SPROUTS MARKET HEADED TO OAKLAND While protests continue over a potential Sprouts Farmers Market in University Village in Albany (near the contested Gill Tract research field), the grocery store has quietly revealed plans for a location at 3001 Broadway, at the bottom of Pill Hill, in Oakland. Sprouts’ ABC license is pending, and its retail brokerage firm, Lockehouse, has put together a development plan for the space. The development looks like it will also include additional retail tenants. The proposal emphasizes the higher incomes of potential customers living in the Oakland Hills and Lakeshore neighborhoods, as well as the convenience to both the Alta Bates and Kaiser buildings. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as the project develops. Oakland’s Sprouts Farmers Market will be at 3001 Broadway (at 30th Street), Oakland.
B-SIDE BAKING CO. OPENS In February, Tanya Holland shuttered her much-loved B-Side BBQ in West Oakland with plans to open a bakery in the space. The time has come, and B-Side Baking Co. is now in operation, reports Inside Scoop. Celeste Scott, the pastry chef at Holland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen, is at the helm, and she told Inside Scoop that the new bakery is “a dream come true.” For now, B-Side Baking Co. is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and it is serving a selection of sweet and savory pastries. In the coming weeks, Scott and Holland plan to expand the lunch menu to offer sandwiches, likely including one with BSK’s popular fried chicken, and to extend hours into the evening. The bakery still holds the liquor license from B-Side BBQ, so beer and wine are available and brunch-y cocktails are in the works. B-Side Baking Co. is at 3303 San Pablo Ave. (at 34th Street), Oakland.
FEDERATION BREWING TAPROOM GETTING CLOSE The East Oakland-based brewery has been selling its beer to local bars since November, but it seems to be close to opening its own East Bay taproom. While Federation Brewing has yet to drop any hints on its website or social media accounts, its beer and wine license is pending, which only means good news. The brewery is currently making two stouts, a blonde ale and an IPA. Federation Brewing will be at 8420 Amelia St. (at 83rd Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the brewery on Facebook.
MORE BEER: BREWERY HEADED TO TEMESCAL The East Bay beer boom continues with the announcement of a new brewery/taproom/art gallery, The New Normal. As reported in Eater SF, the brewery is headed up by longtime homebrewer and cicerone Sam Gilbert, and is slated to open at 41st and Telegraph by the end of the year. Gilbert told Eater that he is interested in experimenting with his brews, “but not an imperial-chili-pepper-media-stunt kind of experimentation. [We want] something quieter, geekier, and in dialogue with our regulars. Expect a wide variety, with an emphasis on fermentation-driven styles — saisons, Belgians.” Before construction begins, Gilbert will be using the space as an ad-hoc gallery; its first opening will be on Saturday at 5 p.m. and Gilbert will serve a few test batches of beer. All proceeds will go to Walk Oakland Bike Oakland. The New Normal will be at 4115 Telegraph Ave. (at 41st Street), Oakland.
BASELINE PRODUCE AND BASIC CAFE UPDATE We told you last July about the produce market and café coming to Adeline Street in Emeryville. Now Baseline Produce is open and the accompanying Basic Café has an opening date (April 17), says E’Ville Eye. The stores are owned by husband-and-wife team Cara and George LaFrance. Baseline Produce is selling local, high-quality ingredients with an emphasis on organic, seasonal produce. It plans on adding local delivery (within 1 to 3 miles of the store) soon. Basic Café will make use of these ingredients to prepare breakfast and lunch. Baseline Produce is at 5220 Adeline St. (at 47th), Oakland. Connect with the store on Facebook. Basic Café is at 5000 Adeline St. (at 53rd), Emeryville. Connect with the café on Facebook.
IN SHOP TALK: TWO BERKELEY CLOSINGS Berkeleyside reader Stefan Lasiewski alerted us via Twitter that West Berkeley’s Genki Japanese Restaurant will close at the end of the month; the owners are retiring. Also closed is University Avenue’s Little Saigon, which served popular and cheap pho and Vietnamese sandwiches. Read more in Shop Talk.
What else is going on…
RESTAURANT WATER RESTRICTIONS COMING SOON This week, California’s State Water Resources Control Board adopted increased regulations on water use throughout the state. While many of the rules focus on lawns and cleaning use, one prohibition will affect restaurant service. Under the new regulations, restaurants will be prohibited from serving water to customers unless it has been requested. The regulations will go into effect once adopted by the board and approved by the Office of Administrative Law, which has 10 days to approve or deny the regulation. If approved, the regulations will remain in effect for 270 days, after which they may be renewed. Learn more.
MR. DEWIE’S LAUNCHES FUNDRAISING The West Oakland non-dairy ice cream company launched an Indiegogo campaign earlier this month to raise money for a stand-alone retail shop. As we wrote last spring, Mr. Dewie’s has been selling its cashew-based ice creams to grocery stores like Whole Foods since 2011. However, the company notes on its website, its rapid expansion had led it to compromise on some of its values. This new focus on the retail shop will take the business “back to its original roots and create a space where we can make small batches, have greater freedom to explore new flavors, produce innovative dessert options, and use more seasonal and local ingredients.” Mr. Dewie’s says that it envisions the shop to be “a place where people come to indulge in our great ice cream treats in a warm, welcoming and fun atmosphere.” Learn more about the campaign here. Connect with Mr. Dewie’s on Facebook and Twitter.
HODO SOY NOW MAKING VEGGIE BURGERS, EXPANDING At the Natural Products Expo West, the Oakland producer of high-quality, organic tofu announced the newest item in its prepared foods line-up, a tofu-based veggie burger, joining its Yuba Noodles and Tofu Nuggets. In addition, Hodo Soy has now extended the shelf-life of its products, allowing it to distribute its product lines outside of Northern California. How did the company do it? It’s still a little bit of a mystery: “With a lot of research and product development, and without any changes to our recipes and ingredients, we have been able to retain the fresh taste and artisan quality of our tofu and ready-to-eat products while extending its shelf life to 60 days,” said founder Minh Tsai in a prepared statement. Hodo Soy is at 2923 Adeline St. (at 30th Street), Oakland. Connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.
RHONE RANGERS WINE TASTING IN RICHMOND Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are the two most popular varietals in the United States, but there are dozens of other grape types that make excellent wine. Think Syrah, Viognier, Roussanne, Marsanne, Mourvèdre and Grenache – all grapes with historic roots in France, but which also flourish in California. Wine lovers who are unfamiliar with those grapes can find out more about them Saturday, March 28 at the 18th annual Rhone Rangers tasting at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond. It’s the world’s largest tasting of American Rhone varietals. “Our founding winemakers chose the road less traveled when they pioneered wines from American-grown Rhone grape varieties,” according to Barbara Smith, president of the Rhone Rangers board of directors. Around 80 winemakers will be pouring generous samples from 300 different bottles. Fiscalini Farmstead Cheese will be providing samples of San Joaquin Gold Cheddar, and there will be three food trucks parked outside: Fist of Flour (a pizza truck), Ebbett’s Good to Go (Cubano sandwiches), and a kabob truck. The main tasting is from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Advance tickets are $75. There is also a VIP tasting from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets for that are $110. For those interested in delving deeper, Alder Yarrow, the wine expert behind Vinography, will be leading a seminar at 10 a.m. on rosé from Rhone varietals and on how Rhone wines age. The Saturday Pass costs $150 and allows entrée to the seminar and VIP tasting. Parking is and there is a free shuttle from BART El Cerrito del Norte and a ferry from San Francisco. Buy tickets and find out more. [By Frances Dinkelspiel]
WINEMAKER DINNERS AT PATHOS Downtown Berkeley’s Pathos is planning a series of Greek winemaker dinners, beginning Tuesday, March 24. This first dinner will feature wines from Naoussa, in Greece’s Macedonian region. Naoussa produces some of the oldest recorded winemaking varietals — red Limnio and white Assyrtiko — in addition to Xinomarvro, Preknadi and Moschomavro. The event will consist of a tasting from from twelve different Naoussa and a five-course meal with wine pairings ($125 per person). The menu will include dishes such as taramasalata croquettes, shrimp Saganaki with saffron butter, braised wild boar tenderloin, and bourbon-soaked walnut-honey cake. A second winemaker dinner on April 7 will showcase wines from Domaine Porto Carras. Pathos Organic Greek Kitchen is at 2430 Shattuck Ave. (between Haste Street and Channing Way), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
BAY GRAPE THROWING NATURAL WINE PARTY Curious about natural sparkling wines? Head over to the Bay Grape on Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. for the Heavy Pet Nat Zoo, a bizarrely named 7-month anniversary party featuring pétillant natural wines from California. As Bay Grape explains on its announcement, these are a distinct style of sparkling wines “where the primary fermentation’s bubbles (made of carbon dioxide, a bi-product of alcoholic fermentation) are trapped inside the bottle. The yeast never really gets to finish off all of the sugars in the grape juice, so you’re left with a just barely off-dry wine, typically also with lots of acidity and a soft, playful sparkle. The wines are literally alive in the bottle and can be, well, boisterous upon opening.” The winemakers will be at the event, pouring and answering questions. $25 covers a tasting of all six wines. The Bay Grape is at 376 Grand Ave. (at Ellita Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the shop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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