Tag Archives: Berkeley dining

Bites: Red Bay Coffee Box, Agrodolce, Firebrand

Red Bay Coffee Box. Photo: Red Bay Coffee Roasters/Facebook
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Openings, closings

RED BAY COFFEE BOX NOW OPEN AT THE HIVE Close to a year after announcing it would be opening a café built out of a converted shipping container in Oakland’s Hive complex, Red Bay Coffee Roaster‘s “Coffee Box” is now open. In addition to coffee, we hear from East Bay Dish that the Coffee Box is offering baked goods from Oakland-based Tart Bakery. Funds for the café were raised through a successful $80,000 Kickstarter campaign last spring — the most successful coffee campaign ever on the crowdfunding site, according to Red Bay founder Keba Konte. But permitting issues delayed the opening of the café, despite the fact that Konte had finished construction on the container months ago. In the meantime, Red Bay launched several farmers market stands, including one at the downtown Berkeley market, added Uber as a client, and built out a new headquarters in a converted factory in Fruitvale. The Red Bay Coffee Box is at 2327 Broadway (between 23rd and 24th streets), Oakland. Connect with the coffee roasters on FacebookTwitter and InstagramContinue reading »

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Oxford Street parklet, Berkeley’s third, opens today

The Oxford Street parklet. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Berkeley’s third parklet, and downtown’s first, will officially open at 5 p.m. today. The outdoor seating area covers 2130 to 2136 Oxford Street in front of Sunny Side Café, East Bay Spice Company, Cinnaholic and Suya African-Caribbean Grill.

The Oxford Street parklet’s design was inspired by the west entrance to UC Berkeley, which is almost directly across the street. It has a concrete wall inspired by the classical buildings on campus adorned with metal cutouts of a Cal Bear, the Bay Bridge and the San Francisco skyline. “Our communal vision was to create a similar aesthetic, that of ornate cement and metalwork with an old world field,” Joel DiGiorgio, co-founder of Farm League Design and Management Group, told Nosh in an email. Farm League is the management company behind East Bay Spice Company.
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Triple Rock to open expanded brewpub in August

Triple Rock Brewery. Photo: Frank Farm/Flickr
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It’s been four years in the making, but Berkeley’s Triple Rock has finally set an opening timeline for its expanded dining, kitchen and beer production space on the 1900 block of Shattuck Avenue.

In 2012, we announced that the brewery had made plans to build a two-story building next door to the brewpub, which is currently located at 1920 Shattuck, and to expand the brewpubs operations across both buildings. Triple Rock is sharing the new building with a neighboring engineering firm.

We now hear from Triple Rock that the build out is nearly complete, and that the brewery expects to open the new addition mid-August in conjunction with the brewery’s 30th anniversary. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Pal’s Takeaway, The Cat House, Super Super

Lao sausage sandwich from Pal's Takeaway. Photo: Kate Williams
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Openings, closings…

PAL’S TAKEAWAY PARTS WAYS WITH FIREBRAND Oakland-based sandwich maestro Jeff Mason shocked his fans this weekend with the surprise announcement that he’d no longer be serving sandwiches out of Firebrand Artisan Breads. Mason had moved Pal’s Takeaway to Firebrand from San Francisco’s Mission district last fall, and the new location seemed to be doing well. However, we learned from Inside Scoop that Firebrand’s owners Matt Kreutz and Colleen Orlando wanted to expand the bakery’s food offerings to include full brunch and dinner services; Mason did not want to take on that task. Instead, he has decided to look for a new permanent space to house his operation, and lucky for us, Mason told the East Bay Express that he would like to stay in the East Bay. In the meantime, Mason is planning to hold a series of pop-ups, the first of which will be a hot-dog themed dinner called “Pal’s Takeaway Goes to the Dogs.” The exact date and location have yet to be announced, but Mason told EBX it will take place in Berkeley sometime in the next three to four weeks. Update: We’ve learned from Pal’s Takeaway that the hot dog pop-up will take place at Bartavelle Coffee & Wine Bar at a yet-undecided date in July. Mason wrote on Twitter that the pop-up will include “some dogs some sandwiches some drinks some good stuff!!! Menu soon!!!!” We’ll continue to keep you posted. Connect with Pal’s Takeaway on Twitter.Continue reading »

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Bites: Temescal Brewing, Bomba Doughnuts, more

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Openings, closings

TEMESCAL BREWING OPENS SUNDAY Hot on the heels of Novel Brewing, which opened last week, Temescal Brewing is holding its grand opening celebration this Sunday. The brewery will be open from noon to 10 p.m. and will be participating in that day’s Temescal Street Fair. To mark the opening, Temescal Brewing is releasing a special beer called Block Party, a “super refreshing pale ale specially formulated for optimum block party enjoyment.” After Sunday, the brewery will be open Thurdays from 4-10 p.m., Fridays from 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturdays from noon to midnight, and Sundays from noon to 10 p.m. Temescal Brewing is focusing on what it calls “sunny day” beers; in other words, beers that are lower in alcohol and easier to drink on, yes, a sunny day. Its 15 barrel brewing system does, however, have the capacity to make lots of beers, so Temescal will also serve a range of beer types. “We owe it to the neighborhood to offer a wide variety of beers to match everyone’s taste,” Gilbert told Nosh earlier this spring. “We really get a kick out of exploring the whole spectrum of what beer can be, and constantly trying new stuff.” Temescal Brewing is at 4115 Telegraph Ave. (at 41st Street), Oakland. Connect with the brewery on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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Bites: Novel Brewing, Stay Gold Deli, dinners, more

Novel Brewing: Opening its doors Saturday at xxx
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Openings, closings…

NOVEL BREWING As reported back in October, Novel Brewing is opening up in North Oakland.  Owners Brian and Teresa Koloszyc say the goal is to throw open the doors to the new tasting room on Love Our Neighborhood DaySaturday, June 411am-4pm.  There will be a limited selection of beers on tap, “just enough to wet your whistle.” After Saturday, the brewery will continue to be open Saturdays, noon to 10pm, and Sundays, noon to 8pm. Additional hours will be added as they ramp up to full speed. Or as the couple put it: “The fermenters are full and the yeast is happy! Beer cometh!” Novel Brewing is at 6510 San Pablo Ave. (at 65th Street), Oakland. Connect with the brewery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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Find good summertime eats in these 6 East Bay lists

Enjoying chips and salsa on Comal's pack patio. Photo: Comal
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The calendar might not say it’s summer, but as soon as we recover from our Memorial Day cookouts, the change of season is in the air. So why not embrace that feeling and get on with summertime eating? Whether you’re looking to spend your afternoon on a sunshine-filled patio, take your kids out for ice cream, or bring your dog along for a food-focused adventure, we’ve got you covered. Below, we’ve collected some of our favorite lists and guides to East Bay food and drink by contributor Emily Laskin — keep them handy all summer long. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Agave Uptown, Mokka, Fieldwork, more

Executive Chef Octavio Diaz of Agave Uptown. Photo: Agave Uptown/Facebook
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Openings, closings

MORE MOLE TO OAKLAND Calavera will soon no longer be the only Oaxacan restaurant in Uptown. On June 13, Agave Uptown will open, bringing with it a menu of dishes and drinks from the southwestern Mexican state. It will be the second location for the restaurant; the original Agave opened in Healdsburg in 2010. Behind the restaurant is Octavio Diaz, who grew up in Santa Gertrudis, southwest of the city of Oaxaca. Agave Uptown will focus on “farm-raised ingredients and handmade cooking … [and will] draw from the artisanal tradition of Oaxaca,” according to a a statement. Translation? A menu highlighting Diaz’s 20+ ingredient mole, plus plenty of Oaxan mezcal and Mexican craft beer. (There will also be Sonoma county wine on the menu, in a nod to Diaz’s original Healdsburg location.) The restaurant space has been designed by local firm Arcsine, and it features a mural painted by Lapiztola, a Oaxaca-based art collective. Agave Uptown will be located in the newly opened Kapor Center for Social Impact; as such, Diaz wants the restaurant to serve as an incubator for underrepresented communities with interest in the culinary field. He plans to partner with nearby schools and colleges to provide internships. “When we think about diversity, entrepreneurship and local people being able to benefit from new businesses and opportunities, Agave certainly fits that description,” said Cedric Brown, Kapor Center’s chief of community engagement, in a statement. Once open, Agave will serve both lunch and dinner seven days a week. Agave Uptown will be at 2135 Franklin St. (at 22nd Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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Seven East Bay spots to fuel an impromptu picnic

A spot at Shorebird Park with a bento box from Tokyo Fish Market — an easy picnic with a view. Photo: Benjamin Seto
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The warm weather is a clear signal that summer is just around the corner, and that means a lot of outdoor fun.

Picnics are one way to enjoy the Bay Area weather, and the East Bay has a variety of parks and trails to enjoy some fresh air. But picnics don’t have to be a big production. With the various eateries around town, you can easily grab some delicious bites and hang out in a nearby park with friends or a special someone.

We’ve pulled together a few recommendations on where to get easy-to-travel grub and suggested parks to lay out on the grass — all in an effort to help you plan your next unplanned picnic. (And don’t miss the special offer to Nosh readers from Homeroom To Go, below.) … Continue reading »

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Bites: B&B Wine Bar, LocoL, 2 Laurel beer gardens

Octopus and chorizo from B&B Kitchen and Wine Bar. Photo: B&B
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Openings, closings

B&B WINE BAR OPENS TOMORROW In January, we broke the news that Burritos, Inc. had abruptly shuttered. We now know that the owners Abraham Masarweh and Julia Joslyn have stuck around and will reopen the restaurant as B&B Kitchen and Wine Bar tomorrow for dinner. B&B will be a seafood-focused sister restaurant to the owners’ Rockridge spot Bourbon & Beef. Masarweh told Nosh in an interview that they decided to overhaul Burritos, Inc. because the space was too big for the concept. He said that they landed on a seafood restaurant because the neighborhood is currently lacking in classic American seafood dishes. Menu highlights include butter-poached lobster with squid ink linguine, a grilled octopus and chorizo appetizer, and classic cold seafood towers of oysters, shrimp cocktail, ceviche, crab and lobster tail. For those skipping seafood, B&B will serve steaks, burgers and pork chops, and there will be both vegan- and gluten-free dishes as well. On the drinks side, B&B will serve around 30 affordable wines by the glass — “There will be something for everyone,” said Masarweh — plus 10 draft beers. B&B will open for dinner hours this weekend; starting Monday, it will transition to its full schedule, which includes weekday lunch, nightly dinner and weekend brunch. The restaurant may stay open later on the weekends if the community wants it, said Masarweh. B&B Kitchen and Wine Bar is at 2116 Shattuck Ave. (between Addison and Center streets). Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.Continue reading »

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Maker’s Common to ‘geek out’ on local producers

Cheese plates like this one will be served at Maker's Common. Photo courtesy: Maker's Common
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Sarah Dvorak, Oliver Dameron and Eric Miller weren’t thinking of Berkeley when they first began planning the expansion of Mission Cheese, their popular Valencia Street cheese and charcuterie bar. They expected to open their new spot — called Maker’s Common — somewhere in San Francisco.

But, as has been the case with other restaurants like Millennium, which relocated to Rockridge, and Pal’s Takeaway, which opened in Uptown Oakland, finding affordable space in San Francisco proved impossible. The three founders started looking further afield in the East Bay. And when they had a look at the large, light-filled space at 1954 University Ave., just east of MLK Jr. Way, in downtown Berkeley, they were sold.

With plenty of space to build out both a market and a restaurant, plus outdoor dining space and zoning permits already in place for beer and wine service to boot, the Rose Garden building was too good to pass up.

“When we first saw the space its layout just said ‘THIS IS IT!,'” wrote the founders on the company’s blog. “We all walked and and knew where the retail market would be and where the kitchen would go for the eatery. When we brought an architect in they said the exact same thing — we knew we were onto something.”

Plus, as Dameron says, “It’s a great time to come to Berkeley. There’s lots of change going on here.” … Continue reading »

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Berkeley’s Franklin Bros. Market gets a makeover

Owner Jennifer Freese at Franklin Bros. Market. Photo: Alix Wall
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Jennifer Freese has lived on Bancroft Way, west of San Pablo Avenue, since 1998. And, like many in the neighborhood, she came to rely on Franklin Bros. Market, on the corner of Bancroft and Seventh Street, especially when she was in a pinch.

The store was never much to look at. The windows were boarded up with plywood, and it made most of its profits as many corner markets do — selling cheap beer, cigarettes and lottery tickets.

Freese used to suggest to Franklin Bros.’ previous owners that they spruce it up a bit, but they never listened. And she’d joke with them: “When you retire, I’m going to buy your store and fix it up.”

So, when they decided to sell the business after 40 years, it wasn’t surprising that they gave first dibs to Freese. And after giving it some thought, Freese, who formerly worked for arts-related nonprofits, realized a job ambition she never knew she had. … Continue reading »

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8 East Bay spots for sips and swigs with kids in tow

Commonwealth Cafe. Photo: Adrienne Schell
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Who doesn’t enjoy an adult beverage every now and again? As a parent, the moment when you can sit back with a glass in hand is all the more needed at the end of a hard day of child wrangling. I’ll never forget the moment when I realized life had changed: my husband and I walked into a bar for a beer with our six-month old in the Ergo and we were told, “No one under 21 allowed.” It was a reality check, and, since then, we have done our best to scour the East Bay for spots where we can relax and unwind with great food, a cold beverage and our two kiddos by our side. While family-friendly dining is becoming more widespread on this side of the Bay, the same can be said for the pubs, beer gardens and wineries that are popping up in town. … Continue reading »

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