The newly opened Alchemy Bottle Shop is at xxxx Grand Avenue. Photo: courtesy Alchemy Bottle Shop
The newly opened Alchemy Bottle Shop is at 3246 Grand Avenue. Photo: courtesy Alchemy Bottle Shop


Photo: Emilie Raguso
Alchemy Bottle Shop. Photo: Emilie Raguso

ALCHEMY BOTTLE SHOP Upscale liquor shops seem to be quite the thing right now — must be because of those craft cocktails we’re all enjoying so much — and the latest entrant into the field is Alchemy Bottle Shop at 3256 Grand Ave. (within striking distance of restaurants like Boot & Shoe Service and Grand Fare). The store — whose design is as far removed from the stereotypical seedy liquor store as you can get, with fresh white-painted cabinets, varnished wood floors and lashings of light — offers a “handpicked selection of the finest craft spirits, featuring small producers and naturally made products.” Other high-end spots to pick up your favorite tipple include the Northbrae Bottle Shop, at 1590 Hopkins St. in Berkeley, which opened last spring. And soon we will have another similar destination at 3185 College Ave. in Rockridge. As we reported last month, Future Bars, the group behind San Francisco cocktail bars Bourbon & Branch and Local Edition, as well as the forthcoming Tupper & Reed cocktail bar in the old Beckett’s space in Berkeley, has taken over College Avenue Wine Spirits & Deli and is expected to re-open as Cask in a few months.  

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Opening soon: Michel Bistro

MICHEL BISTRO Opening soon at 3343 Lakeshore Ave. is Michel Bistro, a gastropub-style restaurant run by French owners Germain Michel and Jean-Michel Fabregon. The menu will feature Provencal-style bistro dishes with California influences. Think vol au vent Burgundy escargots and mushroom in puff pastry; bone marrow with horse radish and wild sorrel on brioche; and trout Lyonnaise with green almonds and dandelion. Pastis will be featured heavily on the drinks list and the wines will, naturellement, come principally from la belle France. The location, between Lake Park Avenue and Trestle Glen, used to be occupied by the shuttered YaYu Ethiopian restaurant. Check’s Michel Bistro’s Facebook page for opening day.

Linda Lasagne at the Westbrae Biergarten. Photo: Neil Mishalov
Linda Lasagna at the Westbrae Biergarten. Photo: Neil Mishalov

WESTBRAE BIERGARTEN The much-anticipated Westbrae Biergarten is slated to open in May, according to Linda Lasagna of the Lasagna family who has owned the land on the southeast corner of Gilman Street for more than 100 years — and which is where the open-air food and beer spot is being built.  Two well-known local food trucks, Brazil Café and Roli Roti, have signed up to be regulars at the beer garden, which hopes to be something like the Hayes Valley Biergarten on Octavia Street in San Francisco. Two other mobile food vendors are also slated to join the line-up. The landscaping includes benches for sitting and canopies for the food vendors. The Westbrae Biergarten is at 1280 Gilman St., at Curtis.

Photo: Emilie Raguso

DOUKKALA Jamal Zahid is reopening his Temescal restaurant Tanjia under the new name Doukkala which, he says, is inspired by the fertile agricultural region where the family of his father, Larbi Zahid, came from. Doukkala’s menu will be “rich with locally grown and organic produce, high-quality farm-fed meats and local, seasonal fish” used in traditional Moroccan dishes, many of which are designed to be shared. The menu includes Vegetable Tagine, Doukkaka Couscous (with lamb shoulder mechoui, mergez, oxtail, maple leaf duck, carrots, zucchini, garbanzo and fava beans, and artichoke),  Quail Pastilla, as well as the classic French dish, Steak Frites. The hoped-for opening date is April 15. Doukkala is at 4905 Telegraph Ave. (between 49th and 51st streets).

What else is going on…

L'Chaim Sushi
L’Chaim Sushi
L’Chaim Sushi

SUSHI AT AFIKOMEN JUDAICA Afikomen Judaica at 3042 Claremont Ave. will soon start selling fresh kosher sushi made by L’Chaim Sushi of San Francisco, who says they are the first source of sustainable and kosher sushi. Owner Nell says they hope to be up and rolling (pun intended) following the Passover holiday. Delivery days will likely include Sundays as well as weekdays. Selections include vegetable and fish rolls, “all excellent quality, sustainable certified by Seafood Watch and Kosher certified by Sunrise.” Call the store for more details on 510-292-0175, or check Afikomen’s Facebook page.

Recent stories on Nosh (in case you missed them):
Berkeley native serves up cookies with benefits
Ms Barstool: Some like it hot at Bourbon & Beef
Lemony fennel cupcakes: citrus burst meets fragrant herb

Nosh on the Town: Centouno in Jack London Square
Kingston 11: Come for the party, stay for the chicken

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...