The Libertine bar has officially opened in Oakland's Grand Lake neighborhood. Photo: The Libertine/Facebook
The Libertine bar has officially opened in Oakland’s Grand Lake neighborhood. Photo: The Libertine/Facebook

Openings, closings…

THE LIBERTINE OPENS ON GRAND AVENUE Last Friday, The Libertine began pouring drinks in Oakland’s Grand Lake neighborhood. It is the second bar for owner Aric Yeverino, who has been operating Hayward’s popular dive bar The Dirty Bird Lounge, since 2009. As we reported back in April, Yeverino purchased the bar, which used to house Kingman’s Lucky Lounge, earlier this year. Right now, the bar is serving a limited cocktail list, including a Moscow Mule, Last Word, a punch called “Sailor Jerry” and a whiskey cocktail called the Creole. Early Yelp reviews are very positive, calling the bar an “excellent addition to the neighborhood.” The Libertine is at 3332 Grand Ave. (near Mandana Boulevard), Oakland. Connect with the bar on Facebook.

The future location of Forage Kitchen will be at 478 25th St. in Uptown Oakland. Photo: Google Maps
The future location of Forage Kitchen will be at 478 25th St. in Uptown Oakland. Photo: Google Maps

FORAGE KITCHEN HEADED TO UPTOWN In a move that mirrors many other upstart food businesses, San Francisco’s long-delayed Forage Kitchen has announced its move to Uptown Oakland, reports the East Bay Express. Forage Kitchen had its start as a monthly underground market where food vendors could sell their homemade wares sans regulations. But after a cease-and-desist order from San Francisco, the project morphed into a legal co-working kitchen space, for which co-owner Iso Rabins successfully raised Kickstarter funds back in 2012. Rabins initially planned on opening Forage Kitchen in San Francisco, but he appears to have faced considerable difficulty doing so. The official location will be at 478 25th St., which is, coincidentally, around the corner from Kitchener. What will set Forage Kitchen apart from other spaces, Rabins told EBX, is that it will provide space for food businesses to do paperwork, hold meetings and meet with lawyers. Rabins also says that he will not limit the kitchens to official business either; anyone who needs kitchen space (to cook a big dinner party, for example), will be able to rent space for a $99 monthly member fee. Construction has begun on the building and Rabins has set a tentative opening date for sometime in October. Forage Kitchen will be at 478 25th St. (at Telegraph Avenue), Oakland.

ZUT! TAVERN RE-OPENS As we reported in June, Iyasare chef Sho Kamio had plans to take over neighboring Zut! On Fourth. After only about a month of tweaks, Kamio has re-opened the restaurant, now called Zut Tavern, reports Inside Scoop. The menu is similar to the original, with an emphasis on seasonally driven Mediterranean dishes like squid-ink tagliatelle; prime ribeye steak with creamed corn, shallot jam, and bordelaise; and a burger made with Snake River ground kobe beef. One significant menu highlight is a daily risotto special prepared table side inside a large block of Parmesan. Zut! Tavern is at 1820 Fourth St. (between Delaware and Hearst streets), Berkeley.

4201 Market, where Porter hopes to open Salsipuedes. Image: Google maps
4201 Market St., the soon-to-open location of Salsipuedes. Image: Google maps

SALSIPUEDES GETTING CLOSE Salsipuedes owner Jay Porter tells us that the restaurant is close to finishing its final inspections, so we expect the North Oakland restaurant to open any day now. In the meantime, Inside Scoop got a first look at chef Marcus Krauss’s opening menu, which focuses on food from Baja, Mexico. Krauss will be cooking up dishes like corn three ways with salmon roe, pork jaw with uni and an octopus melt bao with shrimp and cracklings. Salsipuedes will be at 4201 Market St. (at 42nd Street), Oakland.

Little Giant Ice Cream

LITTLE GIANT ICE CREAM BUILDING SCOOP SHOP Soon joining the abundant bars and restaurant in Uptown Oakland will be a high-end ice cream shop. Little Giant Ice Cream will make all of its “American premium hard scoop” ice cream from scratch on site in its location at 1951 Telegraph Ave. Co-owner Kevin Best told Inside Scoop that Little Giant will serve a wide array of ice cream flavors, from standard options like vanilla and salted caramel to savory and booze-filled varieties. Best also explained that they will serve what they call “dip and lick,” which are toppings served in a separate cup that customers can dip their cones into. Little Giant will debut as a customized Airstream trailer during August 7’s First Friday event. The retail shop will likely open a few weeks later. Little Giant Ice Cream will be at 1951 Telegraph Ave. (at 20th Street), Oakland. Connect with the shop on Facebook.

Funnel cake from Endless Summer Sweets. Photo: Endless Summer/Facebook
Funnel cake from Endless Summer Sweets. Photo: Endless Summer/Facebook

COUNTRY FAIR FOOD COMING TO BERKELEY Downtown Berkeley diners will soon be able to get their fried dough fix whenever they want. Endless Summer Sweets, a food stand specializing in country fair food items like kettle corn and funnel cakes, will be opening a brick-and-mortar location in the now-shuttered Amazing Crab location at 2370 Shattuck Ave. Inside Scoop says that owner Antoinette Sanchez plans to expand her menu to include items such as root beer floats, hand-dipped corn dogs, French fries and a “popcorn bar” with custom toppings. Endless Summer Sweets will be at 2370 Shattuck Ave. (between Durant Avenue and Channing Way), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.

MORE BURGERS TO ALAMEDA Alameda is turning into a fast food burger mecca. Just this spring, In-N-Out Burger opened shop in Alameda, and next Wednesday the island will welcome the newest location of Smashburger. The Denver-based chain serves, well, “smashed” burgers — flat, juicy, fast-food style burgers with a crisp crust. The Alameda location is the second in the East Bay; Smashburger opened in Emeryville in January. Smashburger plans to open four more local locations over the next five years. Smashburger will be at 1620 Park St. (at Pacific Avenue), Alameda. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.

Tina Tamale Ramos
Tina Tamale Ramos

LA BORINQUENA MEXITESSEN TO CLOSE One of the oldest-running restaurants in Oakland is shutting down at the end of July, reports Inside Scoop. La Borinquena Mexitessan is a beloved tamale and tortilla joint in Old Oakland that has been operated by the Ramos family since 1944. Co-owner Isabel Esquivil is planning on retiring. Meanwhile, Esquivil’s sister, Tina Tamale Ramos, has put her own project, La Snackeria, on hold as she cares for ailing mother. La Borinquena’s last day in operation will be July 31. La Borinquena is at 582 Seventh St. (at Jefferson Street), Oakland.

What else is going on…

Bill McCann breaks down a deer. Photo: Melissa Chase
Bill McCann breaks down a deer in a previous class at Chase’s Chop Shop in Madera. Photo: Melissa Chase

DEER BUTCHERY CLASS North Berkeley’s The Local Butcher Shop is hosting a one-of-a-kind deer butchery class next Saturday, July 26 for hunters and those who aspire to catch their own meat. The $145 class will be lead by hunter and forager Bill McCann, Scott Chase of Madera’s Chase’s Chop Shop and Local Butcher co-owner Aaron Rocchino. “Hunting may be the ultimate experience in following the meat that you eat back to its true source,” said McCann in a prepared statement. Included in the class will be demos on skinning and butchery and a discussion on venison culinary techniques. All students will get to take home venison at the end of the class. Find out more information here. The class will take place at The Local Butcher‘s production kitchen at 1327 61st St. (at Hollis Street), Emeryville. Connect with the butcher shop on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

FUSEBOX ADDS HOURS Beginning June 19, West Oakland’s FuseBOX will be adding additional dinner hours; the Korean restaurant will now be open on Sundays and Mondays from 6 to 9 p.m. According to the East Bay Express, the restaurant has brought back one of its early chefs, Adam Strahle, to help the kitchen tinker with new flavors and dishes. FuseBOX is at 2311A Magnolia St. (near Grand Avenue), Oakland. Connect with FuseBOX on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo: Authentic Bagel
Photo: Authentic Bagel

AUTHENTIC BAGEL COMPANY EXPANSION Jack London Square’s bagelry is now more than just a tiny production facility. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Authentic Bagel has finished its retail expansion, according to the East Bay Express. The larger café space now includes seating for customers, in addition to an expanded menu of sandwiches, bagel dogs, freshly squeezed juice and Roast Co. Coffee. Authentic Bagel is at 463 2nd St. (at Broadway), Oakland. Connect with the bakery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Sequoia Diner. Photo: Sequoia Diner
Sequoia Diner. Photo: Sequoia Diner

SEQUOIA DINER NOW SERVING BOOZE, HOSTING SPAGHETTI DINNER The Laurel District’s newest breakfast joint has now acquired its beer and wine license, and will be adding California natural and biodynamic wines and craft beer to the menu. In addition, Sequoia Diner owners Andrew Vennari and Sequoia Broderson are hosting a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for a new parklet nearby on MacArthur Boulevard. The dinner takes place July 21 and includes spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, salad, dessert and beer and wine. Entrance is cash only, on a sliding scale from $20 to $100. To reserve, email with a desired time between 5 and 9 p.m. and party size. Sequoia Diner is at 3719 MacArthur Blvd. (at High Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.

Sunday Suppers

SUNDAY SUPPERS RETURN THIS WEEK Charlie Hallowell‘s Sunday Suppers for-a-cause return for a second season this Sunday July 19. This time around, diners can reserve seats at the time of their choice and can order from a full menu. Sunday’s dinner will take place at Penrose, and proceeds will benefit Hack the Hood. Find out more information here. Penrose is at 3311 Grand Ave. (between Lake Park and Elwood Avenues), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

FIELDWORK BREWING’S HOMEBREW CONTEST Attention home-brewers: West Berkeley-based Fieldwork Brewing Company is holding a “Best in Show” contest through the beginning of October. The winning brewer will be given a chance to scale up his or her winning beer and brew it on Fieldwork’s system. More information can be found by emailing Fieldwork Brewing is at 1160 Sixth St. (at Harrison Street), Berkeley. Connect with the brewery on Facebook and Twitter.


RHONE RANGERS AT CAMPOVIDA The North Coast chapter of Rhone Rangers, a non-profit dedicated to promoting American Rhone varietal wine, is holding a small tasting event this Saturday at Campovida on Linden Street in West Oakland. Bonny Doon Vineyards will be the featured special guest; other participating wineries include Campovida, Carica Wines, Burt Street Cellars, Pax Mahle Wines, Quivira, Two Shepherds, Davis Family Wines, Ridge Vineyards, Lightning Wines, Campesino Cellars, Cornerstone Cellars, Skylark Wine Company, Crux Winery and Field Family Cellars. Advance tickets run $20. $30 at the door. Find out more information here. Campovida is at 95 Linden St. (near Third Street), Oakland.

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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...