LONGBRANCH SALOON San Pablo Avenue’s Longbranch is now open, according to tipster Amanda Fox. The restaurant, which took over the old Sea Salt location, describes itself as a “New American Restaurant/Gastro Pub.” It serves a range of comfort-food-style dishes and has an extensive list of beers, whiskeys and cocktails. Some dishes have a distinctly British-sounding spin, including potted pork trotter, the goat cheese and leek tart, and bangers and mash. Also on the menu: toasted farro and roasted cauliflower salad, pan-seared black cod and bone-in ribeye with béarnaise sauce. Longbranch is located at 2512 San Pablo Ave. (at Dwight Way) in Berkeley. Connect with the business on Facebook.
FROM KID2KID Newly installed on Alcatraz Avenue (at Adeline) is toy-exchange spot From Kid2Kid. Co-founded by Nina Orike and Jessie Jiang, the store aims to “keep useable toys out of landfills and in the hands of children by offering a place for kids to exchange (recycle) their pre-loved toys for toys they really want.” The space also has an area upstairs with affordable jewelry and other handicrafts from Africa for sale, and is putting on events, including a children’s music concert performed by Asheba on Saturday, Nov. 22, from 11 a.m. to noon, and a pre-school story time by Maura McLoughlin on Saturday, Nov. 29, from 11 a.m. to noon. From Kid2Kid is at 1759 Alcatraz Ave., Berkeley. Hours: Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., closed Sunday and Monday.
85°C BAKERY CAFE If you’ve been wondering what is going on behind the scaffolding at 21 Shattuck Square in downtown Berkeley, tipster Ethan Cheng alerted us to the answer. The building that houses Copy Central, as well as the now-shuttered Viceroy Indian Restaurant, is undergoing a seismic upgrade and façade remodel. When it re-opens it will also be home to 85°C Bakery Café, a chain founded in Taiwan that says it offers “five-star quality coffee, cakes and breads at not so five-star prices.” The first 85°C Bakery Café opened in Taipei in 2004 and the company now has more than 700 stores in Taiwan, China, Australia, Hong Kong and the United States, including in San Jose, where, Cheng tells us, “lines are crazy ridiculous … even months after their grand opening.” Its most recent opening, on Nov. 14, was in San Diego, where… you guessed it… the line was all the way down the street. Read 85°C Bakery’s application to the city. Visit its website for more details.
Shop Talk is our regular column in which we post news about Berkeley businesses — openings, closings, relaunches, relocations. If you’re a Berkeley business with news, or a Berkeleysider who has spotted a change in your neighborhood or on your travels, shoot us an email with the details. Read previous Shop Talk columns. Check out also our weekly Bites column, with all the hot East Bay food news.