B-DAMA OPENING NEXT WEEK We hear from the manager of Swan’s Market in Old Oakland that B-Dama will have the soft opening of its new restaurant there next week. Japanese restaurant B-Dama’s original location is on Piedmont Avenue. Swan’s Market in Old Oakland now has a wealth of eating options to choose from. According to its website, restaurant tenants include Breads of India, Coobi Yogurt & Wraps, Cosecha, The Cook and Her Farmer, Miss Ollie’s, Periscope Cellars, Rosamunde Sausage Grill, Sincere Seafood and Taylor’s Sausages. Connect with B-Dama on Facebook.
NEW CREAM (PHILZ?) LOCATIONS CREAM, the hot spot for good-value ice cream sandwiches, is looking at opening a new shop on the Oakland-Berkeley border in one of the retail spaces created by the new Safeway project currently under construction at College and Claremont avenues. According to Inside Scoop SF which first reported the news, Philz Coffee may also snap up one of the street-front spaces. CREAM’s Telegraph Avenue store in Berkeley is a Cal student staple, and the chain has been in expansion mode with seven new franchise and corporate locations around the Bay Area, most recently in the Mission. CREAM co-owner Gus Shamieh told Inside Scoop that Philz Coffee was also considering one of the Safeway spaces. The Berkeley coffee chain recently opened its second location at the emerging Gilman district shopping hub.
ON THE WAY: SEE’S CANDIES See’s Candies is set to open a store in Rockridge next to Smitten ice cream. The sweet treats chain has taken over the space at 5802 College Ave. formerly occupied by Moderne Eye Optometry. Chocolate specialists See’s Candies was founded over 90 years ago and the company has more than 200 stores around the Bay Area and across the country, with factories in both Los Angeles and South San Francisco.
COMING: LA SNACKERIA Third-generation tamale girl Tina “Tamale” Ramos, who has been running a catering business out of her family’s 70-year-old La Borinquena Mex-icatessen in Old Oakland, is hoping to open a lunch spot nearby. According to The Bold Italic, Ramos’ vision is called La Snackeria and the plan is to serve Chino Latino beverages, snacks and lunch “to a busy area filled with hungry workers and residents.” Ramos used crowdfunding site Kiva to successfully raise a $5,000 loan (which gets matched to $10,000). We’ll keep you posted on developments.
OPEN: LIBA FALAFEL Gail Lillian, owner of the Liba Falafel food truck, has opened her brick-and-mortar restaurant of the same name in Uptown Oakland. Lillian said that, although she tried to keep a low profile around the July 21 soft opening, fans of the add-your-own-toppings falafel purveyor rushed to the new restaurant. “We’ve had lines out the door,” she reported on Liba’s website. The menu includes 20 salads, sauces, and pickles on the falafel bar (recent specials included Strawberry Pico de Gallo and Smoked Crimini Mushrooms, for instance) Liba Falafel is at 380 17th St., Oakland. Current hours are weekdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with expanded opening times, including dinner, coming soon, once the place staffs up.
CLOSED: SLOW RESTAURANT As noted in Shop Talk this week, Slow restaurant at 1966 University Ave. in downtown Berkeley has closed. A sign on its door reads, “After four long years, Slow is taking a much-needed break.” It’s believed the move is due to “family reasons,” but it’s not clear whether this will be a permanent closure, or whether the popular spot will be back. Efforts to reach the owners to find out more had proved unsuccessful by press time. Slow was opened by Chef Kyle Anderson in the summer of 2010 and was an anchor tenant for the micro gourmet ghetto that has evolved on this stretch of University Avenue, which now includes Brazil Café and Bittersweet Café, all open to the rose garden and outdoor eating area to the rear created by commercial realtor John Gordon. Connect with Slow on its Facebook page.
SOFT OPENED: CATAHOULA COFFEE Also reported on Berkeleyside earlier this week, the old Sketch soft-serve ice cream spot at 2080 Fourth St. in the Fourth & U complex on Berkeley’s Fourth Street is now coffee shop Catahoula’s Kaffeegarten. It’s the second location for the Richmond-based artisanal roaster, who is building out the space now — though it’s already open for business, “if you don’t mind a little construction dust,” as owner Timber Manhart puts it. Read more in Berkeleyside’s interview with Manhart.
What else is going on…
EAT REAL FESTIVAL Eat Real Festival returns for its sixth year in Oakland’s Jack London Square from Friday, Sept. 19, to Sunday, Sept. 21. Part street fair, street-food festival and block party, the annual celebration has changed its format somewhat. This year it will debut seven craft pavilions highlighting the best of the Bay’s food and beverage craft, featuring newcomers like the Offal Wonderful Bloody Brunch; Jack’s Oyster Bar Oyster Shuck-Off; a Kimchi-a-thon from Happy Girl Kitchen and Farmhouse Culture. Eat Real Festival kicks off on Friday with the premiere of Oakland Chef Night, featuring live demos from five local chefs including Preeti Mistry (Juhu Beach Club), Rico Rivera (Flora), Rick Hackett (Bocanova), Gloria Dominguez (Tamarindo), and Charlie Parker (Haven). Each chef will showcase an individual recipe centered on one of the dedicated food craft pavilion categories, such as Meat & Butchery, Fermentation, and more. Saturday marks the return of historic CA ranch Llano Seco’s weekend-long Offal Wonderful festivities, and 2014 is “The Year of Blood!” The Bloody Brunch is the ultimate celebration of all things “blood” in food and beverage craft through grand tastings of blood sausages from around the world, biscuits with blood orange compote and a DIY brine-to-Bloody Mary workshop. For full details of the fest, visit the Eat Real website.
Check out these other recent Nosh stories:
After Haven, Plum, checking in with Chef Kim Alter
What will Oakland’s food scene look like in 10 years?
Catahoula Kaffeegarten hits West Berkeley
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