BAY GRAPE: NOW OPEN IN OAKLAND Stevie Stacionis and Josiah Baldivino share the news that their Grand Avenue wine shop, Bay Grape, is finally open in Oakland, as of Monday. The husband-and-wife team describe the business as a “wine shop focused on community,” and “a physical gathering spot dedicated to building and preserving relationships with and between our guests.” Wine bottles are sold to-go, or can be enjoyed on-site for the retail price and a $5 corkage fee. Classes and tastings are slated to start in September, with a grand opening party scheduled for Sept. 6 from 5-9 p.m. Bay Grape is open at 376 Grand Ave. in Oakland. Connect with Bay Grape on its website, Facebook and Twitter.
BUILDING 43 WINERY AIMS FOR ALAMEDA An artisan wine shop from owner Meredith Coghlan and winemaker Tod Hickman is working on opening in Alameda. The company offers six California wines, including a Malbec, a Syrah and two Petite Sirahs from the Sierra foothills, a Chardonnay from Mendocino and a Riesling from Contra Costa County. Building 43 Winery aims to open a tasting room in October, according to the company website: “We create artisan wines in an unexpected urban location with fruit sourced from select vineyards throughout Northern California.” Perks ranging from tasting room discounts to launch party privileges are promised to people who follow the business on Facebook. The company has a winegrower license pending with the state. Building 43 Winery is set to open at 2440 Monarch St. in Alameda. Connect with the winery on its website or on Facebook.
COMMUNITĒ TABLE IN THE LAUREL Pop-up eatery and catering service Communitē Table is planning to open a brick-and-mortar shop in Oakland’s Laurel District this fall. According to the company website, Chef/owner Michele LeProhn “has cooked, worked and shopped” at Oakland farmers markets for more than three decades, and used to run Poulet in Berkeley. Her goal is to create “seasonal soups, homemade entrees and more for your family table.” Those who’d like to check out the fare can swing by a pop-up this Friday, Aug. 29, for pick-up or dine-in service on the patio from 6-8 p.m. Menu items include starters like mac and cheese, hummus and soup ($5-$7), and mains such as pork stew, braised chicken, and a vegetarian tomato and feta tart ($11). See the full summer menu on the company website. LeProhn has an on-sale beer and wine license pending with the state. Communitē Table is set to open at 4171 MacArthur Blvd. in Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on its website, Facebook or on Twitter.
NEW THAI SPOT IN KENSINGTON A new Thai café has moved into the Kensington location where Sugar Cone Café operated until it closed in December 2012. Berkeleyside contributing photographer Nancy Rubin alerted us to the opening of Ele Thai. According to the restaurant, owners are offering Thai bites, coffee and tea for those in a hurry, as well as customers who want to relax over a cup of coffee. They describe the restaurant as casual, healthy and friendly, and said their goal is to create a community space that’s comfortable for visitors. Let us know if you try it. Ele Thai is located at 303 Arlington Ave. in Kensington. It’s open from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
TEQUILA IN OAKLAND San Francisco-based Partida Tequila has received a distilled spirits importer’s license from the state to set up operations at 1700 20th St. in Oakland. The license allows for storage and sales, importation and distribution. The company has been based in San Francisco, with distribution to businesses like BevMo!, Binny’s Beverage Depot and Publix. To make its alcohol, the company starts with blue agave from the Tequila Valley in Jalisco, Mexico, bakes it in stainless steel ovens and ages it in Jack Daniel’s American oak barrels. Learn more on the company website.
WOLFHOUND BAR STILL SET FOR EMERYVILLE A new bar set to focus on beer, and hold live jazz sessions as well as weekly pub quizzes, is one step closer to opening in Emeryville. Wolfhound now has a beer, wine and spirits license pending with the state department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, as of Aug. 21. The application is for a bar or night club, and does not require food service. Owners are listed as Peader Kelleher, Keith Mulligan and Christopher Southgate. The E’ville Eye reported in April that Kelleher owns Shannon Moving & Storage, and identified Southgate as a 10-year bar industry veteran, and Mulligan as a member of the Irish-import band The Hooks. The founders hope the bar, which will feature local art on the walls and serve a wide selection of brews will become a neighborhood gathering spot. Wolfhound hopes to open by the fall. Wolfhound is set to open at at 5516 San Pablo Ave. (at 55th Street) in Emeryville. Nosh hasn’t spotted any websites or social media accounts yet, but will keep our eyes peeled.
TAIWAN BENTO OPENS UPTOWN We hear from Tablehopper that Taiwan Bento has opened in Oakland, with an official grand opening set for Friday, Aug. 29. The “fast casual Oakland-Taiwanese food” restaurant has been in “soft opening” mode since Aug. 14, according to its website. According to Inside Scoop SF, owners are Stacy Tang, a Taiwanese transplant to Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood, and Willy Wang, her husband: “The streamlined menu will offer just four options, including minced braised pork rice and beef noodle soup, that is presented bento box–style with various small side dishes.” In a recent Facebook post, owners say the “strategy is to first nail down our quick serve lunch menu entrees. Over time, we will introduce sides, Taiwanese ‘small eats’, and more drinks, in addition to extending our hours.” The business had an on-sale beer and wine license pending with the state as of July 10. The opening is bittersweet for some; previously, Allison Chen had planned to open a Taiwanese noodle shop called Pi Dan Noodle House at that location, but she died suddenly and unexpectedly before realizing her dream, as reported by various outlets, including the East Bay Express. Taiwan Bento is located at 412 22nd St. in Oakland. Connect with the business on its website, Facebook and Twitter.
KETTLE CORN IN THE LAUREL East Bay Dish reports that Peter’s Kettle Corn has opened in Oakland’s Laurel District, with a grand opening party last weekend. (Nosh tipped readers about the plans in June.) Owners are Peter and John Ngu, brothers who “built Peter’s Kettle Corn from the ground up.” East Bay Dish says the shop offers “20 interesting flavors” from horchata to sea salted seaweed and also spicy cheddar. Other flavors include matcha green tea with white chocolate and Saigon cinnamon sugar. Prior to the opening of the brick-and-mortar shop, fans could buy the kettle corn at fairs and farmers markets. Peter’s Kettle Corn is open at 4139 MacArthur Blvd. in Oakland. Connect with the Peter’s on its website, Facebook and Twitter.
UPTOWN GETS NEW MODERN COFFEE Also in Uptown, and also tipped by Tablehopper, is the news that Modern Coffee has launched a second location: “The space is still a work in progress, but coffee is being served,” she writes. Expect to find beans from top roasters around the nation, including North Carolina’s Counter Culture Coffee, Portland’s Stumptown and Santa Cruz’s Verve. The new location has about 12 seats in the 800-square-foot space, which is around the same size as the original Modern Coffee outlet in the Tribune Tower building at 411 13th St. According to Modern Coffee, the new location opened Monday, and is open weekdays only from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Find the new Modern Coffee outlet in the Leamington Building at 381 19th St. in Oakland. Connect with the shop on its website, Facebook and Twitter.
CHANGES FOR CHRIS PASTENA Inside Scoop SF reports that Chris Pastena — owner of Tribune Tavern, Chop Bar and Lungomare in Oakland — has a number of plans in the works, including a new project called Calavera at the Hive at 2335 Broadway. He told Inside Scoop that Tribune Tavern will be getting a new executive chef in the next few months, after former chef Tracey Belock announced plans to take the reins at a new Montclair restaurant called Chowhaus (which Nosh recently wrote about). Pastena said Calavera will “have an emphasis on authentic, ingredient-driven fare in a higher-end setting.” The bar program will include a “200-strong selection of tequilas and mescals,” according to Inside Scoop, and whole roasts of goats, pigs and lamb will be on the menu. A covered outside dining area will seat 50, as well as an 18-seat bar with community seating inside. The target opening date is spring 2015. Pastena told Inside Scoop that Lungomare (at 1 Broadway in Jack London Square in Oakland) also has new menu items, including an expanded cured meat program with a slew of “cured-in-house” options. New cocktails are planned, as are more Italian varietals on the wine list.
Other East Bay foodie happenings
DESCO ANNIVERSARY Old Oakland’s Desco will celebrate its one-year anniversary Thursday, Aug. 28. Seatings are available throughout the evening, and will feature a special $30 menu “and some bubbly,” the restaurant has announced. (The menu was not readily available online as of Wednesday.) The restaurant, which emphasizes seasonally fresh, ingredient-driven regional Italian cuisine, is overseen by executive chef Donato Scotti, who grew up in Italy. The 50-seat dining room has rustic wooden furnishings and a vintage brick wall, which contribute to a comfortable, old-world feel. If you missed Nosh’s photo feature on Desco, check it out here. Desco is located at 499 Ninth St. in Oakland. Connect with Desco on its website and on Facebook.
SHAKEWELL ADDS COCKTAIL HOURS, BRUNCH After opening in Oakland about a month ago, Shakewell is rounding out its service, adding twice-daily cocktail hours and weekend brunch service. The Lakeshore Avenue restaurant, from Top Chef alums Jen Biesty and Tim Nugent, will offer cocktail hours from Tuesday through Sunday from 4-5:30 p.m., and Tuesday through Saturday from 9-10 p.m. Expect to find “sips” like $5 red and white wine offerings, a $5 seasonal sangria, $6 well cocktails and $3 Sessions lager. Bites range from $3-$7 and include deviled quail eggs, melon with ham, fried anchovies and falafel with dried chorizo. Brunch service all weekend long is set to begin Saturday, Aug. 30, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Spanish fried rice ($15), chickpea flatbread ($12) and poached eggs on a falafel cake with chorizo ($15) are among the items to be offered. Shakewell is located at 3407 Lakeshore Ave. Learn more at www.shakewelloakland.com, and on Facebook and Twitter.
HOMESTEAD LABOR DAY BBQ From Homestead, we hear the Piedmont Avenue restaurant is bringing back its Labor Day barbecue buffet Monday, Sept. 1, “beginning at noon and continuing until supplies run out.” It’s a cash-only buffet costing $30 for adults and $15 for children 10 and under. Drinks are charged separately (also cash only) and will be served at the bar. On the menu: baby back ribs, corn on the cob with chili lime butter, mixed greens salad, fingerling potato salad, baked beans, house-made pullman bread, and house-made popsicles. Don’t miss Nosh’s review and photo feature on Homestead. Homestead is located at 4029 Piedmont Ave. Connect with Homestead on its website, Facebook and Twitter.
BEER FEST AT THE TRAPPIST The Sour/Bitter Fest is coming to The Trappist in Oakland from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, with several East Bay restaurants and brewers taking part. Organizers tell us the idea is that “each restaurant will bring a sour and bitter ‘bite’ while breweries will bring a sour and bitter brew. Guests will be able to pair bitter food with bitter beer and so forth.” Participating restaurants include The Trappist, Tamarindo, Perdition Smokehouse, Homestead, Miss Ollie’s and Ramen Shop. Breweries are set to include Almanac, Sante Adairius Rustic Ales, Craftsman, Tahoe Mountain, The Rare Barrel, Drake’s, MRaz Brewing and Woodfour. Attendees will get to try 16 beers and 12 different bites: “You will choose the pairings and decide what you like best.” They’ll also get a brewery/restaurant map hand drawn by Oakland artist John Casey. Tickets cost $62, plus a small service charge, and are available via Brown Paper Tickets. The event will take place in The Trappist parking lot, just behind the patio, at 460 Eighth Street in Oakland. Connect with The Trappist on its website, Facebook and Twitter.
HAVEN OFFERS “SUMMER BOUNTY” PRIX FIXE Coming up Sept. 5-6, Haven’s Chef Charlie Parker will team up with Justin Severino of Cure restaurant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The two worked together previously at Los Gatos’ Manresa, and also at a butcher shop owned by Severino in Santa Cruz. The $80 six-course prix fixe is described as a “celebration of summer’s bounty and nose-to-tail cooking.” The menu includes everything from seared albacore to smoked duck breast and pork belly chop. See the full menu here. Haven, part of the Daniel Patterson Group of restaurants, is located at 44 Webster St. in Oakland. Connect with Haven on its website, Facebook or Twitter.
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