PERDITION SMOKEHOUSE CLOSES SUDDENLY We were surprised to hear that Berkeley’s Perdition Smokehouse shuttered suddenly this week. While the barbecue itself wasn’t particularly memorable, Perdition did have one of the best tap lists around and an excellent outdoor patio on which to drink them. The East Bay Express had the scoop, but didn’t have many details on the reason for the closure. EBX speculated that the closure was likely tied to former chef Mike O’Brien’s decision to leave the company, which also includes The Trappist, The Trappist Provisions, and Mikkeler Bar in San Francisco, earlier this month. (O’Brien was the chef at both Perdition and Mikkeler.) A source close to the company also speculates that this split was the source of financial strain for the company, enough that it caused the restaurant to close. We have reached out to owner Chuck Stilphen, as well as O’Brien, but have yet to receive any comments on the closure. For now, though, we’ll just have to mourn the loss of that tap list.
LITTLE GEM WAFFLES TO TELEGRAPH We last brought you news of a change happening at Telegraph Avenue’s Sweet Leaf in January. The restaurant transformed to Mr. Nacho, a Mexican restaurant. This concept, however, didn’t seem to hold. The restaurant space now appears to be sold, and is re-opening as Little Gem Belgian Waffles. According to the new restaurant’s Facebook page, Little Gem is “an authentic, handcrafted Belgian liege waffle shop.” It will sell “crispy and gooey fresh-off-the-iron waffles.” We will keep you posted on an opening date as we learn more. Little Gem Belgian Waffles will be at 2468-A Telegraph Ave. (at Haste Street), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.
LE REGAL IS NOW CLOSED The Vietnamese restaurant on Center Street in Berkeley has closed its doors. Le Regal had been a staple restaurant in downtown Berkeley for over a decade. While the restaurant received its share of mixed reviews, it still had fans of its pho noodle soups and spring rolls. We’ll keep you posted once we learn what will be moving into the restaurant’s location.
INTANI RAMEN MAKING PROGRESS Hopscotch‘s Kyle Itani announced earlier this year that he is opening a new ramen side project called Itani Ramen in Uptown. The new restaurant appears to be making progress; Itani Ramen has filed for its ABC license, which is now pending. The solo project is taking off where Itani’s popular Yonsei Ramen Shop pop-ups left off. Itani plans to serve a few rotating varieties of ramen each night, including a Tonkotsu-style pork broth version as well as lighter “Tokyo-style” ramen. The restaurant will likely have relatively late hours to accommodate the Uptown drinking crowd. Itani Ramen will be at 1738 Telegraph Ave. (at 18th Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
TONY GEMIGNANI’S SLICE HOUSE HEADED TO WALNUT CREEK The popular San Francisco pizzaiolo, Tony Gemignani, is bringing his quick-service, by-the-slice pizza concept to Walnut Creek. Slice House is slated to open in the 1500 Mt. Diabolo building early next year, building developer Brian Hirahara told Diabolo Magazine. The restaurant will serve four styles of pizza (New York, Sicilian, Grandma and California), plus housemade pastas, Italian sausages, salads, soups, sub sandwiches, juice and coffee. “Multi-ancient grain” and gluten-free options will also be available. Slice House will join Spanish restaurant Teleferic and Rooftop, an open-air bar and restaurant, in the 1500 building. Slice House will be at 1500 Mount Diablo Blvd. (at South Main Street), Walnut Creek. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.
NICK AND ARON’S EXPANDS TO BRUNCH, ADDS COMMUNITY MEAL Over in Temescal, newish pizza restaurant and bakery Nick and Aron’s has announced its soon-to-launch brunch menu. Starting Oct. 24, the restaurant will open at 10 a.m. and serve a menu featuring egg-topped brunch pizzas, hollandaise pizzas, tartines and a few additional dishes like shakshouka and cinnamon rolls. Micheladas and classic and pomegranate mimosas will be available for tippling. Nick and Aron’s will also host a “Community Meal” on Oct. 20 from 6-8 p.m. Co-owner Nick Yapor-Cox, said the restaurant will “host all of our neighbors to have a meal together, get to know each other and form community. … While Oakland is going through a whiplash of changes around us, we want to take an opportunity to renew our commitment to ALL the members of our community. We believe in a vision of Oakland that supports all of its residents, whether they rent, own or live on the street. We believe that one of the best ways to straddle our divides is to join in a meal together.” A second community meal will occur Nov. 27 from 5-7 p.m. at Nick’s Pizza, 6211 Shattuck Ave. in Oakland. Nick and Aron’s is at 4316 Telegraph Ave. (at 44th Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook. Nick’s Pizza is at 6211 Shattuck Ave. (at 62nd Street), Oakland. Connect with Nick’s Pizza on Facebook.
TIDBITS Shangri-La Vegan, the Longfellow macrobiotic restaurant, has filed an ABC license transfer for the former Doukkala space at 4905 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland. The Temescal restaurant will be Shangri-La’s second location. We’ll keep you posted as we track its opening date. In Berkeley, we’ve learned that barbecue restaurant Smoke is expanding its outdoor dining area. According to its Facebook page, Smoke will use the expanded space to transform the restaurant from counter to full-service. Also in Berkeley, The Advocate is launching its brunch menu starting this Sunday, Oct. 18 at 10:30 a.m. Following this weekend, the restaurant will host brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. The menu will include dishes such as caramelized French toast, cazuela baked eggs, house-made scones and a few dinner menus like The Advocate’s signature flatbreads. Further north in Albany, it appears that San Pablo Avenue’s Ivy Room has been sold. We received a reader tip and confirmed the sale through an ABC license transfer. No word yet on what changes will be made (if any) to the historic bar. Finally, in Alameda, the Atlantic Avenue Starbucks appears ready to launch its beer and wine program. Called “Starbucks Evenings,” the concept plans to draw an after work crowd with boozy specials after 4 p.m. The Christie Avenue Starbucks in Emeryville is also likely to launch a similar program.
What else is going on…
OLIVETO’S CAFE BECOMING A ROSTICCERIA The long-running Oliveto Café is changing its evening menu to focus on fire-roasted and slowly braised meats, plus simple vegetable side dishes. A rotating selection of meats (everything from chicken to lamb and pork) will be available, straight from the rotisserie. There will also be a “compelling” vegetarian option, a fish stew, and two kinds of lasagne (meat and vegetable). Pizza and polenta will remain on the menu. The Oliveto Café has designed the menu for quick service — diners will be able to stop in for a low-pressure bite to eat, or can linger over a cocktail from the café’s new drink list. Owners Bob and Maggie Klein hope that this new format will allow the café to make better use of whole animals from the restaurant’s favorite farmers (think Magruder Ranch, Riverdog and Hoffman Farm). Plus, as the restaurant wrote on its blog, rostisserie style cooking is “the simplest way to make extremely well-raised meat taste even better.” Oliveto is at 5655 College Ave. (at Shafter Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
ACME BAR TO GET PATIO The Berkeley City Council voted Tuesday night to allow Acme Bar & Company to expand its operation to an enclosed outdoor patio for at least six months. Council said Acme must follow several recommendations to mitigate sound from the patio that filters into the nearby neighborhood, through both acoustical wall panels and some sort of floor covering. There’s also a 20-person limit on the patio at any given time. The patio can be used from 3-10 p.m. weekdays and from noon to 10 p.m. on weekends and major holidays. The city’s Zoning Adjustments Board will review the operation in six months to make sure Acme is complying with the rules set by council. Acme Bar is at 2115 San Pablo Ave. (at Addison Street), Berkeley. Connect with the bar on Facebook and Twitter.
MICHELIN BIB GOURMAND PICKS We’re still waiting on Michelin’s star list for the Bay to show up (it is set to be revealed next week), but the guide released its Bib Gourmand picks on Thursday. This much longer list focuses on “affordable” restaurants that offer two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less. Several East Bay restaurants made the list, while two (Ramen Shop and Iyasare) were cut from the list. Because restaurants on the Bib Gourmand list aren’t eligible for stars, these cuts could mean that one or both may be receiving stars. Here’s the full list of East Bay restaurants that got a nod: China Village, Comal, Corso, Five, Gather, Great China, Ippuku, Michel Bistro, Millennium, Rivoli and Wood Tavern. Eater has a full list of the remaining Bay Area Bib Gourmand winners.
DRAFT BEER DELIVERY HEADED TO THE EAST BAY Hopsy, the first ever beer growler delivery service, is set to launch in November, reports the East Bay Express. The Albany-based company will provide a platform for customers to order draft beer from local breweries directly to their homes. At launch, Hopsy will deliver exclusively to the East Bay, but has plans to expand to San Francisco and the North Bay in the future. In addition, the company’s Albany storefront at 1137 Solano Ave. will be the Bay’s first-ever growler store. The 10-strong opening brewery list includes Oakland’s Ale Industries, Alameda’s Alameda Island Brewing Co., San Leandro’s Cleophus Quealy, and San Francisco’s Magnolia Brewing. For now, Hopsy only has the infrastructure in place to deliver on Thursdays and Fridays; co-founder Sebastien Tron hopes to one day offer next-day and even same-day delivery. Hopsy will be at 1137 Solano Ave. (between Kains and Stannage avenues), Albany. Connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.