Tag Archives: Southie

Wood Tavern owners taking over Bay Wolf space

Photo: Bay Wolf
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Oakland’s iconic Bay Wolf space is not going to stay empty for long. The 40-year-old Piedmont Avenue restaurant, which closed Aug. 30, is going to be in the hands of another pair of well-known Oakland restaurateurs — Rich and Rebekah Wood.

The Woods, of course, own Rockridge’s Wood Tavern on the Oakland-Berkeley border, a favorite of neighborhood diners and critics — so popular in fact that snagging a table there can prove difficult. The couple — who also own sandwich spot Southie, next door to Wood Tavern, opened in 2011—  announced on Monday in the Mercury News that they were taking over the lease of the Bay Wolf space.

The Woods are following in the wake of a local culinary institution. Michael Wild opened the warm, wood-paneled Bay Wolf restaurant in a Craftsman house at 3853 Piedmont Ave. with partners Michael Phelps and Larry Goldman in September 1975, three years after Chez Panisse opened in Berkeley. Like Alice Waters’ celebrated, and similarly styled, restaurant, Bay Wolf was known from the start for its locally sourced, seasonal menu. … Continue reading »

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Josh Thomsen gathers talent for Claremont wine fest

Josh Thomsen
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Josh Thomsen knew from a young age that he wanted to be a chef and credits his late father, Jerry, for sparking his culinary interest. His dad would put in a long day as a stockbroker, come home, go to the market, and then cook up a storm — making a mess, using every pot in the house, and turning out a delicious dinner.

The Culinary Institute of America grad has done his dad proud. Thomsen’s resumé includes stints at the French Laundry in Yountville, Hotel Bel Air in Los Angeles, and The Lodge at Pebble Beach. He’s also worked in kitchens in big-buck Las Vegas venues like Tao Restaurant at the Venetian Resort, the Mansion at the MGM Grand Hotel, and the Michael Mina-owned Nobhill Tavern.

These days Thomsen, 40, is the executive chef at local landmark The Claremont Hotel, Club, and Spa, known for its regal white facade and killer views. Until recently, though, the hotel wasn’t exactly known as a destination dining experience. … Continue reading »

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