DOMINIQUE CRENN LEAVES ANTOINETTE After only two months of operation, Dominique Crenn has officially left Antoinette, the new French brasserie in the Claremont Hotel and Spa. The news broke Wednesday in Inside Scoop, the same day the East Bay Express’s Luke Tsai ran an unflattering review of the restaurant, calling Antoinette “dispiriting, at times baffling.” A statement jointly released by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (owners of the Claremont) and the Crenn Dining Group said that the two “have mutually agreed to end their partnership.” Antoinette will close temporarily on April 6 and will, according to Eater SF, reopen in a few weeks under the same name and concept. The menu will, however, change. It was unclear how much input Crenn had in the original concept of the restaurant; she had been clear from the beginning that her role in the restaurant was “advisory.” Executive Chef Justin Mauz was at the helm of the kitchen day-to-day; no word yet on his future with the restaurant. Antoinette is at The Claremont Club & Spa, 41 Tunnel Rd., Berkeley. Connect with the Claremont on Facebook.
URBAN REMEDY LOOKS LIKE IT’S HEADED TO THE ELMWOOD We hear that Urban Remedy, a Marin County-based juice and health food company, is moving into 2946 College Ave. (at Ashby Avenue) in the Elmwood. Urban Remedy serves 100% organic raw snacks, ready-to-eat meals and fresh fruit and vegetable juices that “blend cutting-edge nutrition with Traditional Chinese Medicine,” according to the company’s website. Expect bites like raw cacao brittle, kale chips, zucchini “fettuccine,” quinoa bowls and collard wraps. Owner Neka Pasquale is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and certified Chinese nutritionist; she founded Urban Remedy as a juice cleanse business for her nutrition clients. Pasquale likely got a huge boost in customers in 2012, when supermodel Cindy Crawford discovered her products. Crawford is now a partner and a brand ambassador for Urban Remedy, “using her platform to educate her audience about Urban Remedy so they too can access a trusted health resource and enjoy well-balanced food that tastes great.” We have reached out to Urban Remedy for more details and will update you as we learn more. Urban Remedy will be at 2946 College Ave. (at Ashby Avenue), Berkeley. Connect with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
YE OLDE HUT CHANGING HANDS The Rockridge dive Ye Olde Hut will soon have new management. We noticed the pending change in an ABC license listing, and the bar soon posted the announcement on its Facebook page. Its final night was Thursday. As of publication, we have no further updates about the change, but we suspect it may come with a new name; the new ABC license lists “Rockridge Improvement Club,” the bar’s original name, as its business name. Ye Olde Hut is at 5515 College Ave. (at Forest Street), Oakland. Connect with the bar on Facebook. [Ed: This post was updated with a clarification about the closing night of Ye Olde Hut.]
A NEW BAR FROM DREXL OWNER Demetrius Chapin-Rienzo, the owner of popular Uptown bar Drexl, looks like he is getting close to opening a new bar at 1739 Broadway (between 17th and 19th streets), also in Uptown. The bar, which is as yet unnamed, now has an active ABC license and looks to be under construction. It will replace the long-closed Bulldog Coffee Shop, which was owned by Oaksterdam’s Richard Lee. We have reached out to Chapin-Rienzo for more information, and will update you as we hear more.
CHOWHAUS HAS CLOSED Montclair’s Chowhaus has abruptly closed, according to the East Bay Express. The restaurant had a short run despite garnering praise from critics; it had only been open since last spring. Chowhaus was the brainchild of Fallaron alums Tracey Block and Joe Schnell, who wanted to bring a San Francisco ethos to suburban dining. Block and Schnell served modern twists on American comfort food, including chicken pot pie with Mary’s chicken and seasonal vegetables, a smoked sausage sandwich with sauerkraut and pickles, and a kobe beef bavette steak with salsa verde. EBX reached out to the restaurant owners for details on the closure, but has so far heard nothing.
FRANCESCO’S ALSO CLOSED After 48 years in business, Oakland’s Francesco’s has closed. The restaurant, which was located on Helgenberger Road near Oakland Airport, held its last day of service on March 31. The Contra Costa Times broke the story of the closure in March. Francesco’s served old-school Italian-American food like Caesar salad mixed tableside, veal saltimboca and osso buco to guests seated in cushy mahogany booths. The restaurant was founded by Josephine Bargiacchi and her son Dewey in 1968 and has stayed in the family for three generations. In Francesco’s heyday, it was a lively meeting place for Oakland sports team players and owners. According to Inside Scoop, current owner Theresa Erwin decided it was just time to call it quits, saying that many of the restaurant’s regulars have moved away. Erwin added that she had not found anyone in the fourth generation of the family to take over the business.
Dinners and events…
COMMUNITY GRAINS CONFERENCE This year’s Community Grains Conference, the Oakland-based whole grain company’s second semi-annual event, is a big one. It will be held over two days, April 9 and 10, and encompass a wide range of topics, from updates on Community Grains’ work on establishing a local grain infrastructure and a granary co-owned by local grain farmers to research on the nutrition and digestion of whole-grain foods. The events on April 9 will take place at St. George Spirits in Alameda and will feature talks from local bakers like Craig Ponsford (Ponsford’s Place in Marin), Matt Kreutz (Firebrand in Oakland) and Josey Baker (The Mill in San Francisco). Tacos from El Tonayense and drinks from St. George will be served. The following day’s events will take place in Oliveto‘s dining room and will include a keynote speech from David Montgomery, a geologist and professor at the University of Washington, and the author of The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health. Tickets are available here for one or both days of the conference. Connect with Community Grains on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
IVY ROOM GRAND OPENING The newest iteration of Albany’s Ivy Room has been open since last December, but it is now holding its official grand opening party this Saturday. The party starts at 9 p.m. and will include live music from Face the Giant, a blues/funk/zudeco/psychedelic rock band. Summer Gerbing and Lani Torres bought the bar from Tanya and Ronaldo Colli in 2015, and renovated the space with the goal of returning the bar to its neighborhood-focused roots. Ivy Room is at 860 San Pablo Ave. (at Solano Avenue), Albany. Connect with the bar on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
STANDARD FARE TURNS TWO Kelsie Kerr’s upscale take-out restaurant based in the Berkeley Kitchens is turning two next week, and celebrating with a toast. Stop by Standard Fare from 5 to 7 p.m. on April 4. The restaurant offers diner items like Llanco Seco pork shoulder with eggplant and grits, lovingly plated on reusable pottery from Jered’s Pottery. Lunches are a bit simpler (soups, salads and sandwiches), but no less thoughtful. Standard Fare is at 2701 8th Street #118 (at Carleton Street), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Instagram.
What else is going on…
ANVIL BREWING IS NOW GILMAN BREWING, TARGETING SUMMER OPENING We last brought you news about Anvil Brewing Company last fall. Now we hear that owners Sean Wells and Tim Sellmeyer have re-named the company Gilman Brewing, “due to legal issues.” Wells and Sellmeyer, who got their start as award-winning home brewers, have been making great progress on the brewery; the brewery’s Facebook page shows an influx of commercial brewing equipment and supplies. Gilman Brewing will be producing a mix of small-batch, handcrafted brews, including both Belgian and American styles. Wells told Nosh last fall that Gilman Brewing will likely pour between three and five beers at opening. The tasting room will also offer incidental retail sales of packaged beer brewed on-site as well as limited release bottles. Gilman Brewing also has a lease on the next-door space, which will eventually be turned into a casual quick-service restaurant serving beer-friendly food. Wells and Sellmeyer will begin brewing soon and hope to be open this summer. Gilman Brewing Company will be at 912 Gilman St. (between Seventh and Eighth streets), Berkeley. Connect with the brewery on Facebook.
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