MILLENNIUM OPENS IN ROCKRIDGE Earlier this year, we broke the news that San Francisco’s Millennium restaurant was moving into the former Box & Bells space in Rockridge. As of yesterday, June 4, the new Millennium is open for business. The vegan restaurant announced its San Francisco closure back in January; the owners of the Geary Street hotel, in which it was housed, sold the building and the new owners did not wish to keep the restaurant. Owners Eric Tucker and Alison Bagby raised some of the funds for the Oakland move on a highly successful Kickstarter campaign. The new Millennium has a similar menu to the original location, featuring high-end, plant-based dishes made with organic, seasonal produce. Inside Scoop reports that the menu will be slightly shorter than at the San Francisco location to fit the smaller kitchen and will also include a few less-expensive (read: under $20) dishes. Tucker and Bagby plan to continue their winemaker dinners, cooking classes and special dinners. They plan to add new events “tailored to the new space” as well as weekend brunch starting in the fall. For now, Millennium is in soft opening mode and is serving dinner seven nights a week. Millennium Restaurant is at 5912 College Ave. (at Chabot), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.
IYASARE CHEF TO TAKE OVER ZUT! ON FOURTH Big news for Fourth Street diners. Sho Kamio, the chef of celebrated Japanese restaurant Iyasare, which we reviewed last year, will be taking over Zut! on Fourth. Inside Scoop reports that the new restaurant will be re-named Zut Tavern and will not serve Japanese cuisine. Instead, Kamio will showcase his French culinary training and serve a menu of “casual, seasonal French and Mediterranean fare.” We will be sure to keep you posted on developments. Zut Tavern will be at 1820 Fourth St. (between Delaware and Hearst streets), Berkeley.
SUNSET MAGAZINE TO JACK LONDON SQUARE This week, the venerable California magazine announced that it would be moving its headquarters from Menlo Park to Oakland’s Jack London Square. Sunset’s new offices, at 55 Harrison St., will be in the same building as the forthcoming Water Street Market, an artisan food marketplace being developed by Carlin Company, the team behind San Francisco’s Ferry Building Marketplace and Napa’s Oxbow Public Market. Along with the company’s Oakland editorial and business offices, to be designed by San Francisco architects RMW, Sunset will establish an additional presence at Cornerstone in Sonoma. That location will include a test garden, outdoor kitchen and live programming. Sunset will be at 55 Harrison St. (at Embarcadero West), Oakland.
KAINBIGAN EXPANDS TO WEST OAKLAND East Oakland’s Filipino comfort food restaurant Kainbigan is opening a second location in the former Brother’s Kitchen spot at 3000 San Pablo Avenue. Each day, chef-owner Charleen Caabay “creates a daily special based on the fresh and seasonal ingredients she finds at local markets throughout the Bay,” according to the restaurant’s website. Menu offerings include chicken and pork adobo, sweet cured pork sausage, and lumpia (similar to fried egg rolls). The new location will be serving a different breakfast and brunch menu from the original, and will include a champagne brunch on Sundays. Caabay hopes to be open in August or September. Kain’bigan will be at 3000 San Pablo Ave. (at Market Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Instagram.
LOWER SPROUL PLAZA GETTING PIZZA, BURGERS, MORE UC Berkeley’s Lower Sproul Plaza will be getting more food options this fall, including a pizza restaurant, a burger joint, and a newly re-opened Bear’s Lair Pub. The development of the restaurants in the Martin Luther King Jr. student union has been in collaboration with the food management company Chartwell’s, which will be the manager of Bear’s Lair. The Daily Cal reports that the new restaurants will offer a range of cuisines: House of Pi will serve pizza, Asado will sell burritos and tacos, True Blue Burgers will serve hamburgers, and Root 150 will offer soups, salads, and sandwiches. The four restaurants will join two new coffee shops and a student store in the complex.
SEQUOIA DINER NOW OPEN The Laurel District’s newest breakfast joint is now fully operational after holding soft-opening practice runs for the past two weekends. Sequoia Diner focuses on breakfast and lunch, complete with American-style diner fare done up in California fashion. Owners Andrew Vennari and Sequoia Broderson have upscale restaurant experience (Vennari has worked at Camino and Duende) and they are using that ethos to inform the menu. Ingredients are locally sourced, and the pair will make their own bread, pastries, bacon, sausages and jams. Sequoia Diner is at 3719 MacArthur Blvd. (at High Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.
THE NEW NORMAL UPDATE As we reported in March, The New Normal, an upstart brewery and ad-hoc art gallery is in the works in Temescal. The brewery announced this week that it has received the proper zoning permitting from the city of Oakland to begin building the brewery, tap room and adjoining beer garden. While The New Normal acknowledges that it still has several more permits to acquire, plans are moving forward. In the interim, owner Sam Gilbert is continuing to use the space as an art gallery, showcasing work from local artists. The New Normal will be at 4115 Telegraph Ave. (at 41st Street), Oakland.
CHOWHAUS BRINGS SAN FRANCISCO ETHOS TO MONTCLAIR Oakland Hills residents will now be able to get housemade charcuterie, Four Barrel Coffee and cocktails care of a former Bar Agricole bartender at Montclair’s newest restaurant, Chowhaus. Inside Scoop reported that the restaurant is the brainchild of Fallaron alums Tracey Block and Joe Schnell, who wanted to bring a San Francisco ethos to suburban dining. However, the husband-and-wife pair are not cooking high-end food, per se. The menu offers modern twists on American comfort food, including chicken pot pie with Mary’s chicken and seasonal vegetables, a smoked sausage sandwich with sauerkraut and pickles, and a kobe beef bavette steak with salsa verde. “We want to bring it back to our roots, to have that kind of comfort feel, but also bring in a California cuisine aspect to it,” Belock told Inside Scoop. Chowhaus is at 6118 Medau Pl. (between Moraga Avenue and Mountain Boulevard), Oakland.
ANOTHER RESTAURANT TO MONTCLAIR: DUVIN Duvin, a new bar and restaurant, opened this past weekend on Thornhill Drive in Montclair. According to its website, Duvin is “a gathering space located in the hills of Oakland. On offer we have the best in local foods and beverages presented in an extraordinary atmosphere. It is perfectly situated for afternoon get-togethers and dramatic soirees.” Duvin is at 5736 Thornhill Dr. (at Grisborne Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.
MANGO RESTAURANT HEADED TO FRUITVALE A new restaurant called Mango has filed for an ABC license at 1414 Fruitvale Ave., right across International Boulevard from the Fruitvale BART station. Mango’s menu looks like it will include fairly standard burritos, tacos, and enchiladas, plus specialties like Salvadorean-style chicken tamales and fried enchiladas, fried plantains, and boiled yuca topped with fried pork. Mango will be at 1414 Fruitvale Ave. (at International Boulevard), Oakland.
CREEKWOOD UPDATE We’ve been keeping tabs on Creekwood, a restaurant that has plans to open in South Berkeley’s Lorin District. Owners Greg Poulios and Mark Louie are currently running a catering company of the same name while they wait for building plans to be approved and get a building permit. While they acknowledge that the process has been long, they told Berkeleyside that they hope to start construction sometime this spring. Creekwood will be at 3121 Sacramento St. (at Woolsey Street), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.
CREAM ROCKRIDGE OPENING JUNE 6 The newest location for the ice cream sandwich chain is officially open starting this Saturday. CREAM will be giving away free ice cream sandwiches from noon to midnight; we expect the line to be enormous. CREAM is at 6300 College Ave. (at 63rd Street), Oakland. Connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
What else is going on…
PIZZAIOLO TURNS 10 The Temescal pizza restaurant is celebrating a decade in the business with a pig roast party June 7 from 3-8 p.m. Pizzaiolo will also be pouring “tasty cocktails” and music will be provided by the California Honeydrops. Owner Charlie Hallowell opened Pizzaiolo after spending eight years in the kitchen at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse. He has since opened up Boot and Shoe Service and Penrose, both in Oakland’s Grand Lake neighborhood. Pizzaiolo is at 5008 Telegraph Ave. (at 51st Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
STANDARD FARE’S NEW PICK-UP SPOT Kelsie Kerr’s sustainable meal take-away and delivery service Standard Fare is expanding its pick-up options this week to include Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant at 1605 San Pablo Ave. (at Cedar). Meals will be available between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. and staff members will be available to help customers find a wine to pair with their order. Standard Fare also has Wednesday pick-ups at Ordinaire Wine in Oakland and the Flowerland Highwire Coffee trailer in Albany. Connect with Standard Fare on Facebook and Instagram.
PINTS FOR PAWS ON SATURDAY Berkeley Humane Society‘s second annual Pints for Paws events is taking place this Saturday, June 6. The event is one of the only beer festivals in the country where 100% of the proceeds will be donated. Admission includes access to at least 80 different craft beers from more than 20 different brewery, plus food from local food trucks, music, and plenty of friendly animals. More information is available here.
COOKING MATTERS BRUNCH AT HUMANIST HALL Cooking Matters, a six-month free culinary program for low-income communities put on in conjunction with San Francisco’s 18 Reasons, is hosting a fundraiser brunch at Oakland’s Humanist Hall on June 7 to bring together volunteers, graduates and supporters of the program. The food menu will include a savory bread pudding, green salad and seasonal fruit, plus coffee, tea and mimosas to drink. In addition to the meal, the brunch will include a raffle contest and “inspiring stories” from program participants. Learn more about the event.