ISN’T IT GRAND? In January, when we checked in with popular Adams Point deli and brunch spot Grand Lake Kitchen, construction had just begun at the restaurant’s second location in Oakland’s Dimond neighborhood. Co-owners May and David Wasem chose the location on MacArthur Boulevard not only because it’s close to where the couple live, but as parents of a young child, they want to bring more family-friendly dining options to the area. At the time we spoke, May Wasem said she hoped to open as soon as late April, but was realistic that the date could move back, as it did.
But we have good news. Grand Lake Kitchen Dimond soft opens today. Service will start off slowly, with dinner hours only, starting tonight through Sunday. Then, it will close for two days, June 3-4, before reopening June 5 for brunch and dinner service. On the GLK website and in a recent newsletter, the Wasems explained the soft opening schedule will give them a chance to “gather ourselves, build on the lessons we’ve learned, and let our staff rest.”
The second location is bigger than the original on Grand Avenue, with plenty of seating (including on two patios), a full bar and a retail area for to-go foods. Starting on June 5, Grand Lake Kitchen’s hours will be 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Wednesday through Monday; closed Tuesday. Grand Lake Kitchen Dimond, 2042 MacArthur Blvd. (at Dimond), Oakland
MANDELA GROCERY TURNS 10 Just as another area of West Oakland is about to get its first full-service supermarket since the 1970s, Mandela Grocery Cooperative in the Prescott neighborhood near the West Oakland BART station is on the brink of its 10th anniversary. In 2009, a group of young black people opened a 2,200-square-foot grocery store as a way to participate in, and contribute to, the local economy. By operating as a worker-owned co-op and focusing on offering fresh, high-quality produce and goods from local minority-owned businesses, Mandela has not only opened and thrived as a full-service market, but has created a strong culture of wellness and entrepreneurship for a community that has long been underrepresented and underserved. Although the co-op had eyes on much larger space next door in West Oakland, they changed plans last year, and are now working on bringing another worker-owned grocery store to East Oakland, slated to open in fall 2020.
On June 7, Mandela Grocery Cooperative invites the public to celebrate its 10th year with a day-long event featuring live music, local foods and more. Festivities will take place on Center Street, between Seventh and Eighth streets, across from the West Oakland BART station’s north exit.
BAOBAB IS BACK Oakland’s Bissap Baobab has reopened today. The Senegalese dance club and restaurant in Downtown Oakland closed last year, but according to Eater, owner Marco Senghor decided to bring the business back since closing his original San Francisco location last month (a smaller restaurant in SF called Little Baobab remains open). The dance and DJ nights that took place at the SF club will now be in Oakland, and lunch service will start next week. Senghor sold the larger Mission District location to cover legal fees after he was arrested and charged with illegally obtaining U.S. citizenship when he immigrated from Senegal in 1989. In March, Senghor pleaded guilty to making a false statement on an immigration document; this August, his sentencing will be determined. Bissap Baobab, 381 15th St. (at Franklin), Oakland
[Updated on 6/12] FINALLY, 4505 BURGERS & BBQ GETS SMOKIN’ In 2016, Nosh first caught wind that San Francisco chef-butcher Ryan Farr would be opening a second location of 4505 Burgers & BBQ in the former Glenn’s Hot Dogs space in the Laurel District of Oakland. A series of construction and permitting delays pushed back its opening, but three years after it was first announced, 4505 Burgers & BBQ Oakland is
really, finally opening on June 14 coming soon. [According to a 4505 representative, "utility service upgrades” are delaying the opening further; for now, a new opening date is TBD.]
With the help of Wylie Price Design, 4505’s new Oakland outpost pays homage to the mid-century hot dog stand that came before it. Area residents and former Glenn’s fans will immediately notice the old neon sign has been restored, albeit refurbished for 4505. (“The sign is one of the big reasons I fell in love with this space. It perfectly captures the feel of places I loved going to when growing up and speaks to this historic community,” Farr is quoted as saying in the restaurant’s press release.) The restaurant also kept original fixtures like its brick walls, wood rafters and decorative paneling. New to the space is a mural of the intersection of MacArthur Boulevard and 35th Avenue by Oakland-based artist, Dave Young Kim.
As for the food, the Oakland outpost will mostly feature a similar menu to the San Francisco location, including grass-fed burgers, smoked meats and sides, along with local craft beers and wines to drink, but the Oakland locale will get a couple of special additions. Below Kim’s mural will be “the pig rig,” a whole hog cooker that will smoke humanely raised pigs from Llano Seco Ranch over California oak. Another Oakland-exclusive: malted soft serve from Petaluma-based Double 8 Dairy. Kids who order a meal will get a free cone, an idea Farr got from his favorite childhood BBQ spot in Kansas City. Adding to the family-friendly vibe, the Oakland 4505 will boast a kid activity corner and stroller parking, as well as an outdoor patio where dogs are welcome. 4505 Burger & BBQ’s hours will be 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m., daily. 4505 Burgers & BBQ will be at 3506 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland
SAKE, JAPANESE PICKLES This Friday, the Periodic Table in Emeryville is hosting a free tasting of a limited-edition, aged sake from Konishi Shuzo. Konishi is the oldest family-owned sake brewery in Japan, dating back to 1550 (that’s 469 years ago, for those who don’t want to do the math). Its 16th generation owner, Akiko Konishi, will be at The Periodic Table to present Edo Genroku, a sake aged for nine years. This sake is a reproduction of a recipe dating back from 1703, an era when rice polishing technology and brewing techniques differed from today’s processes, so its flavors will be unlike any other modern brew. Those who enjoy umami-rich, complex and uncommon sakes will not want to miss this opportunity. The free event takes place from 5-7 p.m. and will include a small taste and a pairing bite from chef Danny Keiser. The Periodic Table, Public Market, 5959 Shellmound Street #11, Emeryville
Chef Keiser is also the chef at the Periodic Table’s sister restaurants, Shiba Ramen in Emeryville and Downtown Oakland. On Sunday, from 1-3 p.m., he will be hosting his own event at the Oakland outpost dedicated to Japanese pickles. For the class, Keiser will focus specifically on lacto-fermentation (preservation with with lactic acid), and will host a lecture and live demo, where attendees will taste several styles of Japanese-inspired pickles and sakes that pair well with them. Tickets are $65 and include tasting and supplies to make your own batch of pickles to take home. Shiba Ramen, 1438 Broadway (between 14th and 15th), Oakland
A PAWESOME EVENT Wouldn’t it be great if helping a good cause were as easy as drinking a good beer? Well, this Saturday, you can knock back craft beers and feel good that you’re helping animals in need by doing so, at the sixth annual Pints for Paws. Berkeley Humane’s popular fundraiser will feature tastes from more than 50 breweries, cidermakers and wineries (Ocean View Brew Works, The Rare Barrel, Urbano Cellars, Donkey & Goat are just a few of the locals participating. See the website for the other vendors), as well as eats from local food trucks, live music and games. Pints for Paws takes place from 2-5 p.m. This event is 21+, but crowd-friendly dogs on leash are welcome, as well as babies in front packs or carriers; no children or strollers will be admitted. Tickets are $65 and include 3-oz. tastings from all participating vendors.
BAO DOWN The downtown Berkeley location of Famous Bao is currently closed, but don’t worry, it’ll be back soon. Nosh spoke with owner Frances Sun, who said the restaurant at 2116 Shattuck Ave. is only temporarily closed for remodeling. Although Sun did not give a date, he said it will reopen in June as a noodle house with a new menu. The restaurant’s moniker refers to baozi (Chinese steamed dumplings), but as many Yelpers have noted, the downtown location did not regularly live up to its name; bao was often crossed off the menu, listed as sold out. Fortunately, most diners would find something else to enjoy, especially amongst its offering of Shaanxi-style hand-pulled noodles and hearty iron pot dishes. The original Famous Bao at 2431 Durant Ave. in Southside is currently open, but Sun said it will also change to a noodle-focused menu in June.
GRAND OPENING FIESTA Earlier this month, Nosh mentioned La Guerrera’s Kitchen, a new tamale take-out window at the Aloha Club in Fruitvale. If you haven’t had a chance to check out this mother-daughter-operated business, there’s a great a opportunity this weekend. On Saturday, from 1-7 p.m., La Guerrera’s Kitchen will be hosting a grand opening event featuring a menu of tamales, tacos, ceviche and homemade salsas to be enjoyed with drink specials (mezcal margaritas, Palomas, mimosas and more) from the Aloha Club, live music performances and the debut of a mural by Bay Area artist DJ Agana. La Guerrera’s Kitchen, 954 Fruitvale Ave. (at E. 10th), Oakland