VAMPIRE PENGUIN HAS THE GREEN LIGHT Berkeley will soon have its own shaved ice restaurant. We brought you news about Vampire Penguin, the popular Sacramento-based Taiwanese dessert restaurant, last fall. The restaurant now has its hands on a building permit, and manager Anthony Bai hopes to be open by mid-May. Vampire Penguin specializes in gourmet shaved ice — made primarily of fruit concentrate, sugar and non-dairy cream — with a variety of flavors and toppings like fruit, oats, taro, condensed milk, candies and other treats. It’s a potent combination; one Sacramento news outlet named the product, also known as “shaved snow,” the “best mouthgasam” in the city. Vampire Penguin will be at 2575 Telegraph Ave. (at Parker Street), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.
MILLENNIUM CONFIRMS ROCKRIDGE MOVE Last month, we broke the news that Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco was raising funds for an East Bay move. The move is now official. This week, Inside Scoop confirmed that Millennium has signed the lease on the former Box & Bells space at 5912 College Ave. Back in January, the venerable vegan restaurant announced that it would be closing its doors this spring. (It will serve its last meal in San Francisco on April 30, not sooner, which was initially reported.) The owners of the hotel in which the restaurant is located decided to sell the building, and the new owners did not want to keep the restaurant. Faced with a deluge of disappointed customers, chef Eric Tucker and general manager Alison Bagby launched a Kickstarter campaign to move the restaurant. The pair was successful; the campaign raised more than double their initial $50,000 goal. Tucker told Inside Scoop that he hopes to be open in early June. Millennium Restaurant will be at 5912 College Ave. (at Chabot), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.
TEAZZERT BRINGS TEA, DESSERT TO ALAMEDA Teazzert, the newest café on Alameda’s Park Street, is now serving Five Mountains Tea (poured hot or cold with flavorings, boba and jellies), Barefoot Coffee and desserts like pastries and ice cream cookie sandwiches. These cookie sandwiches are more creative than just chocolate chip and vanilla — Yelpers are already talking about Teazzert’s macaron ice-cream sandwich, which comes in six different flavors and a bright array of colors. Word on the street is that they sell out fast. Teazzert is at 1342 Park St. (at Alameda Avenue), Alameda. Connect with the café on Facebook and Instagram.
YO SUSHI NOW OPEN Earlier this year, we reported that Fairfield-based Yo Sushi was coming to Albany, in the former Zaki space. As of last week, Yo Sushi is now serving its signature “sushi fusion” cuisine. Its menu includes raw fish standards like tuni nigiri as well as specialty rolls like the Angry Lion King roll, a California roll topped with baked salmon, crab meat and tobiko. Yo Sushi is at 1107 San Pablo Ave. (at Dartmouth Street), Albany. Connect with Yo Sushi on Facebook.
GRANGE HALL DEBUTS IN TEMESCAL We last heard about Temescal’s Grange Hall, a new cocktail bar and restaurant, in February. Inside Scoop tells us that the restaurant is now open for business. Grange Hall has taken over the space previously occupied by Barlata, and is serving American comfort food dishes such as burgers, lobster rolls, and fried chicken. In addition to the food, Grange Hall has a strong focus on the bar. Owner Jonathan Moon has brought in Jason Huffman (of San Francisco’s Roka Akor) to run the cocktail program, which includes housemate sodas, punch and a selection of Japanese whiskeys. Grange Hall will be at 4901 Telegraph Ave. (at 49th Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.
What else is going on…
COLD-PRESSED JUICE MEETS COCKTAILS IN JACK LONDON Oakland Juice and Co., the nine-month-old juice company in Oakland’s Jack London Square, is launching a weekend cocktail menu. Starting next Friday, April 17, it will be serving a “vibrant” assortment of cocktails made organic produce by mixologist Bret Sylvester. To kick things off, Oakland Juice and Co. is throwing a party on its opening night, complete with vegetarian small plates. Find more information and RSVP here. Oakland Juice and Co. is at 202 Second St. (at Jackson Street), Oakland. Connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
ZACHARY’S PIZZA ART CONTEST NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS Pizza fans, take note: Zachary’s Chicago Pizza is holding its annual pizza art contest as we write. Since 1989, Zachary’s has been sponsoring this contest for local artists to showcase their love of pizza through visual arts. The winners of the pizza contest will have their artwork displayed at all four Zachary’s locations — Oakland, Berkeley, Pleasant Hill and San Ramon — and will take home Zachary’s T-shirts and a $100 gift certificate. All artwork must include pizza and the Zachary’s logo. Find more information here. Connect with Zachary’s on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
SPORTS BASEMENT SLINGS BREWS FOR BIKES Berkeley’s location of Sports Basement is throwing its second annual Brewfest this Saturday, April 11. The afternoon event will feature beers from Drakes, 21st Amendment, Lagunitas, EJ Phair, Strike Brewing and Anchor Brewing, as well and snacks from Taste of the World food trucks. There’ll be sales on merchandise, and all attendees will receive a Brewfest coaster. Best of all, all proceeds from the event (and 10% of merchandise sales) will go to Bike East Bay, the local bike advocacy organization. Find more information and purchase tickets here. Sports Basement is at 2727 Milvia St. (at Derby Street), Berkeley.
OZUMO’S #SUSHISUNDAY Uptown Oakland’s Ozumo is hosting monthly Sushi Sunday events that combine “the ambiance of a day party, elegance of fine dining and excitement of a concert.” April’s event takes place this Sunday, April 12, and is featuring Neo Soul and R&B music. According to Ovum’s event page, Sushi Sunday guests will “enjoy a day of relaxation and social conversation with other individuals who share the same objective — rejuvenation on a a Sunday afternoon.” Sounds good to us. Entrance is free, but guests must RSVP to get on the list. Ozumo is at 2251 Broadway (at Grand Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.
BOURBON & BEEF HAS A NEW CHEF AND CONCEPT Oakland’s Bourbon & Beef no longer has a Latin identity. The Rockridge restaurant recently hired a new chef, Mark Scott, and he has revamped the menu. Instead of paella and tortillas, you’ll find steakhouse-inspired dishes like surf and turf (with bone marrow and sea urchin), steak frites, and a sizable pork chop served with maple bourbon demi-glace, apples, asparagus, eggplant and a polenta cake. Diablo Magazine reports that the restaurant has retained its red leatherette booths and abundant selection of bourbon. Bourbon & Beef is at 5634 College Ave. (at Keith), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.
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