Jaynelle St. John (center) held a grand opening for her pie shop, PieTisserie, on Valentine's Day. Photo: PieTisserie
Jaynelle St. John (center) held a grand opening for her pie shop, PieTisserie, on Valentine’s Day. Photo: PieTisserie

Openings, closings…

PIETISSERIE SHOP HOLDS GRAND OPENING Oakland pie maven Jaynelle St. John held a grand opening celebration for her standalone shop in the Grand Lake district this past Saturday. PieTisserie specializes in unique pies, such as mojito custard and chocolate cream pretzel. St. John has been selling her pies for the last five years, but has moved her operation around Oakland; most recently she sold pies out of Nido, near Jack London Square, and she has also made appearances at Swan’s Marketplace in Old Oakland, and Kitchenette in San Francisco. Since parting with Nido in August 2013, St. John has been working on opening her retail space while selling her pies through her website and Munchery. PieTisserie, complete with its pie window, is at 1605 2nd Ave. (at Foothill Boulevard), Oakland. Connect with the bakery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Construction has begun on Kitchener Snack Bar in Uptown Oakland. Image: Kitchener
Construction has begun on Kitchener Snack Bar in Uptown Oakland. Image: Kitchener

KITCHENER SNACK BAR BREAKS GROUND Last year, we brought news that commercial kitchen incubator Kitchener Oakland was planning on opening Kitchener Snack Bar, a take-out window space to be used by the artisans making use of the kitchen space. Kitchener was finally able to break ground on the construction last week. So far, Kitchener reports on Facebook that it has ripped out flooring and installed a sink, with tile panels and washable wall panels to come soon. Food makers based at Kitchener include Uptown Juice Company, Wooden Spoons, Bump City Bakery, and Javi’s Cooking. Kitchener Snack Bar will be at 372 24th St. (at Webster Street), Oakland. Connect with the organization on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo: The Double Standard
Photo: The Double Standard

THE DOUBLE STANDARD OPENS DOORS The Double Standard, a long-awaited cocktail bar on Telegraph Avenue, finally started selling drinks last month. The bar is a project of Bourbon and Branch alum Ali Tahsini, and serves a concise list of well-crafted classic cocktails. Initial Yelp reviews are very positive, with visitors praising the interior design as well as the drinks. The Double Standard is at 2424 Telegraph Ave. (at 24th Street), Oakland. Connect with the bar on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

crooked city cider logo

CROOKED CITY CIDER ON ITS WAY The Oakland small-batch cider company has submitted its ABC license, which means it may be serving cider soon. Crooked City has been collaborating with other Oakland businesses for pre-launch dinners. The next event is a collaboration with S+S Gastro Grub on Feb 26. S+S Gastro Grub will serve a gluten-free menu, including seafood paella, octopus terrine, and satsuma flan; all dishes will be paired with a different Crooked City cider. Tickets are available on Brown Paper Tickets. Connect with Crooked City on Facebook, Twitter and InstagramConnect with S+S Gastro Grub on Facebook.

MORE RAMEN COMING TO OAKLAND Hopscotch‘s Kyle Itani announced this week that he is opening a new ramen side project called Itani Ramen in Uptown. Inside Scoop reports that the solo project will take off where Itani’s popular Yonsei Ramen Shop pop-ups left off. Itani plans to serve a few rotating varieties of ramen each night, including a Tonkatsu-style pork broth version as well as lighter “Tokyo-style” ramen. The restaurant will likely have relatively late hours to accommodate the Uptown drinking crowd. As the lease was just signed, don’t expect Itani Ramen to open up any time earlier than this fall. Itani Ramen will be at 1738 Telegraph Ave. (at 18th Street), Oakland.

Fiveten burger truck
Fiveten Burger will make appearances at Handlebar

FIVETEN BURGER TAKING A BREAK East Bay burger maestro Roland Robles is giving his fleet of Fiveten Burger trucks a needed rest. As he reported on the Fiveten Burger Facebook page earlier this month, Robles will be reorganizing and revamping his trucks for an undisclosed amount of time. His West Berkeley bar and burger restaurant, Handlebar, will continue to operate as usual, and will serve Fiveten-style burgers occasionally. Fiveten Burger will also still make appearances at private parties and pop-ups; contact Robles to book. Connect with Fiveten Burger on Facebook and Twitter.

Coffee on gingham. Photo: Emilie Raguso
A pretty cup of coffee. Photo: Emilie Raguso

COUNTER CULTURE COFFEE COMING TO EMERYVILLE North Carolina-based Counter Culture Coffee will be bringing its beans to Emeryville in March, reports Inside Scoop. This location will be its first training center on the West Coast and its first roastery outside of North Carolina, period. The Emeryville location will be followed closely by another training center in Los Angeles later in the year. Why Emeryville? As owner Brett Smith told Inside Scoop, “It’s a great market. We think there’s a lot of opportunity to come over there and share our coffee with a lot of great people. It’s certainly a great coffee town.” Once open, the roastery will be open to the public for tastings and tours on Fridays. Modern Coffee in Oakland already sells Counter Culture Coffee; expect more cafés to follow in the near future. Counter Culture Coffee will be at 1329 64th St., (at Doyle Street) Emeryville. Connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Burrito Inc. Shattuck Avenue. Photo: Tracey Taylor
Burritos Inc. Photo: Tracey Taylor

OTHER OPENINGS Now open in the old Lee’s Deli spot on Shattuck Avenue is Burritos Inc, a Mexican restaurant from the folks at Bourbon & Beef. In the Laurel, Communitē Table has begun serving contemporary twists on Cajun cuisine. Out in Alameda, Building 43 Winery is getting into the swing of things after opening late last year. Burritos Inc. is at 2116 Shattuck Ave. (between Center and Addison Streets), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook. Communitē Table is at 4171 MacArthur Blvd. (at Maybelle Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and TwitterBuilding 43 Winery is at 2440 Monarch St. (between West Midway and West Red Line Avenues), Alameda. Connect with the winery on Facebook.

What else is going on…

Russell Moore
Camino’s Russell Moore is the only East Bay chef to make the long list for a James Beard award this year. Photo: courtesy Russell Moore

CAMINO’S RUSSELL MOORE GETS BEARD NOD And no, it doesn’t have to do with facial hair. The James Beard Awards just announced their long-list for this year’s honorees, and, while the Bay Area had plenty of nominees, the East Bay had only one: Russell Moore. The Camino chef is nominated in the “Best Chef: West” category, along with SPQR’s Matthew Accarrino, State Bird Provisions’ Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, Atelier Crenn’s Dominique Crenn, Wayfare Tavern’s Tyler Florence, Aziza’s Mourad Lahlou, Benu’s Corey Lee, Marlow’s Jennifer Puccio and Saison’s Joshua Skenes. The competition is tight, but, of course, Nosh is hoping for an Oakland win.

MICHAEL BAUER IS TIRED OF TIPPING The San Francisco Chronicle critic came out in favor of abolishing tips this week. In his op-ed, he name-dropped a few East Bay restaurants that have either have abolished tips or plan to do so when the Oakland minimum wage hike hits on March 2. He praised Chez Panisse for leading the charge — it has included a service charge on its checks for two decades. Bauer also mentions Camino‘s price hike and Ippuku and Comal‘s additional service charges, and, in the end, argues that Camino’s model is the most successful.

Oliveto restaurant. Photo: Oliveto
Oliveto restaurant. Photo: Oliveto

OLIVETO COMMONS LAUNCHES On March 1, Oliveto will begin a series of community conversations, classes and workshops in its newly renovated upstairs dining room. The room is equipped with a state-of-the-art sound system from Berkeley’s Meyer Sound, which allows owners Bob and Maggie Klein to adjust the sonic ambiance of the room to suit a wide range of scenarios, from a crowded dinnertime rush to a panel discussion. The first event will feature Gary Nabhan, an author and MacArthur Genius Grant winner, who will discuss his newest book, “Conservation You Can Taste: How Heritage Grains, Beans & Fruit Have Helped Rebuild Local Food Economies.” Later events include a visit from Front Porch Farm, an aged wine tasting, a kid’s baking class and a knife skills demo. Oliveto is at 5655 College Ave. (at Shafter), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Blue Bottle Broadway. Photo: Bethany Newman
Blue Bottle Broadway. Photo: Bethany Newman

BLUE BOTTLE RECOGNIZED Oakland’s Blue Bottle Coffee has been awarded an East Bay Innovation Award, the only food company to win one this year. Hundreds of business, political and nonprofit leaders gathered at the Fox Theater on Feb. 19 for the awards ceremony. The event — celebrating the most innovative businesses in the categories of advanced manufacturing, clean tech, education, engineering and design, food, information and/or communications technology, and life sciences — highlighted seven outstanding organizations from an original pool of 178 nominations. The East Bay Economic Development Alliance was founded in 1990 with a goal of establishing the region as a world-recognized location to grow businesses, attract capital and create quality jobs.

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Kate Williams has been writing about food since 2009. After spending two years developing recipes for cookbooks at America’s Test Kitchen, she moved to Berkeley and began work as a freelance writer and...