GRAND FARE WILL RETURN Good news for Grand Lake — it looks like Doug Washington and Freya Prowe’s Grand Fare Market will be making a comeback. We had heard whispers from neighbors about new construction, and the Splash Pad newsletter confirmed the rumors. Washington told Splash Pad that the new iteration of the market will be pared down from the original with a simplified layout, fewer grocery items, a lower price point, and a stronger focus on prepared foods for eating there or taking home. In addition, Washington is adding more seating both indoors and out, plus a canopy and heaters in the outdoor space in case of inclement weather. He will be adding beer and possibly wine on tap. Finally, Washington mentioned interest in building a parklet out front and potentially parking his Spartan coffee trailer in front. The reopening date is scheduled for “sometime soon.” We’ll keep you posted. Grand Fare Market is at 3265 Grand Ave., Oakland. Connect with the market on Facebook and Twitter.
GUACAMOLE 61 REPLACES HERB N’ CHICKEN Well that was fast. Herb n’ Chicken, the rotisserie chicken joint in the former Source Mini location in North Berkeley’s Epicurious Garden, has closed. It will be replaced by Guacamole 61, a seasonal Mexican restaurant. Farm League’s Joel DiGiorgio told NOSH that the decision to close Herb n’ Chicken was based on time and labor considerations, as well as the increased food costs of sourcing all organic ingredients. Willy Perez and Gustavo Orozco will take over the kitchen at Guacamole 61, which is named for Perez’s 1961 Chevy Impala. Orozco will be head chef, and he plans to incorporate flavor and spirit of his hometown [of Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan] into dishes, using local and seasonal ingredients every time. The new restaurant is slated to open later this month. Guacamole 61 is at 1511 Shattuck Ave. (at Vine Street), Berkeley.
BOBBY G’S PIZZERIA SOLD We read on the Bobby G’s website that the popular pizza and beer restaurant has been sold to two unnamed brothers who, according to chef-owner Robert Gaustad, will keep the name and concept of the restaurant intact. Gaustad said that the new owners have a background in food, beer and wine, and are “young and energetic.” They plan to extend the hours, “probably [until] midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends,” Gaustad wrote on his blog. His reason for selling the business, he said, was due to “a number of health problems. … Nine years of way too many seven day weeks will take a toll on anybody and it’s certainly done that to me.” Bobby G’s is currently in escrow, and the new owners will start working at the restaurant this month. The full turnover date is yet to be announced. Bobby G’s Pizzeria is at 2072 University Ave. (at Shattuck Avenue), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.
BELCAMPO TO OPEN RESTAURANT IN OAKLAND Belcampo, the sustainability-focused butcher shop and meat company, has had its central offices in Oakland since its founding in 2012, but it had yet to open any retail on this side of the bay. Now, we hear from the East Bay Express that Belcampo CEO Anya Fernald plans to open her first Oakland restaurant in a 5,000 square-foot warehouse in Jack London Square. Unlike Belcampo’s other locations around the state, the Oakland restaurant will not include a full-service butcher shop. Instead, it will focus on the restaurant side, offering steaks, burgers, and meaty salads. According to EBX, Belcampo’s “Fastburger,” a smaller, cheaper version of the restaurant’s cheeseburger, will be available on both the lunch and dinner menu for less than $10. Belcampo Oakland will also have a full bar with relatively cheap cocktails (all under $10). In addition to the restaurant, Belcampo Oakland will include a refrigerated display case with products like stock, ground beef, and chickens. Fernald told EBX that she may add a butcher shop if there is demand. No word yet on on opening date. Belcampo will be at 369 Third St. (between Franklin and Webster streets), Oakland. Connect with the meat company on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
PATATAS TAKING OVER COMMONWEALTH MICROPUB We hear from Commonwealth Pub owner Ross Adair that there is now a plan for the former Commonwealth Micropub space in Emeryville. Chef Marcos Quezada, who lives nearby, will be taking over the kitchen and transforming it into a Pan-Latin restaurant called Patatas. Adair said that Patatas will be an extension of Quezada’s catering business, also called Patatas. The restaurant will have its roots in “cuisines from Spain to Chile,” said Adair, serving everything from stews to seafood to paella. Patatas will be at 3986 Adeline St. (at 40th Street), Emeryville. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.
BLIND TIGER OPEN IN KONO Across town in Oakland’s KoNo neighborhood (or upper Uptown, if you prefer), Blind Tiger has launched a soft opening. Located in an inconspicuous basement location between Gogi Time and Sam Won Billiards on Telegraph, Blind Tiger (no relation to the Blind Tiger vegan pop-up) calls itself a “pan-Asian inspired tapas restaurant.” It is serving up a mix of hot and cold small bites like uni toast with nori chicharron and red chile honey, deviled pickled eggs with ginger and black tea shoyu, and Massaman curry fries. On the drinks side, Blind Tiger offers craft cocktails and 20 different beers on tap. Blind Tiger is at 2600B Telegraph Ave. (at 27th Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.
ROSES’ TAPROOM TO TEMESCAL In addition to Temescal Brewing (more news on that below), it looks like the North Oakland neighborhood will be getting a second brewery — Roses’ Taproom. Inside Scoop reports that the brewery will be headed to the former Shaver & Cutlery Shop on Telegraph and is going to be run by the husband-and-wife team of Luke Janson and Hillary Huffard. The duo will be brewing “myriad different style beers and offer them to the public in an intimate and warm, welcoming environment,” said Huffard. Roses’ Taproom is currently raising funds through a Kiva Zip loan, and hopes to late this summer. Roses’ Taproom will be at 4930 Telegraph Ave. (at 49th Street), Oakland. Connect with the brewery on Facebook.
WAREHOUSE BAR AND GRILL SOLD Oakland’s “cop bar,” Warehouse Bar and Grill, down at Jack London Square, has been sold, reports the East Bay Express. The building has been bought buy a group of investors who “plan to significantly renovate the building and redecorate the bar and restaurant,” said EBX. One of the investors, Monica Plazola, said that she and her unnamed partners plan to keep some of the building’s “existing flavor.” The Warehouse will be closed for several months for renovations. Warehouse Bar and Grill is at 402 Webster St. (at Fourth Street), Oakland. Connect with the bar on Facebook.
Dinners and events
JOURNEYMEN “STAFF MEAL” DINNER Chris Wolff and Jonathan Tu’s monthly Journeymen meal at Blackwater Station is coming up on March 14, and this one promises to me at least, well, interesting. It’s being called the “staff meal” dinner; the menu — including Frito pie churros, lasagna hamburgs, and pommes paillasson (“basically tater tots fried in chicken fat”) — certainly reflects the hodgepodge of indulgent comfort foods served to restaurant staff before service. The $55 ticket includes around eight shared courses, plus a gin sidecar drink. Get your seat here. Connect with Journeymen on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Blackwater Station is at 4901 Telegraph Ave. (at 49th Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.
BON APPETIT! FUNDRAISER FOR ALAMEDA HEALTH SYSTEM On the other end of the culinary spectrum, Alameda Health System Foundation is holding a fundraiser dinner — called Bon Appetit! — for its Healthy Eating for Good Health program at Hayward Wellness. The $50 dinner will be held at Impact Hub Oakland March 10, and will include small bites and samplings from as-yet-unnamed local restaurants, wineries, breweries and more. The Healthy Eating for Good Health program promotes “nutrition and physical activity” through “group visits to low-income families that help participants set health goals, learn how to prepare healthy meals, and gain access to fresh produce,” according to the Alameda Health System. Learn more about the event and purchase tickets here.
What else is going on…
CAFÉ EUGENE ADDS LOTS OF BRUNCH This week, Albany’s Oregon-themed restaurant upped its hours significantly. Cafe Eugené is now serving brunch — seven days a week. “Brunch is a huge part of the culture in Eugene,” said partner Ryan Murff in a prepared statement. “We are excited to highlight this lifestyle in the East Bay.” The fact that brunch is also a huge part of East Bay culture aside, the two-month-old restaurant is certainly making a statement by offering its brunch menu every weekday. The menu consists of small plates as well as larger entrees like house-made biscuits with marionberry jam and a seasonal strata bread pudding. Brunch runs from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., after which the restaurant will transition to a special afternoon menu (heavy on the bar snacks) served until dinner service begins at 5:30. Café Eugene is at 1175 Solano Ave. (at Stannage Avenue), Albany. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
TEMESCAL BREWING LAUNCHES KICKSTARTER Hot on the heels of the upcoming brewery’s re-branding, Temescal Brewing has launched an already highly successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the remainder of its construction on its beer garden. (As of press time, the brewery had raised $2,000 above its $30,000 goal.) Temescal Brewing intends to build its outdoor drinking space into the “freshest-of-the-fresh beer garden: the global center for simple daylong hangs, and a beacon of hope for wandering souls seeking Sunny Vibes.” In addition to being a place to drink lots of beer, Temescal Brewing hopes its beer garden will be home to a “constant procession of food trucks,” community events, art shows, and special beer releases. It will exist alongside the full-production brewery and indoor taproom. Temescal Brewing is focusing on “Sunny Day” drinking, a.k.a. easy-drinking, sessionable beers like pale ales, pilsners and saisons. Temescal Brewing will be at 4115 Telegraph Ave. (at 41st Street), Oakland. Connect with the brewery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
CUPCAKIN’ BAKE SHOP CELEBRATES #DRIZZYFRIDAY Fans of the rapper Drake now have an opportunity to eat his likeness in cupcake form — for free — at Cupcakin’ Bake Shop in Berkeley. Owner Lila Owens is running the Drake-themed cupcake giveaway every Friday. Here’s how it works: She posts an image of a Drake cupcake every Friday morning along with a lyric to one of his many songs. The first 15 customers into the shop who can the name of the song mentioned win a free Drake-adorned cake. Cupcakin’ Bake Shop is at 2435 Durant Ave. (between Dana Street and Telegraph Avenue), Berkeley. Connect with the bakery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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