A new restaurant at Tribune Tower; Shake Shack in Oakland is open

Plus: Blues Chocolates is back with a new name; Bad Walter’s Hanukkah ice creams; brick-and-mortar spots for La Guerrera’s Kitchen, La Santa Torta and Malibu’s Burgers.

Tribune Tavern was found on the bottom floor of the Oakland Tribune building. Photo: Sarah Han
Tribune will take over the bottom floor restaurant space at the former Oakland Tribune building. Photo: Sarah Han

A new restaurant is coming to Tribune Tower

Omri Aflalo, John Cahill and Darrin Ballon — the trio of seasoned industry folks behind Town Revival, an upcoming downtown Oakland restaurant — just announced this week that they’ll head up another restaurant in the area, this time, taking over the space at the foot of the historic Tribune Tower last occupied by the beleaguered Tribune Tavern. Called Tribune, the restaurant will be a New American brasserie with French influence. The partners aim for an early spring 2021 opening, operating at first with takeout, and if allowed at the time, outdoor dining.

According to a press release shared with Nosh, Tribune’s menu will change seasonally, but some standards will remain year-round, such as the Tribune Chopped Salad, featuring chicories, avocado, radish and Roquefort dressing; bone-in pork chop with fingerling potatoes and charred heirloom cabbage; and the Tribune Burger. The drinks menu will feature bottles and half bottles of wine, along with six selections on tap from local and international vintners; as well as classic craft cocktails with a modern twist.

The partners are working with designer Jon De La Cruz to renovate the interior, which highlights original architectural details found underneath layers of previous renovations. Tribune will be outfitted with tufted leather banquettes, burnished brass fixtures and antique mirrors to reflect the style of the era when the historic building was first founded in 1923. Tribune, 401 13th St. (between Broadway and Franklin Street), Oakland

Oakland gets its first Shake Shack today

Burgers and spicy cheese fries from Shake Shack. Photo Shake Shack
Various burgers and sandwiches and spicy cheese fries from Shake Shack. Photo Shake Shack

The East Bay got its first Shake Shack with today’s opening of the Oakland location at the base of Uptown Station on the corner of Telegraph and Thomas L. Berkley Way. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the New York chain’s new Oakland outpost offers takeout of a currently limited menu, featuring burgers (including its Bay Area exclusive Golden State Double burger), chicken sandwiches and nuggets, crinkle-cut fries, shakes, frozen custard and some holiday-themed seasonal specials. Orders can be made in advance online through the website or Shake Shack app. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily. Shake Shack, 1954 Telegraph Ave. (at Thomas L. Berkley Way), Oakland


Vegan hotspot Malibu’s Burgers comes to Piedmont Avenue

More burger news — this time of Malibu’s Burgers, which on Saturday, started serving its meat and dairy-free smash burgers, shakes and other indulgent vegan eats at its new brick-and-mortar on Piedmont Avenue. As Nosh reported in July, owners Darren Preston, Natasha Fernández-Pérez and Wahid Brown were able to transition from a food truck to this retail storefront thanks to a successful GoFundMe campaign that exceeded its $75,000 financial goal. The trio signed the lease on the restaurant just in the nick of time, as their food truck went on the fritz and was put out to pasture. The current Malibu’s menu offers 10 different burgers and sandwiches made with Impossible patties, Follow Your Heart cheese and other plant-based products, as well sides like fries and tater tots that can be ordered plain or fully loaded, and milkshakes made with plant-based Eclipse ice cream. Malibu’s is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Malibu’s Burgers, 3905 Piedmont Ave., (at ), Oakland

Blues Chocolates reopens in downtown Berkeley as Chocolaterie

Blues Chocolates has reopened its downtown Berkeley retail store with a new name: Chocolaterie. Photo: Chris Blue
Blues Chocolates has reopened its University Avenue retail store with a new name — Chocolaterie. Photo: Chris Blue

Blues Chocolates on University Avenue in downtown Berkeley has been closed since March, but it’s finally back in business. Owner Chris Blue told Nosh that the first shelter-in-place order coincided with the time of the year that’s slowest for the chocolate business, so he and co-owner-wife Jess Steeve decided to stay closed while they determined when it was safe to reopen. On Nov. 22, they relaunched Blues Chocolates under a new name — Chocolaterie.

The rebranding, Blue explained, reflects a change of focus for the business. For years, Blues was affiliated with sister business, A Dora Pie, which the couple opened next door in 2014. In August 2019, the couple consolidated the pie shop, then called Dora Pie, with Blues Chocolates, so the two businesses operated in the same space. But now, the couple has decided to stop doing pies all together and concentrate on the original roots of their business — chocolate. The new name is even reminiscent of the original moniker the shop opened with back in 2008: Chocolatier Blue.

Chocolaterie is currently open from noon to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, offering chocolate bonbons, candy bars, packaged truffles, turtles and caramel sauces. Blue told us they’re trying out new flavors they haven’t done before, including a citrus habanero bonbon and one made with Ennis hazelnuts and housemade plum jam. For the holidays, Chocolaterie will make holiday flavors, including candy cane, mint, eggnog and mulled wine with rum-soaked currants. Boxes of Chocolaterie bonbons, priced at $13-77 for 5-20 chocolates, can be purchased online for pickup or delivery. Chocolaterie, 1964 University Ave. (between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Milvia Street), Berkeley  

Hanukkah flavors from Bad Walter’s Bootleg Ice Cream

The East Bay can add another pandemic-born, small-batch ice cream business to its ever-growing roster. Oakland’s Bad Walter’s Bootleg Ice Cream differentiates itself from the pack by making lactose-free (but not dairy-free) ice cream. The Temescal-based business changes its menu weekly, and it’s currently offering two Hanukkah-inspired flavors: Sufganiyot, made with donuts from Bundok Munros Bakery, raspberry/strawberry jam and a donut glaze swirl, and Rolling in Gelt, featuring dark chocolate ice cream with golden chocolate-covered Ruffles and an olive oil swirl. Both flavors are $10 a pint. Order online for pickup on Saturday or Sunday (pickup address will be sent upon ordering). Know what else is cool? This month, Bad Walter’s will donate 50% of proceeds to Alameda County Community Food Bank.

La Guerrera’s Kitchen to reopen in Old Oakland

Just in time for Christmas, La Guerrera's Kitchen will open at a new space, with a menu of tamales and other dishes from Guerrero, Mexico. Photo: La Guerrera's Kitchen
Just in time for Christmas tamal season, La Guerrera’s Kitchen will open in Old Oakland on Dec. 15, with a menu of tamales and other dishes from Guerrero, Mexico. Photo: La Guerrera’s Kitchen

Since leaving the Aloha Club and operating as a pop up at Ale Industries for the past several months, the mother-daughter team behind La Guerrera’s Kitchen will re-open at a new space in Old Oakland. As first reported by Eater SF, Reyna Maldonado and her mother Ofelia Barajas plan to offer takeout starting Dec. 15  at their new brick-and-mortar restaurant, what was formerly Tamarindo Antojeria. According to Eater, the new larger home base will allow Maldonado and Barajas to offer an expanded menu of southwestern Mexican dishes from their family’s native state of Guerrero, including tacos dorado con consomé and tacos al vapor (tacos made with meats and tortillas that are steamed to order). The duo will also continue to serve tamales. In preparation for peak tamal season, La Guerrera’s Kitchen is taking preorders this week for pickup at the new Eighth Street digs. La Guerrera’s Kitchen will be at 468 Eighth St. (at Broadway), Oakland

La Santa Torta takes over Old Kan Beer Co’s restaurant space

Last week, popular taco truck La Santa Torta took to Instagram to announce that it too has a new Oakland restaurant coming soon. Eater SF had the details — La Santa Torta owners Leo Oblea and Victor Guzman signed the lease at 95 Linden St., which was last occupied by Old Kan Beer & Co. The brewery is still operating, but its dining room and kitchen have not been used since March. Old Kan co-owner Adam Lamoreaux told Eater that leasing the space to La Santa Torta will be an ideal set-up for once the brewery reopens its taproom next door, especially once their shared outdoor patio can reopen, and diners can enjoy La Santa Torta’s Jalisco-style birria tacos and other specialties with Old Kan Beer. La Santa Torta estimates it will open the restaurant in January 2021; in the meantime, the truck will be parked at 333 Broadway for takeout daily, except Mondays. Check Instagram for latest hours. La Santa Torta Restaurant will be at 95 Linden St. (near Third Street), Oakland

Sarah Han is Senior Editor, Nosh of Berkeleyside and Oaklandside. Email: sarah@berkeleyside.com.