Willy Perez, a Cheese Board alum and Berkeley High grad, has just opened his second restaurant focused on fresh Mexican fare and philanthropy.
MEET ME DOWNTOWN DAY Berkeley’s downtown will come alive on Sunday with the first Meet Me Downtown Day. Five major arts venues and the Downtown YMCA will be open with free events and numerous downtown restaurants have special offers. Among the free events are tours of the soon-to-open UC Theatre, film demonstrations on the new BAMPFA’s outdoor screen, bluegrass and country jam at the Freight & Salvage, free workshops at the Berkeley Rep’s School of Theatre, a jazz trio concert at the California Jazz Conservatory, and free use of the pool and gym (as well as some free yoga classes) at the Y. Among the restaurant specials are a free salad bar at Sandwich Spot, a free 4 oz taster with every full pint purchase at Jupiter, and 10% off at Phil’s Sliders.There’s also an Instagram contest for the best #MeetMeDowntownBerkeley photos (iPad Mini to the winner) and a draw for an “extravaganza weekend for two.” Full details of the day and the offers on the Meet Me Downtown Day site. Meet Me Downtown runs from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 20. Start at the Welcome Kiosk at the Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza. (more…)
This week's Bites is a big one, with news on the new Berkeley location of Sweetgreen, the closure of La Botella, and much more.
We've got some good news on Grand Fare Market, Belcampo Meat Co., Blind Tiger, and Roses' Taproom, plus much more East Bay food news, in this week's Bites.
SOURCE MINI SHUTTERS UNEXPECTEDLY Source Mini, an offshoot of San Francisco’s Source restaurant, opened to great fanfare in the Gourmet Ghetto’s Epicurious Garden at 1511 Shattuck Ave. in January 2014. Owner Mitchell Fox said his vegan place was “like a Subway or McDonald’s-esque vegan fast-food menu,” with vegan burgers and sandwiches, gluten-free tacos and quesadillas and dosadillas. Fox shuttered his San Francisco locale in January because of the escalating costs associated with a higher minimum wage; the Berkeley restaurant followed suit last week, apparently because business was slow. Fox left a short note on the restaurant’s Facebook page saying the place closed July 18: “Sorry to say yesterday was our last day in Berkeley, we want to thank everyone for their support.” When fans asked why, he replied: “Wasn’t able to do enough business.” The management of Epicurious Garden has a sign up announcing that a new restaurant will be opening soon. (more…)
The Gourmet Ghetto is home to a new restaurant focused on seasonal ingredients cooked with a dash of Indo-Asian flair.
After opening two stores, in Oakland and Berkeley, Lush owner Federico Murtagh has plans to expand across the bay.
SOURCE MINI Vegans rejoice! San Francisco restaurant Source is opening up a second location in the Gourmet Ghetto’s Epicurious Garden at 1511 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley. Source Mini is taking over the spot formerly occupied by Flavor Mediterranean Food, which closed as it wants to open a sit-down restaurant elsewhere. Source owner Mitchell Fox, who brought the concept of vegan fast food from the Bronx, says he knew San Francisco and Berkeley would be perfect for his original restaurant (which is on Division Street at De Haro) — it just happened he got a better deal on a building in the city. The Berkeley spot will be a smaller, take-out version of the restaurant. “It’s like a Subway or McDonald’s-esque vegan fast food menu,” he said. That means: vegan burgers and sandwiches, gluten-free tacos and quesadillas, dosadillas (as pictured above), and more. Fox said Source’s was the only vegetarian burger to be included in Grub Street’s latest Top 50 San Francisco’s list. Fox hopes to open Source Mini within two weeks. (more…)
NATURE’S EXPRESS CLOSING Nature’s Express at 1823 Solano is closing Dec 31 after four years on the Berkeley street. The healthy/vegan fast-food business failed, according to owner Carl Myers, who wrote a long note on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “When ventures fail, it comes down to leadership, so I am painfully aware that the failure has been mine,” he wrote. “I apologize to the employees who have put heart and soul into this venture and the customers who have supported us for our failure to serve them in the future.” Ironically, Myers also salutes McDonald’s who, he writes, “do a lot of things right,” including customer service, locations and advertising. Judging from the response from many loyal customers on Facebook, it will be missed. [Hat tip: Kenneth Goldberg] (more…)
THE FICKLE BAG The handbag and accessory store The Fickle Bag has shut its doors at 1885 Solano Ave. A note on the store’s website announcing the closure of the 3-year-old business does not provide details regarding why it closed. However, owner Jua Park also operates a Fickle Bag location in the San Francisco International Airport, which will remain open. (Hat tip: Jane Tierney)
Openings, closing and fun food events in the East Bay: it's all here in the new Nosh Bites.
FLAVOR A new Mediterranean restaurant is set to move into the former Picoso Taqueria space in Epicurious Garden at 1511 Shattuck Ave. Picoso closed in early May, and now Flavor Mediterranean Food, run by executive chef Ezra Malmuth, is claiming the Gourmet Ghetto takeout spot. According to a sign posted at the currently empty storefront, Malmuth has worked in “upscale eateries throughout the world” and interned at Chez Panisse. The sign says the new Flavor menu will highlight “California freshness enhanced with Middle Eastern spice,” and will change frequently with vegetarian and vegan options, alongside slow-braised meat and fish. (Hat-tip: Doug Ng) (more…)
Owner Marc Kelly shares stories about his tiny takeaway business Soop in the Gourmet Ghetto.