Bites: Rudy’s Can’t Fail closing Uptown café, Kono Pizza opens in Berkeley, Oakland’s new black farmers market

Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café is closing its Uptown Oakland location after service on July 26. Photo: Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café

OAKLAND RUDY’S CLOSING On Monday, East Bay diner Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café announced that it will be closing its Oakland location (1805 Telegraph Ave.) this week. The message posted on its website and on social media read: “We are sad to announce that after 7+ years of serving uptown Oakland, Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café is closing its doors. We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to have created a welcoming space for all of the great people who have joined us for breakfast, lunch, dinner, day and night! Rudy’s Oakland last day will be Thursday, July 26. We will be open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. We are also very proud of and thankful to everybody who has served with us along the way…” The original location in Emeryville (4081 Hollis St.), opened in 2002 by co-owners Jeffery Bischoff, Steve Mills and Mike Dirnt (who you may also know for being in Green Day), will remain open. We reached out to the restaurant for further information about why they closed, but had not yet heard a response at time of publication. (h/t: Eric Wong)

Kono Pizza’s cone-shaped pizza is now available in Berkeley. Photo: Kono Pizza

WELCOME TO THE KONE ZONE  I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but think of the ’90s commercials for Bagel Bites whenever I hear about unconventional pizza formats. That includes the most recent pizza innovation to hit Berkeley, the pizza cone. As Nosh first reported in April, Kono Pizza is a multi-national chain with roots in Italy that specializes in made-to-order pizza baked into a crust that’s shaped like an ice cream cone. Although it had planned to start hawking pizza cones by spring in downtown Berkeley, the opening was delayed until just this week. Kono Pizza opened on Monday, offering a menu of savory and sweet versions of its handheld cones. Kono Pizza, 2282 Fulton St. (between Bancroft and Kittredge), Berkeley

MORE PIZZA TO COME Nosh reader Karen Hata alerted us that Marica on College Avenue is currently closed. A follow-up to Christopher’s Café on Solano Avenue, Marica was opened by owner-chef Christopher Cheung in 2000, offering Asian-fusion cuisine with a strong focus on seafood. The Cheung family has retained ownership of Marica for the past 18 years but has recently decided to change directions. Marica closed on July 11, but the restaurant’s website and Facebook page explains that the space is undergoing renovation to come back under a new concept. It will reopen as Pizza Marica in August. More details to come. Pizza Marica will be at 5301 College Ave. (near Clifton), Oakland

Farmer Jamil Burns of Raised Roots Farm will be selling produce at Raising the Hope – Freedom Farmers’ Market. Photo: Freedom Farmers’ Market

THE LEGACY CONTINUES The Freedom Farmers’ Market was founded in 2013 by Gail Myers, co-founder of Oakland nonprofit Farms to Grow, Inc. to support black farmers who are growing culturally relevant, sustainably raised legacy crops originating from Africa, such as black-eyed peas, yams and okra; and to connect these farmers with black residents and others who have limited access to local, fresh and healthy foods. Freedom Farmers’ Market took place Saturdays, first in the parking lot of the now-defunct Brother’s Kitchen on San Pablo Avenue in West Oakland, but it moved one year later to another lot in Temescal, on Telegraph near Claremont Avenue. Last summer, when Toni Wallace and other members of West Oakland’s New Hope Baptist Church learned that Myers was leaving the area to spread her work to other communities, they decided to step in to continue her work. With the help of the Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative, they met with other local farmers market organizers, including CUESA, to learn more about running a farmers market and decided to start with a new name at a new location: Raising the Hope – Freedom Farmers’ Market will open on Saturday, July 28, and take place weekly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the overflow parking lot across the street from New Hope church.


A resident who lives within blocks of the new location and an active member of her community, Wallace told Nosh that the focus of Raising the Hope – Freedom Farmers’ Market will on healthy and organic foods. “We should be able to walk to a farmers market and eat good stuff,” she said.

As with its former iteration, the new market will work with black farmers, including Scott Family Farms out of Fresno, R. Kelley Farms in Sacramento, Raised Roots Farm from Stockton, the Seed Lady based in Watts. Wallace also said they’re interested in working with non-black farmers from minority and underrepresented communities. “We’re reaching out to all farmers that can’t or aren’t at other markets,” she said. Aside from produce, Raising the Hope – Freedom Farmers’ Market will also feature some non-ag vendors, including canned foods business, Pots to Jars from Hayward.

Wallace said market go-ers can expect an array of legacy produce, but she told Nosh she is most looking forward to bringing watermelons with seeds to the market. The seeded variety, she explains, are so much sweeter. “It makes all the difference in the world! You just long for that black seed!” Raising the Hope – Freedom Farmers’ Market will be at 3615 Market St. (at 36th), Oakland 

Scenes from a Nokni ssam dinner. Photo: Jason LeCras

NOKNI RETURNS Oakland’s California-Korean pop-up Nokni has announced two upcoming appearances that we wanted to get on your radar. The first takes place from noon to 4 p.m. this Sunday, July 29 at Roses’ Taproom in Temescal. Chefs Julya Shin and Steve Joo will be serving up cold noodles and kimbap (Korean “sushi” rolls) — two dishes that go really well with beer. Then, from 5-9 p.m. on Aug. 7 and 21, they’ll pop-up at The Kebabery in Oakland’s Longfellow neighborhood, offering ssam sets (grilled meats and other proteins wrapped in fresh lettuces and herbs). (Read more about Nokni on Nosh.) Roses’ Taproom, 4930 Telegraph Ave. (between 49th and 51st), Oakland; The Kebabery, 4201 Market St. (at 42nd), Oakland

DRINK EVENTS! Thirsty? Here are two noteworthy beer and cocktail events coming up soon:

Party Under the Palms at Jack London Square. Photo: Amanda Lynn Photography

Party Under the Palms: Summer Cocktails of the Farmers Market CUESA is bringing back its popular Party Under the Palms event to Jack London Square. For the second year in a row, it will partner with the United States Bartenders Guild to bring a line-up of some of the East Bay’s best bartenders mixing and shaking up refreshing cocktails using local and seasonal produce sourced from the Jack London Square Farmers Market. A few of the stellar participating bartenders include Aaron Paul (Plum Bar), Alex Maynard (Starline Social Club), Collier Smith (Nido), Hamei Hamedi-fard (El Patio), Summer-Jane Bell (Hello Stranger) and Vita Simone (Copper Spoon). Tickets are $45-$50. Party Under the Palms takes place 5:30-8:30 p.m., Aug. 1 at the Palm Plaza, Embarcadero at Webster, Jack London Square, Oakland

Armistice First Anniversary Block Party Armistice Brewing Company, a brewery-taproom opened by siblings in Richmond is celebrating its one-year-anniversary with a free, family-friendly community event. The party takes place in the parking lot, where there’ll be food trucks, live music, activities and of course, beer. The Armistice First Anniversary Block Party takes place noon to 10 p.m., Aug. 4. Armistice Brewing Company, 845 Marina Bay Parkway, Richmond