Drake's Brewing Company, which is based in San Leandro, is expanding into the Hive Oakland complex in Uptown. Photo: Drake's/Facebook
Drake’s Brewing Company, which is based in San Leandro, is expanding into the Hive Oakland complex in Uptown. Photo: Drake’s/Facebook
Drake’s Brewing Company, which is based in San Leandro, is expanding into the Hive Oakland complex in Uptown. Photo: Drake’s/Facebook

Openings, closings

DRAKE’S AT HIVE OAKLAND GETTING CLOSE San Leandro’s Drake’s Brewing Company is expanding to Uptown Oakland. It will soon be opening a brew pub in the Hive Oakland complex, along with Calavera, Firebrand Artisan Bread, Red Bay Coffee and Numi Tea. No word yet on the opening date, but Drake’s has put out a call for new employees to staff the Hive location; a job fair will be held on Saturday at Jupiter in downtown Berkeley. Drake’s at Hive Oakland will be at 2325 Broadway (at 23rd Street), Oakland. Connect with the brewery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

BREWS & BRATS OPENS IN HAYWARD A new beer and sausage restaurant has made its way to Downtown Hayward. Called Brews & Brats, the restaurant opened on June 11 and offers around nine different sausages (everything from garlic beef sausage to hot boudin and even sweet potato brats, according to Yelp) and craft beers from the likes of Schuburos and Drake’s. Brews & Brats is at 1061 B St. (between Main Street and Foothill Boulevard), Hayward.

Gregory’s Gourmet Desserts now has a breakfast pop-up at Uptown’s alaMar. Photo: Gregory’s Gourmet Desserts/Facebook
Gregory’s Gourmet Desserts now has a breakfast pop-up at Uptown’s alaMar. Photo: Gregory’s Gourmet Desserts/Facebook

GREGORY’S UPSTAIRS POP-UP LAUNCHES AT ALAMAR Gregory Williams, the owner of Gregory’s Gourmet Desserts, has now officially started a breakfast pop-up at Uptown’s alaMar called Gregory’s Upstairs. Named 2014’s “Best Underground Bakery,” by the East Bay Express, Gregory’s has been selling cheesecakes and cobblers out of a (literally) underground bakery for the last 25 years. Inside Scoop reports that the new pop-up will allow Williams to offer more ambitious items beyond his baked goods. Menu items include whatchamacallits (cream-filled donuts topped with maple syrup and bacon), New York-style coffee cake, and a breakfast burger topped with a fried egg. Williams plans to phase in dishes such as waffles, biscuit sandwiches and frittatas over time. “We were thinking of putting in some cots so customers can take naps afterwards,” he said to Inside Scoop. For now, the pop-up is open weekdays from 7-10 a.m. Gregory’s Upstairs is at alaMar, 100 Grand Ave. (at Valdez Street), Oakland. Connect with Gregory’s on Facebook.

Chicken and waffles are on the brunch menu at The Half Orange. Photo: courtesy Jay Porter

THE HALF ORANGE DOES BRUNCH The Fruitvale sausage and burger joint has now expanded its weekend hours to include a Saturday and Sunday brunch. The Half Orange‘s menu includes hangover-banishing dishes like chicken and waffles, Nutella buttermilk pancakes, a San Diego style breakfast burrito, Spanish tortilla, and an egg-topped grass-fed burger. In addition to brunch, the restaurant has also added nightly specials like a Niman Ranch pork jowl confit, daikon slaw and smashed local English peas. And they’ve got a special beer on tap for Father’s Day — a cask conditioned Animal IPA by Fort Point Beer Company. According to owner Jay Porter, the original Animal is “possibly the most popular beer” he’s ever served and is excited to tap the casked variety. The Half Orange is at 3340 E. 12th St. #11 (between 33rd and 34th avenues), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Twitter and Instagram.

Vegetables in soupy broth at Chef Lau’s Photo: Andy L.
Vegetables in soupy broth at Chef Lau’s Photo: Andy L.

CHEF LAU’S APPEARS TO BE CLOSED Chef Lau’s, a Chinese Seafood restaurant in Oakland’s Chinatown, looks to be closed for good, says a tipster on Chow. The Chowhounder reported seeing a sign reading “Closed for remodeling Mar. 1,” but said that there didn’t appear to be any construction underway. He mentioned that Chef Lau’s prepared Cantonese classics “quite well,” and served “probably the best house soup I remember being served.” Other popular dishes include preserved egg dishes and the complementary dessert. We previously included the restaurant in our list of the top 10 Chinese restaurants to visit for Christmas.

What else is going on…

Barbecue spread at Perdition Smokehouse. Photo: Perdition Smokehouse

PERDITION SMOKEHOUSE TURNS ONE Downtown Berkeley’s beer and barbecue restaurant is celebrating one year in business starting at noon this Saturday. Perdition Smokehouse will have a seriously impressive line-up of over 40 beers, both local and less-so, plus a whole roasted 100-pound Duroc pig for sopping up all that booze. The party will continue all summer long with tap takeovers every Saturday through the end of September. Perdition Smokehouse is at 2050 University Ave. (near Shattuck Avenue), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Wines from Wente Vineyards. Photo: Wente Vineyards

THE RESTAURANT AT WENTE NAMES NEW EXECUTIVE CHEF The Livermore winery has hired Mike Ward, formerly of Tyler Florence’s El Paseo (in Mill Valley), as its new executive chef. Ward’s menu for Wente Vineyards will emphasize the “cultural blend of flavors from the Northern California lifestyle.” Much of his produce will come from the gardens at the vineyards; estate beef, olive oil and (of course) wine will also play a large role in his cooking. The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards is at 5050 Arroyo Rd., Livermore. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.

Pican. Photo: Risa Nye

JEROME FRESSINIER IN AT PICÁN Picán, the Uptown Southern restaurant, has been going through executive chefs at a rapid pace. In the last year, Sophia Uong and Robert Sapirman both left the restaurant. According to Inside Scoop, the newest chef at the helm is Jerome Fressinier, who was raised in the village of Saintes in the Poitou-Charentes region in southwest France. As it so happens, this is the region from which many immigrants to Louisiana came. Fressinier will explore Southern cooking’s “early origins,” reported Inside Scoop, which has “always had a strong tradition of using native local ingredients.” Picán is at 2295 Broadway (at 23rd Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.

Knife sharpener Eric Weiss at a class. Photo: Tracey Taylor

KNIFE SHARPENING CLASS IN EMERYVILLE Learn how to properly sharpen your knives on Monday at the Paulding and Company kitchen in Emeryville. Professional knife sharpener (yes, this is a thing) Eric Weiss teaches the class four times a year, and gives instruction for sharpening chef’s, pairing and serrated knives. A sharpening stone and honing oil is included in the price of the $75 class. Paulding and Company is at 1410 D 62nd St. (at Hollis Street), Emeryville. To register email allthingssharpweiss@gmail.com

ROCKRIDGE NEIGHBORHOOD SOCIAL Rockridge residents take note: The Barrel Room is hosting a neighborhood party on Sunday, complete with beer, wine and $2 tacos. The Barrel Room is at 5330 College Ave. (at Bryant Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the bar on Facebook and Twitter.

EATS, BEATS AND BREWS: SALSA SUNDAYS This weekend marks the beginning of downtown Berkeley’s Eats, Beats and Brews party. The block party event is sponsored by the Downtown Berkeley Association and features a Drake’s Brewing outdoor beer garden, food from local restaurants and food trucks like Kenny’s Heart & Soul, outdoor seating and a Games of Berkeley games pavilion. Additionally, a rotating group of local and international salsa bands will provide music. The block party will take place every third Sundays through October across the street from the Downtown Berkeley BART station.

The “Go Ask Your Mother” Old Fashioned at Eureka! Photo: Eureka!
The “Go Ask Your Mother” Old Fashioned at Eureka! Photo: Eureka!

FATHER’S DAY IN THE EAST BAY For those not sticking around the house on Father’s Day, there are plenty of East Bay dining options this Sunday. Berkeley’s Eureka! is mixing up a featured cocktail for the occasion. Called the “Go Ask Your Mother” Old Fashioned, the drink is a potent blend of Old Overhold Rye Whiskey, Corsair Triple Smoke, a house-made Stone Smoked Porter simple syrup, bitters, and orange. The drink is available now through Sunday. The UC Botanical Garden is throwing a garden party complete with shrub cocktails from St. George Spirits and INNA Shrub. Nibbles will be provided by HPS Epicurean. Old Oakland’s Desco will offer a special three-course prix fixe tasting menu with thinly sliced certified Piedmontese beef carpaccio with olive pesto and Parmigiano-Reggiano; Sicilian peperoncino and housemade tagliolini with braised radicchio, lamb and San Marzano sugo, and sage infused oil; and dark chocolate and bourbon semifreddo with black fig compote. Across the street, District will serve an all-you-can-eat breakfast and brunch buffet, including bottomless mimosas. At Jack London Square, Haven will serve a spin on American classics for its prix fixe menu. The menu will include a Little Gem salad with Parmesan-green olive dressing; prime rib with broccolini, smoked shiitake, black garlic, leek and jus; and nectarine pie with blackberry jam, corn ice cream and basil. (Haven also recently re-opened its patio.) Nearby, Chop Bar is hosting a pig roast at Linden Street Brewery. Pork, beer and shots of fernet will all be available, along with music from the Musashi Trio. In Alameda, C’era Una Volta will have a special menu for breakfast and lunch, including Tuscan Ribs and other barbecue dishes. Eureka! is at 2068 Center St. (at Shattuck Avenue), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. The UC Botanical Garden is at 200 Centennial Dr., Berkeley. Connect with the gardens on Facebook and Twitter. Desco is at 499 9th St. (at Washington Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook. District is at 827 Washington St. (at 9th Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Instagram. Haven is at 44 Webster St. (at Embarcadero West), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Linden Street Brewery is at 95 Linden St. (near 3rd Street), Oakland. Connect with Chop Bar on Facebook and Twitter. C’era Una Volta is at 1332 Park St. (at Redwood Square), Alameda. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.

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Kate Williams

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...