Pintxos cart at Telefèric Barcelona, which opens Jan. 17 in Walnut Creek. Photo: Beth Thomas

Openings, closings…

TELEFÈRIC BARCELONA TO OPEN JAN. 17 After some construction and inspection delays, it looks like the Walnut Creek location of popular Spanish tapas restaurant Telefèric Barcelona will open Sunday, Jan. 17. The first U.S. outpost of the restaurant “aims to be a lively gathering spot that builds upon the rich cultural traditions and flavors of its original locations in Spain,” according to a press release. It will serve a menu of Spanish pintxos (skewered snacks that are typical in Northern Spain) served from a dim sum-style cart, as well as larger tapas and paellas. Expect popular items like “Ma Premiere Foie” (foie gras served with grilled apple, caramelized onion, and cherry jam), “Pulpo Telefèric” (wood grilled octopus with roasted potato cream and crispy bacon), and albóndigas “Lo Que Digas” (spiced chorizo meatballs with cuttlefish and sofrito, honey, and chocolate sauce). The cocktail menu has been crafted by Michael Iglesias, a partner at Oakland’s Calavera, and it includes modern twists on classic cocktails like an olive martini (gin or vodka, olive infused vermouth, smoked olive oil, dirty martini sphere), a few different gin and tonics, traditional drinks like sangria and large party pitchers to share. Oakland’s Arcsine designed the 160-seat restaurant, which will initially open only for dinner service. In the coming weeks, the restaurant will expand its hours to include to lunch and a weekend brunch. Telefèric Barcelona will be at 1500 Mount Diablo Blvd. (at South Main Street), Walnut Creek. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

The Jon Lum (steak, bacon, onion rings, cheddar). Photo: Ike’s Place/Facebook
The Jon Lum (steak, bacon, onion rings, cheddar). Photo: Ike’s Place/Facebook

IKE’S PLACE COMING TO ROCKRIDGE Fans of the creative cult sandwiches rejoice. A second Oakland location for Ike’s Place is on track to open in the next 90 days, reports Inside Scoop. The newest Ike’s will be situated between the new Philz and C.R.E.A.M on College Avenue in Rockridge, and it will serve a similar menu as its Uptown location. That translates to a 60+ listing of creatively-named sandwiches like the MC Hammer (chicken, cheddar, barbecue sauce), Al Bundy (avocado, French dressing, gouda, ham, salami), and Womanizer (marinara sauce, provolone, vegan breaded chicken). Owner Ike Shehadeh told the Scoop a location in Emeryville is also in the works; he is still working on getting the permits finalized for that spot. Ike’s Place will be at 6300 College Ave. (at Claremont Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.

California burrito with carne asada at Best Coast Burritos. Photo: Best Coast Burritos/Facebook

BEST COAST BURRITOS TO EMERYVILLE Public Market Emeryville‘s Viva Mexican Grill has been transformed into a new, standalone restaurant called Best Coast Burritos, located at the busy intersection of Powell and Hollis. The E’ville Eye had the scoop, and it reports that the owners chose to move to a new location rather than staying in the renovated Public Market. “After our lease expired, we were invited to audition for one of the new stalls but we opted to go out on our own,” co-owner Alvin Shen told the Eye. Best Coast Burritos reconfigured its menu “to compete with today’s more discerning palate,” most notably by adding a SoCal staple, the “California Burrito,” to the line-up. A California burrito, for the uninitiated, contains French fries in addition to standard burrito ingredients and, most typically, carne asada. It’s an uncommon dish in the East Bay; you can also find them at The Half Orange in Oakland and El Burro Picante and Burritos Inc. in Berkeley. Let us know if you know of others. Best Coast Burritos held its soft opening the first weekend in January and plans to hold a grand opening in February. Best Coast Burritos is at 1400 Powell St. (at Hollis Street), Emeryville. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.

Collard Leaf Burrito. Photo: CORE Foods

CORE FOODS NOW OPEN We last brought you news about the 100% plant-based restaurant, CORE Kitchen, last spring. The flagship restaurant for the food company is now open in Uptown. All entrées are made with 100% organic fresh produce, with no oils, sweeteners, additives or powders of any kind. In short, its website boasts: “This is the most nourishing food ever created!” CORE’s chief business development officer Kai Itämeri told NOSH this spring that the dishes have recognizable flavor profiles, like Mexican, Thai and Italian combinations. For example, a Mexican dish may have jicama, black beans, corn and cilantro. Each dish will be available in a “container” of choice; it may be wrapped in a collard green leaf, stuffed into a bell pepper, or served on top of massaged kale. In addition, there are recommended sauce pairings, like an avocado cilantro lime vinaigrette, or Thai lime coconut dressing. CORE Kitchen is an extension of the CORE brand of foods, which now consists of bars that are sold in the refrigerated section of Whole Foods and other independent markets. The bars, called “CORE Meals,” are gluten-free and are considered “clean,” as they contain none of the additives or sweeteners found in most health bars. CORE Kitchen is at 499 14th St. (between Clay Street and Broadway), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

BBQ Hut.

BBQ HUT CLOSED It hasn’t been a good year for East Bay barbecue restaurants. Last March, Tanya Holland’s B-Side Barbecue shuttered; in October, downtown Berkeley’s Perdition Smokehouse closed; and we just got wind that North Oakland’s BBQ Hut is also out of the business. The East Bay Express talked with owner Earl Moffett, who said that BBQ Hut had been “bleeding money,” in part due to the rising costs of meat like his signature brisket and baby-back ribs. Barbecue lovers do, however, still have a few spots to eat nearby — Smokey J’s, Smoke, KC’s Bar-B-Que, and Everett and Jones are all still operating.

Photo: Pyramid Alehouse Walnut Creek/Facebook

PYRAMID ALEHOUSE WALNUT CREEK IS CLOSED Following its abrupt Berkeley departure, Pyramid Alehouse in Walnut Creek has ceased operations, reports Inside Scoop. The closure comes just six months after its Berkeley location closed. Pyramid’s parent company, North Ameircan Breweries, said that the move, like the Berkeley closure, is part of a “consolidation” effort of all of its West Coast retail locations. The Alehouse is having a retail sale this week; all shirts are $1 and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Pyramid was founded as Hart Brewing in 1984 on the banks of the Columbia River in Kalama, Washington. It was renamed Pyramid in 1996, and opened its Berkeley location the following year. The brewery’s inaugural Pyramid beer, Pale Ale, was one of the first American microbrews. Pyramid was acquired by North American Breweries in 2010 and now has only two brewpubs — one in Portland and one in Seattle.

What else is going on…

Haven is one of 100 different Oakland restaurants participating in this year’s Restaurant Week. Photo: Alanna Hale
Haven is one of 100 different Oakland restaurants participating in this year’s Restaurant Week. Photo: Alanna Hale

RESTAURANT WEEKS HAVE BEGUN Each year, the second half of January brings with it over two weeks of East Bay dining deals between Oakland and Berkeley’s Restaurant Weeks. Oakland’s event began last night, and it runs through Jan. 24. Berkeley’s Restaurant Week will take place Jan. 21-31. Both events ask participating restaurants to serve prix fixe restaurant deals and lunch and/or dinner between $20 and $50. Oakland’s lineup spans some 100 restaurants, a record-breaking number, and include some of our favorite new and established restaurants. Take a look at some of our picks for the events here. Updates on each event can be found on the Visit Oakland Facebook page and the Visit Berkeley Facebook page, as well as @visitoakland and @visitberkeley on Twitter. 

Basilico Benedict (poached eggs, corn relish, basil pesto, English muffin , herbed potatoes, arugula salad) at Kitchen 388. Photo: Kitchen 388/Facebook

BUCCI’S CHEF MOVED TO OAKLAND’S KITCHEN 388 After Emeryville’s beloved Bucci’s closed last fall, chef Ema Kye was out of a job. She’s now landed at Kitchen 388 in Oakland, reports Eater. There, she has re-tooled the restaurant’s Mexican/Latin-inspired menu to focus on California cuisine. Owner Phillip Thoman told Eater that the original menu “wasn’t hitting our mark on our demographics. … I really like Ema’s take on cuisine, her cooking style, and her methodology on lighter fare and using the freshest and the best ingredients that California has to offer.” Kitchen 388’s new menu encompasses breakfast and lunch, and it includes eggs, toasts, sandwiches and salads. The restaurant is holding off on a dinner menu until the spring, as Thoman said that evening business is usually slow in the winter. Kitchen 388 is at 388 Grand Ave. (between Perkins Street and Staten Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.

Lindgren’s Coffee and Café. Photo: Emilie Raguso
Lindgren’s Coffee and Café. Photo: Emilie Raguso

LINDGREN’S STILL OPEN, BUT WITH NEW HOURS Last fall, we brought you news that Eric Lindgren had put his café up for saleLindgren’s Café is still up and running, however. As of this week, it has new hours and will soon have an updated menu, featuring a “a variety of homemade pastries, salads, soups and limited specials.” The café is now open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (kitchen open until 3 p.m.) and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (kitchen open all day). There is also a weekend brunch buffet from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lindgren’s has proved a popular destination for good coffee, pastries and a good selection of brunch and lunch options. Lindgren’s Coffee and Café is at 2120 Dwight Way (at Shattuck Avenue), Berkeley. Connect with the café on Facebook.  

Photo: Fieldwork Brewing Company

CROWLERS AT FIELDWORK Beer growlers too big for you? Have a hard time getting through a whole bottle before your brews go flat? Fieldwork Brewing is trying to address the problem with its new “crowlers,” reusable 32-ounce cans that are filled and sealed at the brewery. The brewery is calling its crowlers “the perfect beer vessel for adventures to go,” but we like to think of them more as the best solution for those of us who can’t just pick one of Fieldwork’s beers to bring home. Fieldwork Brewing is at 1160 Sixth St. (at Harrison Street), Berkeley. Connect with the brewery 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...