SMART ALEC’S OUT, SUPER DUPER IN After 20 years on Telegraph Avenue, Smart Alec’s Intelligent Food is no more. Signs posted on the restaurant’s windows read: “Thank you Berkeley for the many good years. Regretfully, we are out of business.” A tipster added that he had heard that staff members were called into a meeting on the morning of Nov. 1 and told to “go put up signs and keep the doors locked.” Smart Alec’s, which was originally opened in 1996 by Alex Popov, who now owns Pappy’s Grill and soon-to-open Cornerstone, changed owners in 2009. It served a diverse menu of health-leaning fast-food items such as hamburgers on whole wheat buns, vegetarian sandwiches and “smart” air-baked French fries. Popov told Nosh that he speculated the reason for the closure was a large rent increase on the restaurant space. In Smart Alec’s place will open a branch of 6-year-old San Francisco-based Super Duper Burger, which serves burgers (obviously) made from humanely raised beef; Straus ice cream dipped cones; regular, oil-fried French fries; and free pickles. Veggie burgers and chicken sandwiches are also on the menu for the beef-averse. No word yet on an opening schedule; Stuart Baker of the Telegraph Business Improvement District, told Nosh that Super Duper will be undergoing a major remodel, so it may take a while. “We’re really excited,” he said. Super Duper Burger will be at 2355 Telegraph Ave. (at Durant Avenue), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.
THE ORGANIC COUP TO BERKELEY, OAKLAND Pleasanton-based organic chicken fast-food restaurant The Organic Coup is planning two new East Bay locations to open before the end of the year. Diablo Dish reports that a downtown Oakland location is set to open late this month, while a Telegraph Avenue location will open in December. The Oakland spot is already up on the company’s website — 1300 Clay St. Ste 162A — but there’s no word on an exact Berkeley address. It’ll be “right next to the UC Berkeley campus,” according to Diablo Dish. The Organic Coup is the country’s first USDA-certified restaurant and it has been opening new restaurants at a rapid clip since its first, which opened in Pleasanton last fall. In order to get the USDA stamp of approval, The Organic Coup has sourced 95% or more of its ingredients come from certified organic growers and farmers. It offers its signature fried chicken in a bun, on a salad, or in a wrap. Sides include chicken tenders and popcorn. The Organic Coup is at 4825 Hopyard Rd. (at Stoneridge Drive), Pleasanton, plus locations in San Francisco, Davis and Pleasant Hill. It will be at 1300 Clay St. Ste. 162A (at 14th Street), Oakland and at an unannounced address on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
EATSA NOW SERVING BREAKFAST Berkeley’s robot-powered quinoa bowl restaurant Eatsa will add breakfast to its menu starting Nov. 8. Breakfast items, which only cost between $1.95 and $3.95, include a southwestern scramble (salsa fresca, lemon-herb quinoa with scrambled eggs, queso Mexicano, steamed spinach, guacamole, pinto beans), goat cheese and veggie scramble (quinoa, goat cheese, roasted peppers, roasted potatoes, chimichurri sauce, scrambled eggs, braised kale, tomato) and spiced apple quinoa “oatmeal” seasoned with agave, cinnamon and almond milk. “We wanted to fill a void in the market for fast breakfast options that can satisfy a range of palates and cravings,” said Tim Young, CEO of Eatsa, in a statement. “It’s perfect for time-pressed students looking for freshly prepared breakfast options on their way to school.” Eatsa will be at 2334 Telegraph Ave. (at Durant Avenue), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
SAKENISTA OPENS INSIDE SUSHINISTA Hirokazu and Takako Nishikawa, the owners of the sushi burrito restaurant Sushinista, have just announced the opening of a bar within their restaurant called, similarly, Sakenista. The bar, which serves local and imported sake, NorCal beer, and wine from Berkeley, is open from 5:30-10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Hirokazu is a kikisake-shi (sake sommelier) and worked for a major sake company for close to 25 years. “I have met a lot of people who are interested in sake in the US. However, I have been noticing that only some people drink sake at traditional and expensive Japanese sushi restaurants,” he told Nosh in an email. In addition to drinks, Sakenista does offer a few snacks including tortilla chips with wasabi sauce, edamame with curry salt and salmon roll sushi. Sakenista is inside Sushinista, at 2235 Milvia St. (between Kittredge Street and Bancroft Way), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.
ANOTHER CLOSURE: CLAREMONT DINER After only about six months operating with new owners, Rockridge’s Claremont Diner has closed. The East Bay Express had the scoop, and reported that there’s a rumor the restaurant will become a sushi spot. A post on the restaurant’s Facebook page dated Oct. 24 read: “Thank you to everyone — our customers, our staff, and the community. Unfortunately, the diner is now closed. We sincerely thank everyone who has been coming in for a meal. We will miss you! Best wishes to all!” As of press time, we have no other information about the closure. We will keep you posted if we learn more.
IN-N-OUT MAY BE HEADED TO EMERYVILLE In better news (if you consider Animal-style hamburgers good news), it sounds like a new location of In-N-Out Burger may be headed to Emeryville. The E’ville Eye reports that the chain has applied for a minor conditional use permit and a design review to transform the Burger King at 5701 Christie Ave. into an In-N-Out. It would add 54 square feet to the building and make exterior changes. The Emeryville location would be the third in the inner East Bay; there is currently an In-N-Out near the Oakland airport and one in Alameda. We will keep you posted on the chain’s progress through the design review. In-N-Out Burger may be at 5701 Christie Ave. (at Shellmound Street), Emeryville. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
TIDBITS: OUI OUI! MACARON, MAYO & MUSTARD, TWO NEW CHINATOWN RESTAURANTS Emeryville’s Public Market finally has new tenants — Oui Oui! Macaron and Mayo & Mustard have both now opened. Oui Oui! serves both traditional and ice cream-filled macaron cookies, as well as cupcakes. Mayo & Mustard’s menu features classic deli sandwiches with all the fixings. Meanwhile, we hear that there are two new restaurants in Oakland’s Chinatown: Baby Café and and a Taiwanese restaurant inside of a bubble shop called T4. The East Bay Express visited both spots and was pleased with much of the food, including Baby Café’s “rice cubes” filled with meat stew and its Cantonese “pineapple” bun stuffed with butter, as well as T4’s beef shank noodle soup and popcorn chicken. Public Market Emeryville is at 5959 Shellmound St., Emeryville. Connect with Oui Oui! Macaron on Facebook and Instagram. Connect with Mayo & Mustard on Facebook and Twitter. Baby Café is at 358 11th St. (at Webster Street), Oakland. T4 is at 1068 Webster St. (at 11th Street), Oakland.
Dinners and events
ELECTION NIGHT AT KRONNERBURGER Celebrate the end of this tumultuous presidential election campaign with a day-long blow-out at KronnerBurger. Chef Chris Kronner will be teaming up with Tacos Oscar and cicerone Sayre Piotrkowski to throw an “Election Decompression” party with burger, taco and beer specials for lunch and dinner. Anyone with an “I Voted” sticker can get $5 pours of Craftsman Brewing Company’s “1903” pre-Prohibition style American lager or, for $10, that same beer with a shot of Wild Turkey and a prickleback. Food-wise, there will be a $12 “Mexico” special (two carnitas tacos and a michelada), a $22 “‘Merica” special (Kronnerburger, Wild Turkey and a “1903” beer), a $40 “Open the Border” special (all of the above, plus fries and two shots of mezcal instead of the whiskey), and a $55 “Oligarch’s Option” three-course dinner with beer pairings. On the event’s Facebook page, the hosts write: “KronnerBurger has decided to lean-into the encroaching dominance of “tacos on every corner,” moving to ensure that the tacos moving in on their corner will be the very best! To this end we will welcome the boys from Tacos Oscar to help us usher in the coming Latinx-centricity of our great nation.” KronnerBurger is at 4063 Piedmont Ave. (at 41st Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Connect with Tacos Oscar on Instagram and Twitter.
FINAL MAKER’S COMMON HAPPY HOUR Next Thursday, Maker’s Common, the new charcuterie, cheese and wine spot headed to 1945 University Ave., is holding its third and final happy hour before build out begins in its new space. The event will run from 7-9 p.m. and will be an opportunity to learn about the project’s Direct Public Offering fundraising model, to see 3D renderings of the buildout, and to sample some of the food and drink that will be on offer when Maker’s Common opens early next year. Like September’s happy hour, the event is open to anyone interested in learning more, but RSVPs are required. Maker’s Common will be at 1954 University Ave. (at Bonita Avenue), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
What else is going on…
OAKLAND CRUSH IS NOW MINIMO After about a year in operation in Jack London Square, the Oakland Crush wine shop has changed names to Minimo. The name, which is Italian for minimal, “reflects the shop’s commitment to minimal-intervention wines — minimal in the field, minimal in the bottle. The name also evokes the shop’s warm minimalist design within a historic industrial building — simple but artful, with handcrafted character,” said owner Erin Coburn in a statement. There are no other changes to the shop, and it will continue to offer a retail shop focused on unusual varietals (and affordable wines), a wine tasting area, weekly tasting programs and a wine club. Minimo is at 420 3rd St. (at Broadway), Oakland. Connect with the shop on Facebook and Instagram.
MORE BEER DELIVERY HEADED OUR WAY In case Hopsy and Drizly weren’t enough for you, it sounds like you’ll soon be able to order curated packs of craft beer for delivery, courtesy of Charlotte, NC-based BrewPublik, according to SF Business Times. The company uses a special “beergorithm” to help determine users tastes and then delivers between six and 24 beers (depending on the subscription) once a month. Beers are a surprise, but the choices are based on those users submit as “favorites” when they sign up for the service. BrewPublik’s aim seems to be less a replacement for a liquor store and more of to be a service for exploration. It’s quite pricey for what you get — $20 will get you six bottles a month — but it does give users access to a massive database of 3,500 different craft beers. (This fact may be a bigger draw in smaller craft beer markets, such as Charlotte, rather than beer meccas like the Bay Area.) The service announced its launch in the San Francisco area this week, and its website says it will deliver in Berkeley and Oakland. However, those details seem yet to be ironed out; as of press time, this reporter was unable to sign up using Nosh’s downtown Berkeley headquarters as a delivery address. Connect with BrewPublik on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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