BERKELEY SOCIAL CLUB NOW OPEN The all-day Korean-American restaurant that replaced Perdition Smokehouse held its soft opening Tuesday, Nov. 8. Berkeley Social Club serves a mash-up of American diner dishes and Korean-influenced comfort food for breakfast, lunch and dinner — bulgogi breakfast scramble, Korean fried chicken and waffles, kimchi fried rice with SPAM, and hamburgers all grace the menu. Owner Steven Choi has brought the popular thick-cut, glazed “Millionaire’s Bacon” over from Sausalito’s Fred’s Coffee Shop, which he also owns along with Sweet Maple, Blackwood and Kitchen Story in San Francisco, and Kitchen Sunnyside in Mill Valley. As far as drinks are concerned, there was a rumor that Berkeley Social Club would maintain Perdition’s extensive tap list; however, it looks like the actual number of beers on offer is decidedly lower. The eclectic list features local brews from Calicraft, 21st Amendment, Trumer and Anchor, as well as out-of-state offerings like Blue Moon, Dogfish Head, New Belgium, Founders and Guinness. Berkeley Social Club is at 2050 University Ave. (near Shattuck Avenue), Berkeley.
VICTORY POINT CAFÉ TO EXPAND Victory Point opened last year in September and has seemed to be packed ever since. (This reporter can attest to long waiting lists for a table at prime time.) Luckily, owners Derek DeSantis and Areg Maghakian have plans to expand the cafe into the now-vacant space next door at 1797-B Shattuck Ave. There will be a small kitchen expansion, the addition of close to 40 seats and a few other upgrades — that and, hopefully, many more games. The cafe, Maghakian told Nosh, will remain open during construction, except for the last week or so while the two spaces are connected. He added: “We’re in the process of reimagining the menu. … Suffice to say we’re really excited to finally blossom into the cafe we always wanted.” Maghakian hopes to finish the expansion in March. Victory Point Café is at 1797-A Shattuck Ave. (between Francisco and Delaware streets), Berkeley. Connect with the café on Facebook and Twitter.
COSECHA MAY EXPAND TO THE DIMOND Dominica Rice-Cisneros and Carlos Solomon, owners of Old Oakland’s Cosecha, are in escrow with the city of Oakland to purchase the Dimond Firehouse to transform it into a second location for their popular California-Mexican restaurant. The East Bay Express spoke to Rice-Cisneros, who is hopeful the deal will go through. According to EBX, the city has been trying to sell the building for five years, but the deals, many of which were with other local restaurateurs, all fell through. Cosecha was chosen from six bids the city received. Rice-Cisneros plans for the new location to have a similar menu to her current location, but she may add custom items, such as mesquite-grilled rotisserie chicken, to the Dimond location. Cosecha is at 907 Washington St. (at Ninth Street), Oakland, and may be at 3455 Champion St. (near MacArthur Boulevard), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Twitter and Instagram.
PACIFIC COOKIE COMPANY CLOSES BERKELEY RETAIL LOCATION The Santa Cruz-based wholesale and retail cookie bakery is set to close its location at 2309 Telegraph Ave. on Friday, The Daily Cal reports, after the building’s landlord signed a lease with an undisclosed new tenant. Pacific Cookie Company‘s shop had been open for three and a half years and was popular with UC Berkeley students. Cara Pearson, the president of the company, told The Daily Cal that the Berkeley store had not been making enough money, and that it was a small part of the business’ overall operations. Pacific Cookie Company will continue to sell its cookies wholesale to its East Bay customers like the Claremont Hotel and Top Dog. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more about the future tenant of the space.
TRUMER PILS OPENING A TASTING ROOM At last, you’ll soon be able to taste beers at the Trumer Pils brewery in West Berkeley — without taking a tour. We’ve gotten wind of plans for a tasting room to be built in an old storage room at the brewery which will provide beers (of course) and food of some kind, similar to the items offered at nearby breweries like Fieldwork and The Rare Barrel. The brewery’s plans have been submitted to the Zoning Adjustments Board, but the project is likely to take close to a year, a Trumer rep told Nosh. The Trumer Pils Brauerei is at 1404 Fourth St. (at Camelia Street), Berkeley. Connect with the brewery on Facebook.
FORT GREEN OPENS IN OAKLAND Earlier this spring, we brought you news of Fort Green, a revamped sports bar from the owners of Drexl and recently-opened Miranda. According to Eater, Fort Green opened Wednesday, Nov. 9, in the former home of The Go at Eighth and Washington streets in Old Oakland. The interior of the bar got a few upgrades, but co-owner Demetrius Chapin-Rienzo told Eater he wanted the vibe to remain like an “old-school” sports bar. In a decidedly non-sports bar move, Chapin-Rienzo and co-owners Adi Taylor and Nathan Johnson hired Bar Tartine’s Nick Balla and Cortney Burns to design the food menu, which includes snacks like pickled mushrooms with caraway and paprika, iceberg wedge salads and crispy potatoes with Lipateur cheese sauce. Like the trio’s previous bars, there’s an emphasis on cocktails, which are fairly affordable ($9-11), but they’re also pouring both craft and macro brews, as well as house wines. Fort Green is at 736 Washington St. (at Eighth Street), Oakland.
Dinners and events
JEWISH FOOD ENTREPRENEURS AT THE JCC On Nov. 15, Berkeleyside’s own Alix Wall is moderating a discussion at Berkeley’s Jewish Community Center of the East Bay with two East Bay food business owners, Caryl Levine of Lotus Foods, and Andrew Stoloff of Rubicon Bakers, on running profitable businesses while also effecting positive change. Lotus and Rubicon are based in Richmond; we covered Rubicon’s mission to hire employees who need a second chance, including former drug addicts and prisoners, in the spring. The $8 ticket includes complimentary, sustainable treats in addition to entrance to the talk. Learn more on the JCC East Bay website.
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