The former La Farine location on Solano Avenue. Photo: Whitney Moss/Twitter
The former La Farine location on Solano Avenue will not be home to a vegan butcher shop, after all. The retail location is now up for lease. Photo: Whitney Moss/Twitter

Openings, closings

VEGAN BUTCHER SHOP NO LONGER COMING TO SOLANO Last fall, we brought you news of a vegan butcher shop and deli called The Butcher’s Son that was moving into the former La Farine location on Solano Avenue. We’re sorry to report that the butcher shop has pulled out of the location. According to a Twitter tip, there is a sign up on the building indicating that it is now for lease. On the Butcher’s Son Facebook page, the owners Peter Fikaris and Christina Stobing have stated that they decided to abandon the location due to “a number of disagreements with the property owners.” Fikaris and Stobing are currently hosting pop-ups and delivering lunchtime meals on Mondays while they look for a new location.

OVO Tavern and Eatery. Photo: Kate Williams

OVO’S GRAND OPENING Oakland’s Very Own Tavern and Eatery (OVO) has been in its soft opening stage since May; next Friday July 3 it will hold its grand opening celebration, where the owners will “showcase some of our signature dishes and cocktails.” OVO’s menu features simple bar food like tater tots, chicken wings and burgers. DeGuzman said OVO will eventually be open in the morning, with breakfast pastries from Gregory’s Gourmet Desserts and Mr. Espresso coffee. The bar has a modest selection of beers, with space for six rotating local microbrews, and a potent-sounding OVO punch (think rum and lots of fruit). OVO takes the place of Bottom of the Ninth Bar & Grill, which opened in 2013 after Looney’s BBQ closed. Ovo is at 5319 Martin Luther King Jr. Way (between 53rd and 54th streets), Oakland. 

Vegan-friendly shaved snow is coming to Berkeley in July. Photo: Vampire Penguin

VAMPIRE PENGUIN UPDATE Shaved ice fans will have to wait just a little bit longer to get a taste of Vampire Penguin‘s Taiwanese shaved snow desserts. The dessert restaurant had hoped to be open by the middle of May, but it looks as if the build out has required more work. Vampire reports on its Facebook page that it is now aiming for a July opening date. Vampire Penguin specializes in gourmet shaved ice — made primarily of fruit concentrate, sugar and non-dairy cream — with a variety of flavors and toppings like fruit, oats, taro, condensed milk, candies and other treats. It’s a potent combination; one Sacramento news outlet named the product, also known as “shaved snow,” the “best mouthgasam” in the city. Vampire Penguin will be at 2575 Telegraph Ave. (at Parker Street), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.

4201 Market St., the future location of Salsipuedes. Image: Google maps
4201 Market St., the future location of Salsipuedes. Image: Google maps

SALSIPUEDES AIMS FOR JULY, RAISES FUNDS Jay Porter‘s North Oakland restaurant Salsipuedes is now slated to open in early July. Porter has launched a unique fundraising campaign to cover the remaining costs of opening; much like opting in to a farm’s CSA, individuals can pre-purchase restaurant credit now to be used at future meals. In an email, Porter said that he chose this method “in order to make sure we have enough cash on hand to do things right.” Patrons will also receive “cool merch” like an embroidered apron and/or a signed print of the artwork in the restaurant, and invitations to special events. Porter and chef Marcus Krauss have updated the restaurant’s website to better define the the food and vibe of the restaurant. Krauss is now calling the cuisine “California rustic,” which incorporates flavors and techniques from the Pacific Rim, California, and Baja. Salsipuedes will be at 4201 Market St. (at 42nd Street), Oakland.

Photo: thewongmann/Chowhound

CASA CUBANA HEADED TO UPTOWN It appears that a Cuban restaurant will be taking the place of the vacated Vo’s location in Uptown, according to a tipster on Chowhound. Casa Cubana is a project of restauranteurs Sam Duvall and Joe Kohn, who also own Izzy’s Steaks & Chops in San Francisco. The owners have a Craigslist ad up for new employees, but so far it doesn’t look as though the restaurant space has gone through much of a renovation. We’ll keep you posted as we learn more. Casa Cubana will be at 59 Grand Ave. (at Webster Street), Oakland.

Chef Carlos Altamirano of Parada. Photo: Ellipses PR

PARADA OPEN IN WALNUT CREEK Peruvian food has come to the ‘burbs. Chef Carlos Altamirano, who owns two San Francisco restaurants and a fleet of food trucks, has now opened Parada in Walnut Creek. Parada is named for the Peruvian outdoor produce market; as such, it will take its menu cues from seasonally available produce, seafood and proteins. Ceviches, salads and grilled anticuchos (meat skewers) feature prominently on the menu, along with Pollo a la Brasa, the traditional Peruvian rotisserie chicken. The chicken is, however, only available for lunch and to-go. “Parada is a place close to my heart, as I used to love to visit the market as a child. I was always fascinated by the busy atmosphere and fresh, comforting foods we couldn’t find anywhere else. I’m so excited to bring these flavors to the East Bay,” said Altamirano in a statement. Parada is at 7001 Sunne Lane (at Treat Boulevard), Walnut Creek. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

PREVIOUSLY IN SHOP TALK Earlier this week, we reported that La PanotiQ Bakery Café is set to open at 2965 College Ave. in the space formerly occupied by Padi restaurant, and, before that — for many years — Holy Land. La PanotiQ is a family-owned bakery and café chain with several locations around the Bay Area: in Mountain View, Campbell, Livermore and two in San Francisco, one in Noe Valley and the other on Chestnut Street. Expect French-style pastries like traditional croissants “made with pure AOC butter,” tarte tatin, and Bicycle Coffee. Also soon to open is U CHA Boba Tea at the intersection of Bancroft Way and Fulton Street, according to a “Coming Soon” banner posted on the property. La PanotiQ Bakery Café will be at 2965 College Ave. (at Ashby), Berkeley 94705. Connect with the bakery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

What else is going on…

Cleophus Quealy founder Dan Watson. Photo: Lisa Keenan

CLEOPHUS QUEALY DOES BRUNCH San Leandro’s newest microbrewery is now holding monthly Sunday brunch events. On the last Sunday of every month, Cleophus Quealy will host a rotating array of food trucks, which will serve a three-course meal with beer pairings. On deck this weekend is Canasta Kitchen, which serves fresh, traditional Latin food. The menu will include chicken tortilla soup, chilaquiles, huevos motulenos (fried tortillas with beans, cheese, ham and plantains), a breakfast burrito, a mushroom omelette, and a Kalua flan Mexican creme brûlée. Cleophus Quealy is at 448 Hester St. (near Adams Avenue), San Leandro. Connect with the brewery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Connect with Canasta Kitchen on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Spicy Szechuan boiled fish fillet at China Village. Photo: Emmeline Chuu

CHINA VILLAGE CHEF IN AT BERKELEY’S KING TSIN It looks as though there’s been a kitchen shake-up at Solano Avenue’s King Tsin. According to a tipster on Chowhound, chef Jian Yang of China Village is now at the helm of the kitchen, and the menu has been redesigned to reflect a stronger Sichuan influence. King Tsin is at 1699 Solano Ave. (between Ensenada and Tacoma avenues), Berkeley.

OAKLAND WINE FESTIVAL TO MILLS COLLEGE We brought you news earlier this week of the first annual Oakland Wine Festival to take place at Mills College July 18. The festival is being put on by food and wine writer Melody Fuller, and will include good eats from the likes of James Syhabout, Tanya Holland, Paul Canales and many other Oakland chefs. Wine dinners, pairings, and classes will be aplenty at the day-long event. Connect with the Oakland Wine Festival on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo: The Pasta Shop

MARKET HALL PASTA SHOP EXPANDING As we reported in Shop Talk, Fourth Street’s Pasta Shop is growing. Market Hall Foods, based in Rockridge, has invested in expanding the 15-year-old store’s offering, giving it a revised layout to accommodate a full bakery, as well as a new service to be introduced in the next month where customers will be able to order freshly made sandwiches from a menu. According to co-owner Sara Wilson, she will be re-naming the store Market Hall Foods 4th or Market Hall Foods on 4th, because The Pasta Shop is not what best describes it these days. The business is adapting to its local clientele which, during the week, is mainly local workers wanting lunch and, on the weekend, more Bay Area shoppers and tourists. “What we have enjoyed is building a business in response to customers,” said Wilson. The Fourth Street store also has a busy catering department which supplies local businesses for morning meetings. The Pasta Shop is at 1786 Fourth Street (at Delaware Street). Connect with the store on Facebook and Twitter. [by Gill South]

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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...