Bites: Magpie to take over Hog’s Apothecary; Viridian to replace Plum Bar; Fort Point Rockridge update

375 40th St., formerly Hog's Apothecary, will reopen as Magpie, from the owners of Brotzeit Lokal.
375 40th St., formerly Hog’s Apothecary, will reopen as Magpie, from the owners of Brotzeit Lokal. Photo: Sarah Han

MAGPIE TO 40TH STREET The former Hog’s Apothecary space has new owners. Krista and Tony Granieri plan to open Magpie there this winter. The Granieris also own Brotzeit Lokal, the Bavarian-style biergarten on the Oakland waterfront near the developing Brooklyn Basin neighborhood. Nosh spoke with Krista Granieri, who said the partners have a personal affinity for the space — and admiration for its former owner, John Streit — because Brotzeit opened around the same time as Hog’s Apothecary in 2013. They felt there was a certain kinship between the two restaurants, which were both making housemade sausages and farm-to-table-style eats in Oakland. “I looked up to [Streit] when he had his restaurant and we had ours,” she said.

The Granieris (who are no longer married, but are still in business together) were starting to think about opening a new concept when they learned that Hog’s had closed; the space seemed like a perfect fit. “That place is beautiful, it’s such a cool spot,” Granieri said. “We have to try to get that space and keep it cool and neighborhood and local.” She explained that they plan to keep the “high-quality vibe” they have going at Brotzeit, but with a new menu of pizza, small plates, salads and brunch. Brotzeit chef Cesar Galindo, who, according to Granieri, has years of pizza experience, will make a pie that mixes New York and Neapolitan styles. Other dishes will be “tapas-style dishes” that go well with pizza, Granieri said, so expect bites like shishito peppers and meatballs. The menu, though, will likely develop as they find their footing in the space. “You can have a concept, and then when you get going the neighborhood tells you what it wants,” she explained about why they’re not staying tied to too many menu items, just yet.

Magpie will take advantage of the 39 taps installed at the restaurant. It plans to offer about a dozen ciders, along with local beer and wine on tap. Along with good food, Granieri said they hope Magpie will provide a comfortable place where people can “watch games, chill out and have a beer.” As the Granieris will not be doing any construction at the space, they hope to open after redecorating, as soon as December. Magpie will be at 375 40th St. (at Opal), Oakland

ANOTHER GREEN WORLD Last month, Daniel Patterson’s Plum Bar quietly closed and was sold to new owners, Will Tsui and Raymond Gee, both longtime bartenders from Oakland. Tsui last tended bar at Lazy Bear and Rich Table in San Francisco, while Gee was former assistant general manager and bartender at Noodle Theory Provisions. Together, the two will open Viridian in the prime Uptown Oakland space in winter 2020. When asked for further details, a represenatitive for Viridian told Nosh the team would share more details in the coming month, but encouraged those who are curious to follow @viridianbar on Facebook and Instagram. We’re hoping the Wong Kar-wai movie poster shared on Viridian’s Facebook page is a big hint for the style and vibe they’re going for, but we’ll have to wait and see. Viridian Bar will be at 2216 Broadway (at Grand), Oakland


NEW DETAILS ON FORT POINT ROCKRIDGE Yesterday, Nosh spoke with Justin Catalana, co-founder and CEO of Fort Point Beer, about the company’s upcoming East Bay debut in Rockridge. As we reported in September, the San Francisco-based independent brewery will take over the former Trappist Provisions taproom on College Avenue, which Fort Point aims to open by end of year.

Catalana said Fort Point has long had its eye on the East Bay. As a self-distributed beer brand, available throughout the Bay Area, the company has noticed it is “really well received in Oakland, specifically.” As Oakland is its strongest market outside of San Francisco, “having a physical outpost will allow us to connect more directly with fans,” he added.

About a year ago, the Trappist approached Fort Point about taking over its space. At the time, Fort Point was in the middle of its Valencia Street beer hall and other San Francisco projects, but with those projects completed, the time was right to take the offer. Catalana said they were drawn to the location in Rockridge, specifically the community of small retail shops and restaurants nearby. “It’s similar to the Ferry Building (in San Francisco, where Fort Point also has a taproom), where we’d be part of an ecosystem of similar, but different trades,” Catalana said. “It felt like the right fit.”

The Fort Point taproom in Rockridge will be most like its Ferry Building taproom, Catalana said, with the exception of offering a guest beer and wine program. Along with its own eight beers on tap, the bar will pour four beers from guest breweries and eight wines by the glass. And for eats, expect hot dogs a la Fort Point’s executive chef Eric Ehler, made with a steamed Golden Gate Meat Company wiener, topped with housemade condiments and toppings on an Acme bun. Catalana said other eats are still being considered, but expect bites that pair well with beer. Fort Point Rockridge will be at 6309 College Ave. (at 63rd), Oakland 

TAKARA TAKES A BOW After 12 years on College Avenue in Rockridge, Takara Sushi Restaurant has closed. Nosh tipster Sean Rouse spotted a sign on the door that thanked customers and explained why owners Charles Lee and Sook Kim pulled the plug: “Among my three restaurants for last 20 years this one has the best clientele. However, due to high food cost, soaring up wages and rent, it is getting hard to maintain business. After long consideration, I decided to close down my business and seek for a new opportunity.” The owners, who took over the Japanese restaurant in 2007 (formerly Isobune Sushi), hint they may open another in the area in the future. Takara was at 5897 College Ave.

VEGAN NEWS4U Earlier this year, Oakland’s Hella Vegan Eats, a trans-queer and POC-owned meatless restaurant parted ways with its former homebase, Classic Cars West, due to irreconcilable differences. While the departure spelled the end for Hella Vegan Eats, one of its co-founders, Sofi Espice (aka Silvi Peligras), launched a new vegan pop-up that’s been carrying the banner. Since May, Gay4U has brought its creative, flavorful and comforting vegan sandwiches, salads and brunch fare to various venues in the East Bay, including Lucky Duck, Vegan Republic, Eli’s Mile High Club and Analog. This October, the pop-up found a permanent home at newly re-opened downtown Oakland lunch spot, Garden House. Expect the unexpected, like a burrito stuffed with cola-braised seitan, french fries, mashed black beans, quinoa-brown rice, habanero salsa and greens and crispy fried jackfruit tacos with kraut slaw, cilantro-lime cashew-coconut crema in blue corn tortillas. Gay4U hours are 6-9 p.m., Monday; 6-10 p.m., Thursday and Friday; 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday (brunch) and 5-10 p.m., Saturday. Gay4U at Garden House, 380 15th St. (at Franklin), Oakland

In a recent interview with the Chronicle, the founders of another Oakland vegan pop-up, S+M Vegan, give HVE hella vegan props: “We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Hella Vegan Eats. They paved the way not only for pop-ups, but for people of color in this business and trans folks and everyone else. They made it OK for us to do what we’re doing.”

S+M has been making news on its own merit. Last month, founders Shane Stanbridge (the S) and Marie Chia (the M) announced they were opening a brick-and-mortar location in the Dimond District called Lion Dance Café. The pair have been offering Chinese-Singaporean-Italian-inflected vegan fare at pop-up and catering gigs for the past six years, most recently on Tuesday nights at Eli’s Mile High Club. S+M also got major props from Chronicle food critic Soleil Ho, who called one of their shaobing the best sandwich in the Bay Area. According to the Lion Dance Café website, the restaurant will focus on “Teochew-Singaporean family recipes, nostalgic hawker center favorites and the food of the Chinese American diaspora.” Stanbridge and Chia aim to open next spring or early summer. In the meantime, they’ll try out Lion Dance recipes at Eli’s, and plan to start a new pop-up at The Double Standard in the coming months. S+M Vegan at Eli’s Mile High Club, 3629 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Oakland; Lion Dance Café will be at 3525 Fruitvale Ave., Oakland

[Updated Nov. 7] FOR YOUR PLEASURE Thanks to Nosh recipe contributor Moriah Van Vleet, we have some updates to share about Voluptas, a new bakery opening soon on Solano Avenue in Berkeley. The bakery will focus on artisanal sourdough bread and offer some pastries.

Nosh spoke on the phone with owner Andy Lottmann, who said this will be his first venture. An avid homebaker, Lottmann was encouraged by friends who told him his bakes were good enough for him to open his own bakery. For Voluptas, Lottmann will use his 10-year-old sourdough starter and a mix of quality white flour and whole wheat flour, which he plans to mill fresh on the day he bakes his bread. There will also be a variety of sweet and savory bakes, like pies, monkey breads and palmiers, as well as jams and other bread accoutrement made with seasonal ingredients sourced from local farmers markets.

Lottmann said Alain Delangle, the owner of the space’s former business, French deli and pastry shop La Bedaine, has been helpful in getting him settled into the space. But Lottmann was quick to add that Voluptas will not be a specifically French bakery, but one that makes “solid, wholesome and tasty” baked goods. Along with items for omnivores, Lottmann said he plans to add ones or those who follow vegan and gluten-free diets. And because his daughter is allergic to peanuts, the facility will be 100% peanut-free. As he’s still working out a few last kinks, Lottmann doesn’t have a opening day on the calendar, but said he’ll send word once one has been determined, so stay tuned. Voluptas will be at 1585 Solano Ave. (between Peralta and Tacoma), Berkeley

Containers of Tucker's Little T's Peanut Barker frozen yogurt for dogs.
Tucker’s Little T’s Peanut Barker frozen yogurt for dogs. Photo: Tucker’s Super Creamed Ice Cream

COOL YOUR DOGS Tucker’s Super Creamed Ice Cream in Alameda has added a new product to its lineup for its ice-cream loving canine fans. The frozen treat, called Pup Cups, come in single-serving size containers. In a press release, Tucker’s managing member Erika Zimmerman explained the origin of Pup Cups: “I saw a customer buy a scoop of vanilla ice cream for their dog who was going through radiation treatments. It was so sweet to see how much the dog enjoyed their treat, and their human enjoyed giving it to them. That is when we knew we wanted to make a treat specifically for are our four-legged friends that would be safe for them to eat.” While most dogs love ice cream, the amount of milk and sugar in conventional ice cream can be hard for dogs to digest. Tucker’s Pup Cups are made with frozen Greek yogurt, which contains less lactose and is easier on dog’s stomachs. For now, Pup Cups come in one flavor: Little T’s Peanut Barker, made with yogurt, bananas and peanut butter. Fifty cents from each Pup Cup sale will go to Friends of Alameda Animal Shelter. Tucker’s Super Creamed Ice Cream,  1349 Park St. (near Central), Alameda

Oakland pop-up Always Aloha Shave Ice.
Oakland pop-up Always Aloha Shave Ice will appear for its last pop-up for the season at Morningtide, a boutique in Albany, on Sunday, Nov. 10. Photo: Sarah Han

ALOHA MEANS HELLO & GOODBYE Should you be looking for a frozen dessert to treat yourself, head over to Morningtide in Albany this Sunday, when Oakland’s Always Aloha Shave Ice Co. will be throwing its last pop-up for the season. Always Aloha  tops fluffy domes of snowy ice with scratch made syrups, including its signature POG (passion fruit, orange and guava) flavor. Always Aloha will be at the shop from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (or until sold out). Note, cash and Venmo payments only. Morningtide, 847 Cornell (at Solano), Albany

Oakland Yard on 40th Street in Temescal.
Oakland Yard on 40th Street in Temescal. Photo: Sarah Han

THE WHOLE THREE YARDS North Oakland wine shop Oakland Yard is celebrating its three year anniversary with a party this Saturday. From noon to 5 p.m., the shop will host a local artisan market and offer an oyster bar, outdoor food pop-up area with Okkon and B.A.B.S. BBQ, beer, and of course, wine. Oakland Yard, 420 40th St. (at Shafter), Oakland