A rendering of Nido's Backyard. Image: Nido's Backyard
A rendering of Nido’s Backyard, which will likely open this December at 104 Oak St. in Oakland. Image: Nido’s Backyard

Openings, closings

NIDO CHANGING MENU, OPENING SECOND RESTAURANT Oakland’s Nido restaurant announced some big news this week. Co-owners Silvia and Corey McCollow told Inside Scoop that they are planning to open a second restaurant, Nido’s Backyard, in December, up the street from their original spot, and, because this project will take up great amounts of their time, they are handing the reins of Nido over to executive chef Jose Ramos. (We profiled Ramos in a story in February.) Silvia McCollow will continue to “oversee the overall culinary vision,” writes the Scoop, but Ramos will be in charge day-to-day. This culinary vision includes a new menu that includes rotating, sharable small street-style antojitos like grilled corn equites and grilled blue corn squash blossom quesadillas, plus a few rustic family-style Mexican entrees like pork carnitas and grilled octopus. As far as Nido’s Backyard, the new restaurant will focus on food cooked on an outdoor wood-fired adobe grill. Corey McCollow described the menu to the Scoop as “Mexican barbecue food:” tacos, quesadillas and slow-cooked meats. Nido’s Backyard will also have two bars, one of which the McCollows plan to use as a pop-up venue for aspiring bartenders. In addition, the McCollows hope to attract local vendors and live musicians to showcase and play their work at the restaurant. Nido is at 444 Oak St. (between Fourth and Fifth streets), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and TwitterNido’s Backyard will be at 104 Oak St. (at Embarcadero), Oakland.

A burger and tots from Handlebar, which is now called Doc’s Refresher. Photo: Handlebar/Facebook

HANDLEBAR NOW DOC’S REFRESHER Back in April, we broke the news that West Berkeley’s Handlebar would be tweaking its concept and changing its name. The slight renovation is still in progress, but we’ve taken note that the restaurant has officially changed its name to Doc’s Refresher. Owner Jennifer Seidman brought on Farm League, the restaurant design and management group behind TigerlilyEast Bay Spice CompanyWestbrae Biergarten and Drake’s Dealership, to update the restaurant’s concept to something they say makes more sense for the neighborhood. No additional changes to report, but last we heard, Doc’s Refresher will keep Handlebar’s signature burger and tater tots on its menu, while increasing dish options to include sandwiches, bar snacks and milkshakes. Farm League has also worked with Seidman to add a  “retro game room” and jukebox, as well as a larger selection of craft beer and cocktails. We’ll continue to keep you posted on the changes. Doc’s Refresher is at 984 University Ave. (between Eighth and Ninth streets), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook.

Vegetable ragout from Adeline Collective. Photo: Adeline Collective/Facebook

ADELINE COLLECTIVE TO EMERYVILLE Over in Emeryville, we’ve learned that a new Southern and soul food restaurant, Adeline Collective, is planned for the Adeline Place building. The E’ville Eye had the scoop, reporting that the new restaurant will reflect the “socially conscious values” of its chef/owner, Michael Johnson (aka “Emjay”), who has worked at restaurants such as Hibiscus in Oakland and Pabu SF and Bluestem Brasserie in San Francisco. On the menu will be Southern comfort food classics with French and Creole influences — Louisiana shrimp and grits, jambalaya and po’boy sandwiches. During the daytime hours, Adeline Collective will operate more like a fast-casual spot with quick service; at night, it will transition to a sit-down restaurant with full service and live entertainment. Johnson is describing his restaurant as “table to farm,” as it will not only support local farmers like WOW Farm and City Slicker Farms, but it will also return its food waste back to the farms to create compost. He plans to source 80 to 90% of the restaurant’s produce from within 10 miles of the restaurant, according to the Adeline Collective website. Johnson also plans to make use of the newest green building techniques like living walls, living awnings and grey water systems. To finish up construction and pay for the city’s Environmental Impact Fee, Johnson is currently raising funds through an Indiegogo campaign. He hopes to open the restaurant sometime this fall. Adeline Collective will be at 3801 San Pablo Ave. (at Adeline Street), Emeryville. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Photo: Holy Gelato!/Facebook

HOLY GELATO! HAS REPLACED LA SNACKERIA Last summer, Oakland’s Ramos family closed its tamale and tortilla restaurants La Borinquena Mexicatessen and La Snackeria. While we have yet to learn of the future of the La Borinquena location, we now know that Holy Gelato! has opened in the La Snackeria spot at 815 Washington St. It is the second location for the gelato company, which also operates in the Sunset neighborhood of San Francisco. Holy Gelato! serves a wide range of gelato flavors, which include sriracha, salted caramel and goat cheese. Notably, the gelateria also offers 12 different vegan gelato flavors in addition to its dairy-filled lineup. Holy Gelato! is at 815 Washington St. (between Eighth and Ninth streets), Oakland. Connect with the gelateria on Facebook.

TIDBITS: JAMES AND THE GIANT CUPCAKE, LITTLE HILL LOUNGE, THE STATION, MOD PIZZA In Oakland, James and the Giant Cupcake opened its second location in Uptown mid-May. Owners Eurydice Manning and Caleigh Schrey raised funds for the new shop through a successful Kickstarter campaign. In El Cerrito, we hear that a new bar, Little Hill Lounge, has opened. Early guests have praised the low-key atmosphere and friendly bartender. Beers on tap range from Anchor Steam to Linden Street Gose. In Alameda, two new restaurants — The Station, a sandwich counter at Alameda Natural Grocery, and MOD Pizza, a location of the Washington-based build-your-own pizza chain — have now opened. Early reviews for both have been generally positive. James and the Giant Cupcake  is at 341 17th St. (at Webster Street), Oakland. Connect with the bakery on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Little Hill Lounge is at 10753 San Pablo Ave. (at Tehama Avenue), El Cerrito. Connect with the bar on Facebook and Twitter. The Station is at 1650 Park St. (at Buena Vista Avenue), Alameda. MOD Pizza is at 2308 South Shore Center Dr. (near Park Street), Alameda.

Dinners and events

Fried chicken sandwich at The Half Orange. Photo: The Half Orange

HALF ORANGE TURNS TWO Fruitvale’s burger, sausage and beer restaurant The Half Orange is celebrating two years in the biz on Saturday with specials all day. The Half Orange will premiere a brand-new beer from Ale Industries called “Wham Glam Thank You Fam,” which the nearby brewery made special for the occasion. The beer is in a category of the brewery’s own creation; Ale Industries is calling it a “glam beer.” Half Orange owner Jay Porter also got his hands on a hard-to-find 12-month barrel-aged sour from Craftsman Brewing in Pasadena. On the food side, the kitchen will be serving up oak-smoked tri-tip sandwiches with bacon fat white beans, which Porter says will pair very well with the glam beer. The brunch menu will also be available in the morning and early afternoon, and the restaurant’s regular menu will be offered all day long. The Half Orange is at 3340 E. 12th St. (at E. 33rd Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Twitter.

Photo: Downtown Alameda Art and Wine Faire

DOWNTOWN ALAMEDA ART AND WINE FAIRE Alameda’s 32nd annual art and wine festival is taking place this weekend on Park Street. The free event, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, includes over 300 arts, crafts and food vendors, plus live music and a special kid’s play area. While specific food vendors have yet to be announced, the events’ webpage advertises a “festive selection of street favorites such as Lockeford Sausage, corndogs, gyros, roasted corn, fried calamari, funnel cakes, and more!” On the drinks side, expect beers from Alameda Island Brewing Company and wines from Rock Wall. Other regional beers, as well as mimosas, will also be available. Learn more about the event here.

WORLD VEGAN SUMMIT Also this weekend will be the World Vegan Summit and Expo across the UC Berkeley campus. The three-day event begins Friday and will include a free-to-the-public expo at Sproul Plaza, countless speaker presentations and daily vegan meals provided for attendees. Topics include everything from a look at the “ethics and morality of eating animals” to “veganic gardening.” Organizers are calling the event “the most important event anywhere ever” because they believe that “they are revealing and exploring truths never heard that offer the only solutions to society’s greatest challenges — climate change, hunger, health crises, deforestation, water shortage, social injustice, violence, war — and the endless suffering and mass murder of countless innocent animals,” according to a press release. Learn more about the summit here.

What else is going on…

The line outside of LocoL on opening day. Photo: Audrey Ma

LOCOL SERVING FREE COFFEE ALL NEXT MONTH Oakland’s LocoL will have a pretty sweet deal going on for the entire month of August — free coffee, both hot and cold. The deal doesn’t require any sort of purchase, and guests will be able to get up to five cups of coffee per day. Yes, this is for real. LocoL is at 2214 Broadway (at Grand Avenue), Oakland. Connect with LocoL on FacebookInstagramYouTube 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...