Bites: Dreyer’s to close flagship Oakland ice cream parlor; Wondrous Brewing Company in Emeryville

Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream Parlor & Café in Rockridge, Oakland.
Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Parlor & Café in Rockridge, the brand’s flagship location, is closing Friday. Photo: Sarah Han

[Updated 3:15 p.m.] DREYER’S PARLOR TO CLOSE Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Parlor & Café in Rockridge is closing Friday. This location is the brand’s flagship store, found steps away from the company’s headquarters at 5929 College Ave. The parlor’s staff was told Monday about the closure from its parent company Nestlé, according to an employee.

Although Dreyer’s has been a subsidiary of Nestlé as of 2003, the company has been based in Oakland since its founding. William Dreyer and Joseph Edy opened Edy’s Grand Ice Cream on Grand Avenue in 1928. The company claims it created Rocky Road in 1929, a name that referenced the flavor’s chunky texture and the state of the U.S. economy as it entered the Great Depression (Fenton’s claims it invented the flavor around the same time.). In 1946, Edy’s moved to 5929 College Ave., but the next year, Edy left the partnership and in 1948, Dreyer built a new manufacturing plant in Oakland, renaming the company as Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Inc. (These days, most of Dreyer’s ice cream is made in Bakersfield, California, and Laurel, Maryland.) In 1981, Dreyer’s brought back the Edy’s name for its ice cream sold east of the Rockies.

The Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Parlor opened more than 20 years ago at its current location on College Avenue. In 2006, the scoop shop closed for renovation, re-opening in 2008 as a full-service ice cream counter with expanded booth seating.

A sign in the parlor’s window announcing the closure says, “something big is coming in our place… Stay tuned!” The employee we spoke with did not know what was to come. When asked for comment, a representative for Nestlé provided the following statement from the company: “For more than 20 years the Dreyer’s Ice Cream Parlor has been a phenomenal part of the Oakland community. For a number of reasons, the business has decided to make some modifications and as a result the shop will close. We thank the customers who stopped by for ice cream throughout the years, and look forward to a new tenant being announced.” Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Parlor & Café, 5925 College Ave. (near Chabot), Oakland


A rendering of the upcoming Wondrous Brewing Company at 1306 56th St. in Emeryville.
A rendering of the upcoming Wondrous Brewing Company at 1306 65th St. in Emeryville. Photo: Wondrous Brewing Company

WORLD OF WONDROUS Despite the craft brewery boom that’s been going strong in the East Bay for the last decade, Emeryville hasn’t had a beer made within its city limits since Golden Pacific Brewing Company moved from Emeryville to Berkeley in 1997 (Golden Pacific closed in 2003 and became Trumer Brauerei Berkeley a year later). Perhaps surprising, given that Emeryville was once known as the “rottenest city on the Pacific Coast,” for its glut of speakeasies, gambling halls and general predilection for vice.

While modern-day Emeryville will likely not return to those “glory” days any time soon, the city will once again dabble in alcohol production with the opening of Wondrous Brewing Company. The E’ville Eye reported the new business will take over a vacant warehouse space on 65th Street, where Wondrous will brew and barrel-age its beers, as well as offer its finished products at a tasting room and outdoor beer garden. Wondrous founder, Oakland resident Wynn Whisenhunt earned his chops at Lagunitas in Petaluma before becoming head brewer at Bartlett Hall in San Francisco and Sante Adairius in Capitola. Whisenhunt told the E’ville Eye he plans to brew a variety of beers with an emphasis on German lagers. Wondrous Brewing Company aims to be open in early 2020. Wondrous Brewing Company will be at 1306 65th St. (near Hollis), Emeryville

Southern-style biscuits by chef Lance Velasquez at the Alice Collective.
Chef Lance Velasquez has created a whole daytime menu around his biscuits at The Alice Collective. Photo: Angela DeCenzo

BISCUITS & BOOZE Chef Lance Velasquez is so proud of his biscuits that he’s created a whole menu around them. Starting July 29, the Alice Collective in Downtown Oakland will launch a new daytime café menu, featuring fresh-made biscuits and biscuit sandwiches that will go nicely with the bar’s new daytime cocktail menu developed by beverage director Greg Quinn. Velasquez is currently the executive chef of Metal + Match, a catering company owned by Alice Collective co-founder Ted Wilson; the chef has previous experience at fine-dining restaurants (Gary Danko, Campton Place, The Restaurant at the Ritz Carlton, to name a few). But Velasquez got obsessed with biscuits in 2017, while developing the original menu for Uptown Oakland’s breakfast sandwich hot spot, The Gastropig.

Along with biscuits, the café’s menu will offer seasonal salads and house-made pastries. Packaged items, like bourbon apple butter, jam, chow chow, house pickles and frozen biscuits by the dozen will also be available for guests to purchase to enjoy at home. The café is open 8-11 a.m. for breakfast; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (with the bar) for lunch, Monday through Friday. The Alice Collective, 272 14th St. (at Harrison), Oakland

Chef Rashad Armstead of Crave BBQ, Grammie's Down Home Chicken & Seafood in Oakland.
Chef Rashad Armstead is throwing an after party to celebrate his recent appearance on Food Network’s “Chopped” competitive cooking game show. Photo: Courtesy of Rashad Armstead

CHOPPED EATS  Oakland chef Rashad Armstead (of Crave BBQ and Grammie’s Down-Home Chicken & Seafood) competed on Food Network’s cooking game show, “Chopped.” The episode called “Take the Cake” aired Tuesday night, and if you missed it, we won’t spoil the ending for you. Regardless if you saw it yet, you can still party with Armstead this Friday. From 7-10 p.m. Armstead will host a “Chopped” after-party to share stories of his “Chopped” experience and offer tastes of the menu he prepared on the show, along with a few Crave BBQ and Grammie’s dishes. Musical acts West Oakland Blues Band, Dax Brooks and DJ Ri will perform. Tickets are $15-$35. Party takes place on the rooftop of the Port Co-Working Space, 344 20th St. (near Webster), Oakland 

A table set with northern Iranian dishes from Komaaj, a pop-up from chef Hanif Sadr.
Komaaj, a pop-up from chef Hanif Sadr that specializes in Northern Iranian cuisine, will make several appearances in Berkeley this weekend. Photo: Komaaj

KOMAAJ IN BERKELEY Chef Hanif Sadr’s Persian pop-up Komaaj Kitchen will host a series of events in Berkeley this weekend.

First up, Komaaj will be the first participant in a new pop-up food program at three-month-old Cafenated Coffee Company in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto. Chef Sadr will prepare a four-course dinner highlighting maahi polo, a rice dish from northern Iran of smoked white rice, smoked trout, spices and herbs. Sadr will prepare the polo — and the other three courses — with locally sourced ingredients, including California rice from Lundberg Family farm. There are two seatings (6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.) Friday and Saturday; note, some seatings are already close to being sold out. Tickets are $28. Local beer and wine can be added for an additional $9. Cafenated Coffee Company, 2085 Vine St. (near Shattuck), Berkeley

Then, on Sunday, Sadr will be the featured chef at the next dinner in Slow Food East Bay’s series “Cultural Food Traditions.” From 5-8 p.m. at Bauman College in West Berkeley, guests will enjoy a feast featuring another Persian rice dish, gilaas polo, made with basmati rice, cherries, roasted mushrooms and smoked goat cheese, along with eight other northern Iranian dishes, beverage and dessert. All the fare (save one dish with fish roe, which can be made without) is vegetarian and gluten-free. In addition, Sadr will share stories of Iran’s rich culinary history and traditions. Tickets are $30-$85. Bauman College, 1007 University Ave. (between Ninth and 10th), Berkeley

Teance founder Winnie Yu (left) with customers at Teance's tea bar.
Winnie Yu, left at Teance’s tea bar in Berkeley. The 12-year-old shop has closed on Fourth St. and plans to relocate. Photo: Courtesy Fogdog

GOODBYE, FOURTH STREET After 12 years at 1780 Fourth St., Berkeley’s Teance has closed. The tea room, opened by founder Winnie Yu, offered artisanal teas and wares from China, Japan, India and Taiwan, as well as in-store tastings at its tea bar. Last weekend, the shop held a moving sale of its memorabilia, furniture and other items before closing for good Sunday. But if Teance is moving, where to next? A representative from the company told Nosh that tastings are a big part of its business, but the Fourth Street store was too large for that purpose. Teance plans to open a pop-up shop at its West Berkeley warehouse (1036 Grayson St.). The new space, which is currently being designed, will have both an indoor tasting room and outdoor tea garden. It will likely be open to the public on weekends and some weekday hours as soon as this summer or fall. Teance will also continue to sell its products online.

WESTBRAE THAI More than one year after Nosh first reported a restaurant was taking over the former Toot Sweets bakery space in Westbrae, Thai Corner opened July 21. The restaurant offers a fairly large menu of affordable salads, appetizers, curries, noodle and rice dishes. Thai Corner, 1277 Gilman St. (at Santa Fe), Berkeley

Fully stocked shelves at Community Foods Market in West Oakland.
Community Foods Market claims it has increased its grocery selection by more than 50% since it first opened in June. Photo: Community Foods Market

NEW TO THE COMMUNITY Until recently, shoppers at West Oakland’s new full-service grocery store Community Foods Market may have had trouble finding some of their favorite items in stock. While the market’s fresh produce, meat and fish selections have been robust since it opened in June, the grocery selection was initially limited. According to a press release from the market, issues with a distributor were the cause. Now, with a new distributor, Community Foods has increased its products by more than 50%, including stocking more items from national brands and specialty options. Community Foods Market,  3105 San Pablo Ave. (near Myrtle), Oakland

THE MAGICAL FRUIT Berkeley-based prepared food company A Dozen Cousins is launching a temporary pop-up restaurant. The brand makes packaged slow-simmered beans, prepared with recipes from the South, the Caribbean and Latin America; healthy and easily accessible versions of dishes founder Ibraheem Basir ate with his family, while growing up in Brooklyn. Starting Thursday, A Dozen Cousins will partner with Uber Eats to offer East Bay diners a chance to try freshly made meals made with their products. From July 25-28, the company will temporarily set up shop in Oakland to prepare rice bowls and salads toppd with grilled halal meats, Beyond Meat or fajita vegetables and its signature beans. Orders can be made via Uber Eats from noon-3 p.m. and 5-9 p.m., July 25 and from 5-9 p.m., July 26-28.

CoRo Coffee Room in West Berkeley. Photo: Sarah Han

BIRTHDAY BENEFITS CoRo Coffee Room turns one this year. The café run by CoRo — the Berkeley-based collaborative coffee roasting facility — is a chance for the public to get a taste of various coffees from resident roasters and grab bites from local food makers, including breads and pastries from the Midwife and the Baker, jams from June Taylor Jams, chocolate drinks made with TCHO and teas from Blue Willow Tea. On Friday, CoRo Coffee Room hosts a “customer appreciation party,” from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., offering guests free affogatos and 25% of all coffee drinks. CoRo Coffee Room, 2324 Fifth St. (between Bancroft and Channing), Berkeley

SWEET FAREWELL Zoonie’s Candy Shop, formerly Powell’s Candy Shop, at 3206 College Ave. in Berkeley has closed. In February, Berkeleyside reported that the store was likely becoming a new pet grooming business. Zoonie’s owners Shahrazad Junblat, Zeina Hissen and Nabil Hissen changed the sweet shop’s name last year, when the business became independent, parting ways with the Powell’s franchise. The owners’ second location in Lafayette remains open.