the likes of Schuburos and Drake’s. Brews & Brats is at 1061 B St. (between Main Street and Foothill Boulevard), Hayward.Continue reading »

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Bites: 21st Amendment to San Leandro, more

Shaun O'Sullivan and Nicco Freccia at 21st Amendment Brewery's San Leandro ribbon cutting. Photo: Kate Williams
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NEW 21ST AMENDMENT BREWERY OPENING SOON The East Bay beer boom continues. This week, 21st Amendment co-founders Nicco Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan snipped the ribbon on their new brewing facility in San Leandro. The massive, 95,000 square-foot facility was once a Kellogg’s factory. It is the brewery’s new world headquarters and, in time, will be a rollicking spot to grab a beer. While production has officially started at the new brewery, it won’t be open to the public until June 26. The public space will initially include a tasting room and outdoor beer garden. Eventually the owners plan on adding a restaurant, “floating” bars above the production facility, meeting spaces and an indoor amphitheater for events, beer classes and concerts. 21st Amendment joins long-established brewery Drake’s and new upstart Cleophus Quealy in the industrial west side of the city. But the neighbors to not plan on being competitors. “We’ll be experimenting with our San Leandro neighbors … to produce some really inventive collaboration beers,” said O’Sullivan. “We’re working to make San Leandro a craft beer mecca.” More than that, both O’Sullivan and Freccia hope to make their brewery a true neighborhood gathering spot. “It has been amazing to get to know San Leandro,” said Freccia. “We want to give back and become part of the fabric of the community.” 21st Amendment is at 2010 Williams St. (near West Gate Parkway), San Leandro. Connect with the brewery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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Elmwood restaurant The Advocate to open in July

John Griffiths, executive chef at The Advocate. Photo: Postcard PR
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John Paluska and Andrew Hoffman’s second Berkeley restaurant after Comal will be called The Advocate and is slated to open next month in its Elmwood location, at 2635 Ashby Ave.

The name was chosen because it was also the name of Elmwood’s original newspaper, said Paluska. It also seemed fitting for a restaurant in a city known for its activism. “It’s a tip of the hat to Berkeley,” he said. Hoffman added: “Like Comal, The Advocate is a Berkeley restaurant, very much of its place and its neighborhood.”

The name could also be seen as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the legal battle the owners had to fight to open the new eating spot.

The Advocate will offer a menu of dishes inspired by southern Mediterranean and Moroccan/North African cooking, “all viewed through a Northern Californian lens,” according to the owners. (At Comal, chef Matt Gandin serves refined Oaxaca-inspired Mexican-Californian cuisine.)

Paluska and Hoffman have recruited John Griffiths to be the new restaurant’s executive chef. Griffiths was most recently at The Kitchen in Sacramento, a well-known spot where food is treated as theater and chefs are expected to emcee as well as to cook. Griffiths left The Kitchen in October after 16 months in the job to join The Advocate. The Michigan native was the opening chef at Larry Forgione’s An American Place in St. Louis, and was later executive chef at Truffles in the same city. He has been working with The Advocate team in December 2014. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Millennium opens, Iyasare news, more

Millennium restaurant in Rockridge. Photo: Millennium/Facebook
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Openings, closings…

MILLENNIUM OPENS IN ROCKRIDGE Earlier this year, we broke the news that San Francisco’s Millennium restaurant was moving into the former Box & Bells space in Rockridge. As of yesterday, June 4, the new Millennium is open for business. The vegan restaurant announced its San Francisco closure back in January; the owners of the Geary Street hotel, in which it was housed, sold the building and the new owners did not wish to keep the restaurant. Owners Eric Tucker and Alison Bagby raised some of the funds for the Oakland move on a highly successful Kickstarter campaign. The new Millennium has a similar menu to the original location, featuring high-end, plant-based dishes made with organic, seasonal produce. Inside Scoop reports that the menu will be slightly shorter than at the San Francisco location to fit the smaller kitchen and will also include a few less-expensive (read: under $20) dishes. Tucker and Bagby plan to continue their winemaker dinners, cooking classes and special dinners. They plan to add new events “tailored to the new space” as well as weekend brunch starting in the fall. For now, Millennium is in soft opening mode and is serving dinner seven nights a week. Millennium Restaurant is at 5912 College Ave. (at Chabot), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.Continue reading »

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Bites: Rosamunde Temescal opens, Giovanni news

Rosamunde Sausage & Grill will open in Oakland's Temescal. Photo: Rosamunde
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Openings, closings…

ROSAMUNDE NOW OPEN IN TEMESCAL Rosamunde has been selling sausages and craft beer out of its location in Old Oakland’s Swan’s Marketplace for a few years now. They opened their second East Bay location in Temescal over Memorial Day weekend. This new location, in the former Good Bellie’s café at 4659 Telegraph Ave., is the fifth for the the San Francisco-based restaurant. The Temescal location has the same food menu as at its Old Oakland location, including three varieties of vegan sausages and 14 varieties of beer on tap. Rosamunde Temescal will hold an official grand opening June 11, complete with $1 beer specials and an in-house DJ. Rosamunde Sausage Grill is at 4659 Telegraph Ave. (between 46th and 47th streets), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.Continue reading »

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Oscar’s to close after 65 years in Berkeley

Oscar's. Photo Tracey Taylor
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By Kate Williams and Tracey Taylor

Oscar’s, the iconic Shattuck Avenue restaurant, is not long for this world. The restaurant, a Berkeley institution since 1950, will close in the next month or two, reports Eater SF. In its place will be the first Northern California outpost of Washington, D.C.-based Sweetgreen, a “seasonal fast-food chain.”

Oscar’s has primarily been a burgers and fries destination for Cal students and others looking for a no-frills carb fix for the past 65 years. Owned by the same family for many years, the corner restaurant, at 1890 Shattuck Ave. at Hearst, feels much as it probably did when it opened, with its scalloped roof overhang, vintage signage, laminate-topped tables and white globe lights. Berkeleyside spoke to owner Scott on Tuesday, but he was reluctant to comment on the news, saying just that he was not the forthcoming type. “I’m not a warm and fuzzy guy,” he said.

Sweetgreen was founded in 2007 by three Georgetown students and now has 30 locations on the East Coast and one in Los Angeles. The restaurant chain has plans to continue opening more spots across the West Coast using its recent $18.5 million investment from, among others, New York restaurateurs Daniel Boulud, David Chang and Danny Meyer. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Anvil Brewing to open in West Berkeley, more

beer glasses
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ANOTHER BREWERY HEADED TO WEST BERKELEY Anvil Brewing will be joining the quickly growing community of West Berkeley beer breweries next spring. Co-owner and longtime home brewer Sean Wells is opening the brewery at 912 Gilman with another seasoned home brewer, Tim Sellmeyer. The pair is planning to serve a mix of small-batch, handcrafted brews, including both Belgian and American styles. Sellmeyer has a couple of award-winning beers that will likely grace the tap, like a nectarine wheat and a chile-based beer. Both Wells and Sellmeyer work as animal surgeons and plan to continue working in that capacity even as the brewery opens; they will likely hire a third brewer to join the team as they get closer to opening. We’ll keep you posted on their progress. Other West Berkeley beer destinations include Trumer Pils Brauerei, Pyramid Brewery & Alehouse, Sierra Nevada Torpedo Room, The Rare Barrel and Fieldwork Brewing Company. Check out Nosh’s drinking map for the full run-down.) Anvil Brewing will be at 912 Gilman St. (between Seventh and Eighth streets), Berkeley. Connect with Anvil on Facebook.Continue reading »

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Where did NYC mayor lunch with Cal Chancellor?

UC Berkeley Chancellor Nick Dirks and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio grab lunch in Berkeley. Photo: courtesy Nick Dirks/Twitter
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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was in Berkeley on Thursday. His schedule was no doubt full. Among other things, he and Cal professor Robert Reich joked about the disparity of their respective heights before sitting down to talk about inequality at an event co-organized by the Goldman School of Public Policy.

De Blasio also said a brief hello to Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates in the Green Room at the Freight & Salvage before the conversation with Reich. (Indeed it was a veritable Mayor-Palooza day for Bates who in the morning got on his bike with both Mayor Morten Kabell of Copenhagen and Mayor Albrecht Schröter of Jena, Germany, as part of the many Bike to Work day events in the city.)

De Blasio also found time to grab lunch with UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, who tweeted about the get-together Friday morning. … Continue reading »

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Bites: OVO, Sequoia Diner, Mad Oak and more

OVO Tavern and Eatery. Photo: Kate Williams
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Openings, closings…

OVO COMES TO NORTH OAKLAND OVO, a.k.a. “Oakland’s Very Own Tavern and Eatery,” has softly opened on Martin Luther King Jr. Way in North Oakland. The new bar and restaurant is an official viewing spot for the Golden State Warriors playoff games while it continues to tweak its menu and operating hours. For now, OVO is open only from 4-9 p.m.; owner DeWayne DeGuzman aims to hold a grand opening party at the end of the month. The menu features simple bar food like tater tots, chicken wings and burgers. DeGuzman said OVO will eventually be open in the morning, with breakfast pastries from Gregory’s Gourmet Desserts and Mr. Espresso coffee. The bar has a modest selection of beers, with space for six rotating local microbrews, and a potent-sounding OVO punch (think rum and lots of fruit). OVO takes the place of Bottom of the Ninth Bar & Grill, which opened in 2013 after Looney’s BBQ closed. DeGuzman hopes the restaurant will be a lively community gathering space, and he plans on keeping the concept and menu adaptable to the changing neighborhood. “We’re going to keep it fresh, just like Oakland,” he said. Ovo is at 5319 Martin Luther King Jr. Way (between 53rd and 54th streets), Oakland. Continue reading »

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Keba Konte: Serving coffee with color, social justice

Keba Konte. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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In a small, dimly lit space carved out of the ground floor of a bohemian Victorian home in Fruitvale, three young men are hard at work roasting, quality-control testing and packaging responsibly sourced coffee beans. This is the “dojo” where Red Bay Coffee Roasters is getting its start, and from where its owner, Keba Konte, hopes to launch nothing short of a social revolution.

For a start, Konte would like to inject some diversity into the primarily white world of third-wave coffee. As he puts it: “The last brown person involved in your coffee is usually the farmer who cultivated the beans.” Konte thinks there’s a need for a different specialty coffee culture — one that isn’t the sole province of “fastidious white hipsters.”

Secondly, and no less importantly, the artist and food entrepreneur hopes to help transform low-wage jobs by rolling out a business model where the workers keep all the profits. The timing is fortuitous, coming as the country is grappling with what should constitute a minimum wage​.

Konte’s concept will be put to the test at the first Red Bay Coffee café that is set to open later this year in a converted shipping container at the emerging mixed-use development known as Hive in Uptown Oakland. … Continue reading »

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Bites: KronnerBurger, The Tap Haus, Kingfish Pub

KronnerBurger's signature burger. Photo: KronnerBurger
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Openings, closings…

KRONNERBURGER DEBUTS ON PIEDMONT Long-awaited KronnerBurger, the brick-and-mortar restaurant for Chris Kronner’s popular San Francisco burger pop-ups, is now open on Piedmont Avenue. The restaurant has been in the works for a couple of years now, and Eater has been chronicling Kronner’s search for a restaurant space. He found a home in the former J’s Mexican American, a unique triangle-shaped building at the corner of Piedmont and 41st Street. The building has been given a full revamp, with bright white walls and a modern interior. The space was designed by Wylie Price, who was also behind Rockridge’s Ramen Shop, and includes metalwork by Oakland artist Luigi Oldani. On the menu is, of course, Kronner’s signature KronnerBurger, which is made entirely from scratch (from buns to ketchup) and served with a side of bone marrow, plus a vegan burger, pork burger, and appetizers like a wedge salad and fries with beef cheek gravy. For now, the restaurant is only serving lunch, but will add brunch over the weekend and dinner service next week. KronnerBurger is at 4063 Piedmont Ave. (at 41st Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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Bites: Starline Social Club, Hella Vegan, Pho Ao Sen

Starline Social Club. Photo: Starline Social Club
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Openings, closings…

STARLINE SOCIAL CLUB REOPENS Oakland’s historic Starline Social Club is once again in operation. The building, on the corner of MLK Jr. Way and West Grand, originally opened as an Odd Fellows Club in 1893; over the past century it has housed a saloon, a dance club, and a social club for the deaf. Until recently, it stood empty. Over the last year, Ramen Shop‘s Sam White and local artists Adam Hatch, Eric Siemens and Drew Bennet, have renovated the space. They finally opened the doors on Wednesday, reports Inside Scoop. This newest iteration of Starline will showcase top-notch food from former Boot & Shoe Service cook Austin Holey, a “creative cocktail” program, and events such as monthly dance parties and live performances. The performance space has been enhanced with a state-of-the-art Meyer Sound system. (The Berkeley acoustics company has most recently re-designed the sound for restaurants Comal and Oliveto.) The club will only be open five days a week, but it will serve food as late as midnight. Starline Social Club is at 2236 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way (at West Grand Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the club on Facebook and Instagram.Continue reading »

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