Tag Archives: Jack London Square

Bites: Millennium on for Rockridge, Vampire Penguin

The Halo-Halo. Photo: Vampire Penguin
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Openings, closings…

VAMPIRE PENGUIN HAS THE GREEN LIGHT Berkeley will soon have its own shaved ice restaurant. We brought you news about Vampire Penguin, the popular Sacramento-based Taiwanese dessert restaurant, last fall. The restaurant now has its hands on a building permit, and manager Anthony Bai hopes to be open by mid-May. Vampire Penguin specializes in gourmet shaved ice — made primarily of fruit concentrate, sugar and non-dairy cream — with a variety of flavors and toppings like fruit, oats, taro, condensed milk, candies and other treats. It’s a potent combination; one Sacramento news outlet named the product, also known as “shaved snow,” the “best mouthgasam” in the city. Vampire Penguin will be at 2575 Telegraph Ave. (at Parker Street), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.Continue reading »

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Bites: Newberry Market to Uptown Station, more

A rendering of Newberry Market & Deli, the first tenant to sign on to open in the renovated Sears Building in Uptown Oakland, which developers Lane Partners hope to see transformed into a foodie and tech hub for the Millennial generation. Rendering: Steelblue
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Openings, closings…

NEWBERRY MARKET & DELI TO UPTOWN STATION The first tenant to sign on to the ambitious Uptown Station project in the old Sears building above Oakland’s 19th Street BART station is upscale grocery store Newberry Market & Deli, reports Inside Scoop. The 20,000-square foot store will take its cues from artisanal markets such as Bi-Rite and Market Hall, and will offer everything from organic produce and grocery staples to hot and cold prepared items such as sandwiches, salads, rotisserie meats, and soups. Newberry Market also plans to have a a full-service butcher shop, charcuterie and cheese counter, a café, flower shop, and grab-and-go pizza by the slice. Even with all of these amenities, owners Ann Thai and Loren Goodwin hope to keep the prices “affordable and accessible.” Newberry Market, named after the old Newberry’s department store that operated next door many years ago, will be the anchor tenant in the ground floor food hall, which developers Lane Partners hope to fill with other niche food  and tech businesses and turn into a type of hip Ferry Building for the Millennial generation. Thai and Goodwin hope to open the market in fall 2016. Newberry Market will be at 1954 Telegraph Ave. (at 19th Street), Oakland.Continue reading »

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Bites: Rec Room, Octopus Literary Salon opening

The Rec Room Cafe. Photo: Sean Rouse/Twitter
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Openings, closings…

THE REC ROOM A café and education space is coming to South Berkeley, hopefully by April. The Rec Room bills itself as a “family spot,” an indoor space where parents and caretakers can come with small children to eat, learn and chat. In addition to local, organic, and nut-free food, coffee and tea, The Rec Room will offer everything from free pre-school activities and child-minding, to classes on creative writing, cooking and science for elementary-aged children. The Rec Room will be at 3222 Adeline St. (between Fairview and Harmon streets). Connect with the café on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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Jack London Square to get food marketplace

Oxbow Public Market. Photo Scott Beale
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San Francisco has the Ferry Building. Napa has the Oxbow Public Market. And, come fall of 2016, Oakland should have Water Street Market, a place of local food purveyors in Jack London Square.

Steve Carlin, CEO of the Carlin Company, who designed both the Ferry Building Marketplace as well as Oxbow Market, has recently come on board to oversee the development of the new marketplace.

The intention for the waterfront development had always been to install a market of local, sustainable producers inside the mixed-use building on the South End of the square, next to the Daniel Patterson restaurant Haven. However the downturn in the economy forced the developers to halt the project and the space has stood vacant for many years.

“When we finished the building in 2009, it was a challenging moment in the economy so we weren’t able to implement the market at that time,” said Will Miller, a partner at the San Francisco-based Ellis Partners Inc. “But a lot has happened since then.” … Continue reading »

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Bites: Box and Bells closes, Haven on pause, more

Meats with sauerkraut (Boudin blanc; corned beef with parsley sauce). Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Openings, closings

BOX AND BELLS IS DONE After about 15 months of operation in Rockridge, James Syhabout’s Box and Bells has closed. (Nosh previewed the restaurant in 2013.) The restaurant shut down Wednesday, according to a notice on the company website. Box and Bells, at 5912 College Ave. in Oakland, featured dishes inspired by staff meals at Syhabout’s higher-end Commis — think hearty comfort food like poutine, fried chicken and burgers topped with cheese curds. In an official statement posted on Inside Scoop SF, Syhabout explained that “despite our greatest efforts, the concept simply did not resonate with the neighborhood and result in the success necessary to sustain the restaurant.” Operations at Syhabout’s other Oakland restaurants, the Michelin-starred Commis, Hawker Fare and The Dock at Linden Street, will continue. And the closure appears unlikely to slow him down: Syhabout is gearing up to open a new Hawker Fare location in San Francisco later this month. … Continue reading »

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Bites: Tia’s, Longbranch, Descanso, Plank and more

Dana Zumot, the new owner of Tia's, a cafe that has replaced Levant, which was only open a few weeks. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Openings, closings…

TIA’S A new café called Tia’s is set to open imminently at the spot once occupied by the short-lived Levant Organic Café on the corner of Kittredge and Oxford streets in downtown Berkeley. The owner, Dana Zumot, has previously worked as a restaurant manager and her love of cooking led her to open her own place at 2177 Kittredge St. Tia’s will be a casual café serving salads and panini sandwiches, as well as coffee and tea. With its location close to the Cal campus, and its light-filled atmosphere, Zumot is hoping Tia’s becomes a popular hang-out space. Telephone the café at 510-647-9863 to confirm it is open before venturing out. … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Centouno in Jack London Square

Centouno. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Come along with Nosh as we explore the East Bay food scene in photographs. This week we focus on Centouno in Oakland’s Jack London Square.

Owner Fabio Dalle Vacche has teamed up with his mother, Luigina Delfino — who’s been cooking for 40 years — to launch a cozy, rustic and stylish Italian restaurant on Broadway just north of Jack London Square. Dalle Vacche drew inspiration from his family’s trattoria, just outside Parma, Italy, and has state-side experience opening Borgo Italia in Old Oakland and consulting for restaurants in New York City. Dalle Vacche goes out of his way to make diners comfortable. Dishes are “an homage” to Delfino’s long culinary history, and reasonably priced to boot. Via the restaurant website, “Using only the best ingredients, her recipes are unassuming, delicious and served the way she does in her own kitchen. Not distracted by unneeded garnish, the food is rustic, cooked with love and speaks for itself.” See the initial menu here to get a sense of the offerings, but items do change.

Centouno, at 101 Broadway, at the Embarcadero in Oakland, opened in December, and Nosh was invited for a complimentary meal for two to try it out. If you’ve sampled the spots we feature, please let us know about your experience in the comments below. (Photographs by Emilie Raguso.) … Continue reading »

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Authentic Bagel: A New York meets Bay Area recipe

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It happens numerous times a day, starting around noon and going into the afternoon: the “Bagel Brothers” at Authentic Bagel Company in Jack London Square are cleaning up and putting their kitchen back together after turning it into a retail store, when someone stops by for a bagel with a schmear. The reply is always the same: “We were sold out by 11:30.” When that reply deviates, it’s that they sold out even earlier.

The brothers’ bagel business is all about customer service, and they want to give their customers what they want. Which is why they’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign, to expand their business into a proper café and retail space next door.

“We do roughly between 1,200 and 1,800 bagels a day out of 650 square feet of space,” said Jason Scott, the younger of the two siblings. After they are done baking, an elaborate ritual of Tetris happens, in which they fashion their tiny space into a retail shop, moving counters, toasters and a flat-top so they can sell bagel breakfast sandwiches and coffee. … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Dishcrawl in Jack London Square

Home of Chicken and Waffles
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Come along with Nosh as we explore the East Bay food scene in photographs. This week we focus on Dishcrawl, which takes place in various hot spots around the Bay. Last week’s Dishcrawl toured through Jack London Square, from stalwarts Scott’s Seafood and the Home of Chicken and Waffles to newer tenants Forge pizzeria and Bocanova. The event helps food-lovers explore an area and meet new friends, and can be a fun way to celebrate a special event, attendees said. If you’ve tried the spots we feature, please let us know about your experience in the comments below. Learn more about Dishcrawl here. (Photographs by Emilie Raguso.) … Continue reading »

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In Oakland, two Italians craft pasta with a U.S. twist

samples of shapes, wheats and colors available at Baia Pasta
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Almost a year ago this week, Renato Sardo and Dario Barbone, compatriots from northwestern Italy, set up shop in Oakland’s burgeoning Jack London Square to make pasta. Not just any old pasta. Each of the twelve shapes produced by Baia Pasta — from the charming conchiglioni (“spinners”) to the traditional maccheroni — are made from organic American flours.

“The idea for the business started when I learned that many high quality dried pastas in Italy are made from American wheat,”said Renato Sardo as he stood in the Baia Pasta retail space that doubles as the production facility.

Hard durum wheat (as opposed to soft wheat, which has a lower protein content and is used for pie crusts and cakes) contributes that desirable toothiness in dried pasta cooked to al dente. Ground hard durum, also called semolina, remains their best seller. But Sardo and Barbone also experiment with other flours, such as spelt and kamut, grown organically in the areas surrounding the Rocky Mountain Range. They even make a rice-based noodle that appeals to the gluten-free crowd. … Continue reading »

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Two big new restaurants land in Jack London Square

Forge patio
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There’s never a dull moment at Jack London Square these days. Last time we checked, the Oakland spot boasted seven full-fledged restaurants — Daniel Patterson’s Haven, Bocanova, Hahn’s Hibachi, Il Pescatore, Kincaid’s Bay House, Scott’s Seafood Restaurant and jazz hot spot Yoshi’s — as well as pretty as a picture Miette Patisserie and Confiserie with its showcase bakery open to the street, Ben & Jerry’s, Heinold’s First and Last Chance Saloon — even a good old Subway.

But the foodie destinations keep coming. This week saw the opening of Forge, a 4,100 sq ft, 150-seat pizzeria on Franklin St., and, on Thursday next week, Lungomare will make its debut in the former Miss Pearl’s Jam House space — just one of many spots planned by restaurant impressario extraordinaire Chris Pastena. … Continue reading »

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Nosh on the town: Haven in Jack London Square

Screen shot 2012-12-20 at 12.31.53 PM
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Come along with Nosh as we explore East Bay restaurants in photographs. This week we focus on Haven, 44 Webster St., in Oakland’s Jack London Square. If you’ve tried the spots we feature, please let us know about your experience in the comments below. (See the menu.) If you’d like to submit your own photo gallery for consideration from a meal you enjoyed, please email tips@berkeleyside.com for more information. You can also add photographs to our Flickr group.  (Photos by Emilie Raguso.) Caption info is under the fold. … Continue reading »

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Nosh Talk: Bocanova Chef-Owner Rick Hackett

Bocanova Chef Owner Rick Hacket.5cropped
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What is always in your refrigerator? 
Cheese, St. Benoît yogurt, fruit, almond milk, and bottled water.

What do you cook up for a late night snack?
Quesadillas with avocado and sprouts.

Where/what do you eat on your day off?
Dim Sum at Yank Sing in the Rincon Center.

Do you have a secret ‘junk food’ vice?  Popcorn.

Any food you can’t stand? 
Not yet.

What is your fantasy “last meal?” Tripe done seven different ways.

What ingredient is overused and needs to be retired? 
Foam. … Continue reading »

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