Bites is Berkeleyside Nosh’s round-up of restaurant and bar news in the East Bay. Got a tip or a scoop? Send it our way at Bites is produced by Nosh in collaboration with Christina Mitchell, founder of East Bay Dish. (And we number Bites so you can check out previous editions of Bites and be sure you’re up to date with all the food news.)

Freshly served…

FUSION LATINA COOPERATIVE Friday afternoon sees the grand opening of Fusion Latina Cooperative, a catering service that features a fusion of Latin American flavors, and is Richmond’s newest worker cooperative. The cooperative comprises seven Richmond area women. Expect free tastings of dishes — such as tinga chicken, roasted pork with achiote marinade, salpicon beef salad, nopales salad, and drinks such as Semilla de Jicaro and lemon and mint with chia — at the opening reception, which is open to all. Fusion Latina can be reached at 510-730-6072 or Friday, Feb. 22., 3-5 p.m., Richmond Civic Center, Multi-Purpose Room, 440 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond. 


LINDGREN’S COFFEE & CAFE We tipped you off in September that a new coffee shop was coming to downtown Berkeley, and now it’s here (hat-tip to David Sanger for the alert). Lindgren’s Coffee and Café, which has opened on Dwight just off Shattuck, roasts its own coffee, and offers fresh pastries (baked in-house), sandwiches, beer and wine, as well as coffee of course. There’s also free wifi. Early reports from Berkeleyside readers are good. One reader wrote they were “very impressed with the service, the staff, the environs, and the food (a delicious latte and a grilled cheese, bacon, and pear sandwich).” 2120 Dwight Way, Berkeley.

Coming soon…

Red Whale logo

THE RED WHALE Coming to the Grand Avenue neighborhood: The Red Whale, which will be a wine shop/wine bar where you can buy a bottle to take home or enjoy there with some cheese. They will offer wines from all over, but the focus is on small-production California wines. The name is a reference to Moby Dick, which seems appropriate since owner Bradford Taylor is a grad student in literature. (Update: The name of that shop later became Ordinaire.) He expects to open sometime this spring. 3354 Grand Ave., Oakland.

city girl farm store facebook

TOWNSHIP RESTAURANT Abeni Ramsey, who opened City Girl Farm Store at 1740 San Pablo Ave. last fall, plans to open Township Restaurant on Broadway in Oakland, according to Diablo Dish. Ramsey says she will source most of the produce from Oakland farms, as well as land she owns in Capay Valley. Brent Johnson (former sous chef at Spruce) will be in charge of the kitchen. Unique items like lollipop kale and flamingo chard are currently growing in a plot in West Oakland and Ramsey wants to showcase them in the restaurant. She also has plans to move her farm store next door to the restaurant in mid-April. 1545 Broadway, Oakland.


ARABICA A new restaurant is going into the space formerly occupied by Great China in downtown Berkeley. As tipped previously, the owners of next-door Razan’s are opening a Mediterranean-food eatery and its name is Arabica. No word yet on opening date. (Great China, which suffered a serious fire in January 2012, is renovating the old Looney’s BBQ spot on Bancroft, with a scheduled opening date of this spring.) 2115 Kittredge St., Berkeley.

NEW ROLE FOR FIREHOUSE A vacant firehouse in Oakland’s Dimond District may well become a new food and drink haunt down the road. Bay Area News Group reported there were six bidders for the property, including a “beer-focused BBQ restaurant” that would be run by the owners of Luka’s Taproom & Lounge. It could take six to eight weeks to finalize the bidding process and send a recommendation to the City Council.

What else is going on…

innajam meyer lemon

INNA JAM LEMON CLASS It’s Meyer lemon season and INNA jam is ready to take advantage of all that citrus. Owner Dafna Kory is holding a class where she will discuss “salt-cured preserved Meyer lemons, lemon extract, limoncello, and candied lemons,” and demonstrate a not-too-sweet Meyer lemon jam that’s not as bitter as traditional marmalades. The class is limited to 12 participants, who will all get to take home two jars of jam plus recipes. 1307 61st St., Emeryville. Saturday, Feb. 23, 2-5 p.m. Cost: $100

Quick hits and tidbits…

  • Numi Tea may relocate from 1050 22nd Ave. to join the many food purveyors looking at moving into the emerging Broadway Grand project in Uptown Oakland, according to Diablo Dish. Others that are tipped to be eyeing the development include a Mexican restaurant from restaurateur/entrepreneur Chris Pastena, and a beer garden and pizzeria from San Leandro brewery Drake’s.
  • Samin Nosrat, who has worked at Chez Panisse and been Michael Pollan’s personal cooking instructor, tells 7 x 7 that she has gone off restaurants and prefers cooking for friends in a home environment.  
  • Albany Taproom reports that it will be opening March 8. You’ll recall from last week’s Bites that the Taproom — at 745 San Pablo Ave. next door to, and part of, Grazzy Burgers — had been planning to open in time for SF Beer Week. However, final inspection approval did not happen in time.

Bites is Nosh’s round-up of restaurant openings, happenings and closings in the East Bay. Got a tip or scoop? Send it our way to nosh@berkeleyside.comFollow Berkeleyside NOSH on Twitter, and on Facebook.

Some of these items may first have appeared in Shop Talk, Berkeleyside’s regular column in which we post updates on Berkeley businesses. If you’re a Berkeley business with news, or a Berkeleysider who has spotted a change in your neighborhood or on your travels, email us with the details. Read previous Shop Talk columns here.

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