Bonita Fish Market. Photo: Kate Williams
Bonita Fish Market, pictured on Aug. 10, 2016. Photo: Kate Williams

Openings, closings…

BONITA FISH MARKET CLOSED Berkeley’s fishermen-owned fish market has closed — at least for now. Bonita Fish Market has notified patrons and posted a sign outside its shop that it will “still be closed until further notice. Stay tuned for updates.” As of Aug. 11, the market has put up brown paper on its windows. Bonita Fish Market was opened in fall 2013 by Hong Nguyen and Truc Voung, both active commercial fishermen. It sold locally caught, ethical seafood straight from the Berkeley marina, and has built a reputation for serving super fresh fish in a friendly, knowledgable way. Berkeleyside readers and Yelpers alike have been upset at the news. Writes Liz D.: “Love this place – owned and managed by the fishermen themselves! … Hope they stay in business! Support your local businesses please…it’s part of our community.” We have reached out to the Bonita owners and will update you as we learn more. Bonita Fish Market is at 1941 University Ave. (at Bonita Avenue), Berkeley. Connect with the market on Facebook.

King Tsin is now called Sichuan Style Restaurant. Image: Google Maps

KING TSIN IS NOW CALLED SICHUAN STYLE Last summer, Jian Yang, a former chef at Albany’s China Village, took over King Tsin, another Chinese restaurant up the street. He redesigned the menu to reflect a much stronger Sichuan influence, with many similar dishes to his alma mater. Now, he has renamed the restaurant “Sichuan Style” to reflect those changes, according to a tipster on Hungry Onion. It was a smart move, it seems, to distance the new restaurant from its previous, Cantonese-heavy menu; its average Yelp review has gone up from three stars to five. Sichuan Style Restaurant is at 1699 Solano Ave. (between Ensenada and Tacoma avenues), Berkeley.

Charcuterie from Market Hall Foods. Photo: Benjamin Seto

THE PASTA SHOP IS NOW MARKET HALL FOODS In other name-change news, both the Oakland and Berkeley locations of The Pasta Shop have changed names to Market Hall Foods, reflecting their parent company’s name and what many shoppers call the prepared and specialty goods stores, anyway. There will be no other changes. As Rockridge Market Hall writes on its website: “As the name of our parent company and our online shop, and one we’ve used internally for some time, Market Hall Foods more accurately describes what our two stores actually are: vibrant food emporiums with offerings that extend far beyond pasta. While each shop’s selection varies according to the interests and needs of its customers, Market Hall Foods in Oakland and Berkeley are fundamentally the same. … Same owners, same great food, new name—it makes more sense!” Market Hall’s house-made pasta will continue to be sold under the “Pasta Shop” name. Market Hall Foods on 4th is at 1786 Fourth St. (at Delaware Avenue), Berkeley. Market Hall Foods is at 5655 College Ave. (at Shafter Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the store on Facebook and Twitter.

RNR SUSHI OPEN ON PIEDMONT AVE A new sushi restaurant has come to Oakland’s Piedmont Avenue. RnR Sushi opened last week in the former Sparky’s burger restaurant, and it serves a standard menu of sushi and tempura dishes, plus three iterations of now-trending poke bowls. It seems the aloha bowl (spicy ahi tuna, red onion, imitation crab, seaweed salad, avocado, furikake, corn, edamame, shichimi togarashi) is currently a crowd favorite, based on the abundance of photos posted online. RnR Sushi & Bowls is at 4151 Piedmont Ave. (between 41st Street and Ridgeway Avenue), Oakland.

Homegrown sandwiches. Photo: Courtesy Homegrown Sustainable Sandwiches

HOMEGROWN SANDWICHES TO DANVILLE AND LAFAYETTE Seattle-based Homegrown Sustainable Sandwiches is making a big move to the Bay Area over the next few months. It will be opening its first California location this fall in San Francisco’s Financial District, followed closely by locations in Danville (Jan. 9) and Lafayette (Jan. 20). Both of the East Bay locations will be in former La Boulange bakeries. According to a statement from the company: “Every element of the sandwich shop is thoughtfully curated and its impact on the environment evaluated: from the reclaimed building materials used to construct each store, to the ingredients in each sandwich, soup and salad. The fast casual shop also owns its own certified organic urban farm in Seattle, Sprouting Farms, that supplies seasonal, organic produce for their menu.” Non-Seattle based produce and ingredients will come from F.E.E.D. Sonoma, Pt. Reyes Creamery, Sonoma Jack, Sightglass Coffee, St. Benoit Creamery and Glaum Egg Ranch. Homegrown Sustainable Sandwiches will be at 405 Railroad Ave. (at School Street), Danville and 3597 Mt. Diablo Blvd. (at Dewing Avenue), Lafayette. Connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Dinners and events…

At The Trappist in Old Oakland. Photo: Colin Burke McClure

OAKLAND BEER FESTIVAL + TRAPPIST SOUR BEER + UMAMI MART MATSURI Saturday will be quite a day in Old Oakland, with three integrated festivals running all afternoon. The Oakland Beer Festival (at Ninth and Washington streets) will be the most visible, with over 25 different breweries and at least 13 different restaurants participating. Pre-sale tickets run $30 for a tasting glass and five beer tasters and $50 for the above plus four Trappist-only sour beer tasters. Food and additional tasters sold separately, with many items priced at $5. The Trappist will be holding its annual Sour/Bitter beer festival starting at noon, but unlike previous iterations of this event, it will be totally open to the public. The bar will be showcasing sour and bitter offerings from many of the same breweries participating in the Oakland Beer Festival, tap takeover-style. At Umami Mart‘s event, which will be held in its rear parking lot, the Japanese store will be celebrating with beers from the Coedo craft brewery, food from five local culinary vendors (Abura-ya, FOB Kitchen, Delage, B-Dama and Ramen Shop), and live music from Emeryville Taiko and DJ Chungtech. Purchase tickets for the Oakland Beer Festival here.  The Trappist is at 460 Eighth St. (at Broadway), Oakland. Connect with the bar on Facebook and TwitterUmami Mart is at 815 Broadway (between Eighth and Ninth streets), Oakland. Connect with the store on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Shrimp tacos at Cosecha. Photo: Kate Williams

COSECHA TURNS 5 The Old Oakland restaurant that kicked off the Swan’s Market renaissance is celebrating its fifth anniversary Sunday from 1-4 p.m. Cosecha will serve cocktails and small treats, and it will host an art bazaar featuring some of the Bay Area’s top Latino and Latina artists. Jessica Sabogal, Juan Fuentes and Crystal Galindo are all currently in the lineup. Proceeds will be donated to the Chicana-Latina Foundation and Scholarship Fund. Cosecha is at 907 Washington St. (at Ninth Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Twitter and Instagram

What else is going on…

1951 Coffee founders Doug Hewitt (far left) and Rachel Taber (far right) with barista trainees. Photo: Courtesy 1951 Coffee

1951 COFFEE FUNDRAISER The refugee-staffed non-profit coffee shop 1951 Coffee headed to Berkeley this fall is currently raising funds through Crowdwise to help open the shop. Donations will be used to purchase equipment such as an espresso machine, grinders, batch brew machines, a pour over station, refrigerators and more. Throughout the month of August, an anonymous donor is matching all contributions until the funds raised reach $15,000. The aim of 1951 Coffee is to not only provide the community with quality coffee and excellent service, but also with greater awareness of refugees’ stories and a practical means of participating in them. It will be staffed by refugees who have gone through the coffee company’s simultaneous barista training program. Learn more about the campaign here1951 Coffee will be at 2410 Channing Way (at Dana Street), Berkeley. Connect with the coffee shop on Facebook and Instagram.

Fried Brussels sprouts are a favorite dish at Oakland’s Mockingbird. Photo: Mockingbird/Facebook
Fried Brussels sprouts are a favorite dish at Oakland’s Mockingbird. Photo: Mockingbird/Facebook

MOCKINGBIRD ALSO FUNDRAISING Over on Indiegogo, Oakland restaurant Mockingbird is also raising money. As we reported last September, Mockingbird has found a new, ABC licensed-approved location at 418 13th St., but owners Melissa Axelrod and William Johnson need funding help to update the space, which formerly housed Ba Vo Vietnamese. Much of the money raised will go towards bringing the kitchen and dining room up to code, and the co-owners will use any extra funds to purchase additional equipment and furniture. Mockingbird’s new restaurant will be in the heart of the new 13th Street improvement district, so it will have access to expanded sidewalks, streetscaping and plenty of outdoor seating. Axelrod and Johnson hope for the restaurant to channel other long running neighborhood restaurants like NOPA, Zuni and Wood Tavern. As such, the new Mockingbird will continue to serve its farm-to-table Northern California fare, expanding its service to include lunch and, as promised, a full bar. The cocktail list will feature “inventive, seasonal drinks” alongside classics, and the beer and wine list will be “carefully curated and locally focused,” according to the Indiegogo page. Axelrod and Johnson hope to open sometime this fall. Learn more about the campaign hereMockingbird will be at 418 13th St. (at Franklin Street), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant 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...