Tag Archives: Westbrae Biergarten
By Benjamin Seto/Focus:Snap:Eat
I’m more a wine than beer drinker, but there’s something about a warm, sunny day that makes me want to just chug down a cold, refreshing mug of beer. That’s exactly what I was doing yesterday when I visited the Westbrae Biergarten in the northwest area of Berkeley.
Westbrae is a popular new beer garden that drew big crowds during the World Cup (lots of soccer fans love beer), so much so that the neighborhood got a bit testy about the noise and lines of people waiting to get into the beer garden. And Westbrae really is a small neighborhood, tucked in between North Berkeley and the emerging Gilman district. … Continue reading »
THE ADVOCATE GETTING CLOSE The Elmwood’s contentious new restaurant, The Advocate, is slated to open at the beginning of August. The restaurant has secured its liquor license and is in the process of passing its final inspections. As we reported in June, 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 owners Andrew Hoffman and John Paluska. 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 since December 2014. The Advocate will be at 2635 Ashby Ave. (at College Avenue), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter. … Continue reading »
1. Hog’s Apothecary
Hog’s Apothecary just passed its one-year anniversary in Temescal, and it already seems like a neighborhood fixture. With 33 local craft brews on tap — some may come from as far away as the Pacific Northwest — and a Cicerone (beer sommelier) on staff, this place takes its beer seriously. (There are also bottles, and a few wines and sodas). Chef-owner John Streit has designed a menu that is pork-heavy (with a name like that, is that a surprise?) offering charcuterie, sausages and lard-fried potato chips, but there are plenty of non-pork and vegetarian options, too. Communal tables encourage conversation, especially about what beer you’re drinking. Tip: Though a casual place, it’s extremely popular, and those in the know make reservations on OpenTable. Also, while you may discover your new favorite beer there, don’t count on it to be there the next time you go; taps change constantly, as does the menu. Follow the business on Facebook to learn what new beers are being poured. Hog’s Apothecary is at 375 40th St., Oakland. Hours: Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5-11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight. Closed Tuesdays. … Continue reading »
As the final match of the World Cup began Sunday, July 13, some 40 people stood patiently in an orderly line outside the new Westbrae Biergarten on the corner of Gilman and Curtis streets. A bouncer guarded the entrance to the beer garden, where patrons sat calmly watching the game on non-amplified screens.
The tranquil scene was a far cry from the whistles and whoops and massive crowds that were mainstays at the beer garden during the earlier World Cup games. … Continue reading »
WESTBRAE BIERGARTEN West Berkeley’s much-anticipated beer garden on the corner of Gilman and Curtis streets is set to have its official opening June 12, Joel Di-Giorgio, who’s helping launch the place, tells us. In the run up, you might find the gate to the outdoor eating and drinking space ajar — and, during this soft opening phase, you just may be able to slip in and enjoy food from anchor tenant Brazil Café, as well sipping a brew of course. Owners Linda and Carl Lasagna — whose family founded Westbrae Nursery next door to the lot and are behind the venture — want to make sure they iron out any wrinkles before the hordes descend. And descend they will: Local residents seem universally happy that the beer garden, modeled on the Hayes Valley Biergarten on Octavia Street in San Francisco, is coming to their neighborhood. “From my neighborhood conversations we predict the place will be mobbed,” said Steven Donaldson who lives nearby. … Continue reading »
ALCHEMY BOTTLE SHOP Upscale liquor shops seem to be quite the thing right now — must be because of those craft cocktails we’re all enjoying so much — and the latest entrant into the field is Alchemy Bottle Shop at 3256 Grand Ave. (within striking distance of restaurants like Boot & Shoe Service and Grand Fare). The store — whose design is as far removed from the stereotypical seedy liquor store as you can get, with fresh white-painted cabinets, varnished wood floors and lashings of light — offers a “handpicked selection of the finest craft spirits, featuring small producers and naturally made products.” Other high-end spots to pick up your favorite tipple include the Northbrae Bottle Shop, at 1590 Hopkins St. in Berkeley, which opened last spring. And soon we will have another similar destination at 3185 College Ave. in Rockridge. As we reported last month, Future Bars, the group behind San Francisco cocktail bars Bourbon & Branch and Local Edition, as well as the forthcoming Tupper & Reed cocktail bar in the old Beckett’s space in Berkeley, has taken over College Avenue Wine Spirits & Deli and is expected to re-open as Cask in a few months. … Continue reading »
The folks behind the Westbrae Biergarten, a beer garden and food truck spot being planned for the corner lot of Gilman and Curtis streets in West Berkeley, have secured their permits — finally — and construction is about to begin on the much-anticipated project.
Two well-known local food trucks — Brazil Café and Roli Roti — have signed up to be regulars at the beer garden which now hopes to open in spring 2014. Brazil Café will have a permanent presence at the site, which hopes to be something like the Hayes Valley Biergarten on Octavia Street in San Francisco, and two other mobile food vendors are also slated to join the line-up. … Continue reading »
SLIDERBAR Today is the opening day for SliderBar, Berkeley’s newest location for tiny, juicy hamburgers (tipped by us earlier this month). The restaurant, at 2124 Center St., between Oxford and Shattuck, is in the former location of the Green Earth Café, and just steps away from Cal. Co-owner Ashwani Dhawan is a Silicon Valley hi-tech entrepreneur who has already created two other SliderBar locations and has plans to open two more in the coming months. To celebrate the opening, Dhawan will give away 1,000 free sliders on Sat. Aug. 24. The menu includes The Old Timer (Niman Ranch beef, gem lettuce, tomatoes, pickled onions, house made pickles, and secret sauce), the Three Alarm (Niman Ranch beef patty, cheddar cheese, habanero pepper jam, sliced serrano chilis, pickled jalapeños), and the Magic Mushroom (balsamic-marinated portobellos, onion rings, pickled onions, Swiss cheese, and arugula). SliderBar will also serve the Red and Gold, which is a concoction of corned beef brisket, sweet red pepper sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and a secret sauce. It’s not named after Cal’s nemesis, Stanford, but the San Francisco 49ers. … Continue reading »
GILMAN BIERGARTEN Remember we told you about the proposal to create a dining and beer garden at Gilman and Curtis in West Berkeley? It had many readers salivating. The good news is the plans have been approved. Owners Linda and Carl Lasagna, whose family founded Westbrae Nursery next door to the lot, are finalizing negotiations with a stationary anchor tenant and are on the lookout for candidates for two or three food truck spots (Roti Roti is a strong favorite, and when the garden recently rolled in the Brazil Café truck for a test run, passersby erupted in cheers.). DSA Architects have started mocking up placements on the site. The plan is for 3,400 square feet of outdoor dining space with picnic-style seating — not unlike the Hayes Valley Biergarten on Octavia Street in San Francisco (View the application to Berkeley’s planning department.) The hope is that the biergarten will open in late July.
BROTZEIT LOKAL Speaking of beer, and German beer at that, Brotzeit Lokal on the Oakland waterfront looks set to open on June 13, according to East Bay Express. The German sausage-and-beer restaurant is the brainchild of Chop Bar chef Lev Delany and you can check out the initial menu here. Brotzeit Lokal is at 1000 Embarcadero. Follow them on Facebook as they count down to the opening. … Continue reading »
A Berkeley couple who own the vacant lot on the corner of Gilman and Curtis streets in West Berkeley has applied to open a beer garden and food truck market there, tentatively called the Westbrae Food Garden, or the Gilman Biergarten.
Linda and Carl Lasagna, whose family founded Westbrae Nursery next door to the lot but are no longer owners, envision 3,400 sq ft of outdoor dining space with picnic-style seating served by a on-site food trailer, in the style of an Airstream, as well as up to three food trucks or trailers. The application to Berkeley’s planning department was filed on March 29.
Dietmar Lorenz, an architect at DSA Architects who is working with the Lasagnas on the project, said the idea for the small-scale outdoor dining spot — which he describes as not dissimilar to the Hayes Valley Biergarten on Octavia St. in San Francisco, but in a more verdant setting — has so far been well-received in the neighborhood.
… Continue reading »