Photo: Oakland Yard/Instagram
Specialty wine shop Oakland Yard is slated to open in Temescal in Novermber. Photo: Oakland Yard/Instagram

Openings, closings

OAKLAND YARD WINE SHOP TO TEMESCAL The North Oakland neighborhood has craft beer in spades, but has yet to gain a specialty wine shop. That will change Nov. 7, when Oakland Yard moves in. According to a statement from the owners, Daniel Schmidt and Jonathan Davis, Oakland Yard intends to be both a wine store and a “community junction,” offering limited production European wines, a “large handful” of new-wave California winemakers, and other new world options. Notably, Oakland Yard will stock a central table of over 60 affordable red and white wines — they’ll all be priced under $17. Both Schmidt and Davis have, they say, an affinity for “fresh, lively wines” that are well-balanced, food-friendly and lower in alcohol. “I want people to pair these [wines] with the whole damn party… or a trip to the coast or an afternoon in the park or an amazing hike! What pairs with adventure? What pairs with awesome?” said Davis in the statement. Schmidt and Davis are both Bay Area natives; Schmidt worked in production at Copian Winery and Davis has worked at both Chez Panisse and Bi-Rite. They plan to hold two to three tastings per week. A grand opening party will take place Nov. 12 from noon to 4 p.m. with free sparkling wine, food and live music. Oakland Yard will be at 420 40th St., (at Webster Street), Oakland. Connect with the shop on Facebook and Instagram.

Combo plate from 4505 Burgers and BBQ. Photo: 4505 Meats/Facebook
Combo plate from 4505 Burgers & Barbecue. Photo: 4505 Meats/Facebook

4505 MEATS HEADED TO OAKLAND October has been a good month for barbecue lovers. Last weekend, Tanya Holland’s B-Side BBQ served its famous brisket and ribs at a pop-up for the first time since the restaurant’s closure in early 2015. And this week, we’ve gotten word via The San Francisco Chronicle that Ryan Farr will be opening a second outpost of San Francisco-based 4505 Burgers & Barbecue here in Oakland. Farr will be moving into the former Glenn’s Hot Dogs location on MacArthur Boulevard in the Laurel District. He’ll bring with him his menu of burgers and smoked meats, and will add additional hot dogs to the menu, in a nod to Glenn’s. The architecture of the restaurant will remain mostly in place; however, Farr does plan to open up the interior and add additional outdoor seating. And FYI for Glenn’s fans: owners David Chew and Bau Jin Huang decided to retire, and their kids didn’t want to take over the business. Farr took over the lease in August; no word yet on an opening schedule. 4505 Burgers & Barbecue will be at 3506 MacArthur Blvd. (at 35th Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Photo: The Cat House/Facebook
Photo: The Cat House/Facebook

THE CAT HOUSE NOW OPEN ON LAKESHORE Back in June, we tipped you to a new bar, The Cat House, moving into the former New Easy location on Lakeshore Avenue in Oakland. The bar is now open. The new owners, Hortensia Mitura and Hana Haysasi, are familiar faces in the neighborhood; both have worked at Boot & Shoe Service around the corner. The Cat House specializes in cocktails, which are, at $10 or less, affordable compared to most new cocktail dens in the Bay. House cocktails include the Baby Bear (rhum agricole, lime, allspice dram, crème de mûre, cane sugar, mint), E&E (mezcal, tequila, pineapple gomme, jalapeño, cilantro, lime) and Ghost Town Gary (gin, Dolin Blanc, suze, génépy, orange bitters). The interior looks to be decorated with vintage furniture and, appropriately, cat paintings. The Cat House is at 3255 Lakeshore Ave. (near Lake Park Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the bar on Facebook and Instagram.

Photo: Proposition Chicken/Facebook
Photo: Proposition Chicken/Facebook

PROPOSITION CHICKEN ALSO TO LAKESHORE Almost directly across the street from The Cat House, San Francisco’s Proposition Chicken is getting ready to move in. The restaurant has filed for an ABC license, and, according to the Splashpad Newsletter, has already gutted the space, which used to be occupied by Lakeshore Produce. Proposition Chicken serves a short menu of chicken —either fried, “flipped” (grilled on a rotisserie), or “fake” (aka tofu) — on a sandwich, salad or a platter with side dishes. No word yet on an opening date, but we’ll keep you posted. Proposition Chicken will be at 3260 Lakeshore Ave. (near Lake Park Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Catfish, red snapper, sweet potatoes and collard greens from Nellie's. Photo: Nellie's Soulfood/Facebook
Catfish, red snapper, sweet potatoes and collard greens from Nellie’s. Photo: Nellie’s Soulfood/Facebook

NELLIE’S SOULFOOD LIKELY TO RETURN In other fried food news, West Oakland restaurant Nellie’s Soulfood is likely to make a comeback, according to the East Bay Express. Nellie’s closed back in June, and, at the time, owner Nellie Ozen said she was planning to reopen in a different, smaller location. It sounds like she’s found that spot, a bar nearby to the original Nellie’s Soulfood, at the intersection of 3rd and Adeline streets. She’s planning to take over the food operations, not the bar, and will serve a more limited menu of classics like oxtails, chitlins, fried fish and greens. Ozen told EBX that she hopes to hope by the second week of November.

Lao sausage sandwich from Pal's Takeaway. Photo: Kate Williams
Lao sausage sandwich from Pal’s Takeaway. Photo: Kate Williams

PAL’S TAKEAWAY OFFICIALLY BACK IN BUSINESS In August, shared the news that Pal’s Takeaway would be setting up shop at Forage Kitchen. While the opening took longer than expected, we are happy to share that the sandwich pop-up is now open at Forage’s café six days a week. Currently on owner Jeff Mason’s menu are four sandwiches, two salads, and a few side dishes. Beer, courtesy of Temescal Brewing, and wine are also available. Mason plans to add rotisserie chicken, “hippie bowls” and “Thanksgiving angel wings” soon. Pal’s Takeaway is at Forage Kitchen, 478 25th St. (between Broadway and Telegraph Avenue), Oakland. Connect with the sandwich shop on Twitter.

Poke Parlor

EVEN MORE POKE IN BERKELEY The poke invasion shows no sign of slowing — we just got wind of yet another poke restaurant, Poke Parlor, opening in Berkeley. Poke Parlor will replace the smoke shop Gypsy Trader at 2485 Telegraph Ave. According to the Daily Cal, Poke Parlor owner Jeffery Wang plans to offer Latin-inspired twists on the raw fish dish in addition to more classic Asian and Hawaiian flavors. Wang said he will be focused on serving sustainably sourced seafood and locally grown produce. Poke Parlor is set to open in late December or early 2017. Poke Parlor will be at 2485 Telegraph Ave. (between Haste Street and Dwight Way), Berkeley. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Instagram.

AUSTIN (FORMERLY TOAST) NO LONGER HAPPENING Only a few weeks after announcing its opening, Austin‘s owners Heather Sittig Jackson and Kristen Policy have called it quits. Austin was to be a Texas-style taco and margarita restaurant replacing Jackson and Policy’s Rockridge restaurant, Toast. Inside Scoop broke the news, but had few details, except for the fact that Jackson and Policy plan to sell the Toast restaurant space on College Anveue. A post on Austin’s Facebook page read: “Y’all, it’s hella sad but Austin isn’t happening. Long sad story.” We’ll keep you posted as we learn more.

True Food Kitchen in Austin, TX. Photo: True Food Kitchen/Facebook
True Food Kitchen in Austin, TX. Photo: True Food Kitchen/Facebook

TRUE FOOD KITCHEN AND LEMONADE OPEN Walnut Creek now has two new health-focused fast-casual restaurants — both True Food Kitchen and Lemonade are now open. True Food Kitchen was co-founded by Andrew Weil, and serves a menu of anti-inflammatory, vegetable-heavy dishes such as shiitake lettuce cups, edamame dumplings and ancient grain vegetable bowls. While much of the menu is vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free, True Food Kitchen is not totally austere in its approach; pizza, cocktails and even beer make an appearance. Lemonade has been slowly making its way to the Bay Area from Los Angeles, opening in a few vacated La Boulange spaces. The chain offers ready-made dishes like salads and sandwiches made with local, seasonal ingredients that are served cafeteria style. Menu items include roasted broccoli salad with ricotta and Champagne vinaigrette, seared ahi tuna with crushed orange-ginger ponzu, and fig and Tuscan kale salad with hazelnuts. True Food Kitchen is at 120 Broadway Ln. #4 (near South Main Street), Walnut Creek. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook and Instagram. Lemonade is at 1348 Broadway Plaza (at South Main Street), Walnut Creek. Connect with the restaurant on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Dinners and events

Dia de los Muertos 2015 at Calavera. Photo: Courtesy of Calavera
Día de los Muertos altar in 2015 at Calavera. Photo: Courtesy of Calavera

DÍA DE LOS MUERTOS AT CALAVERA Uptown Oakland’s Calavera will, once again, celebrate Día de los Muertos over the course of a full week. Starting Oct. 26, the interior of the restaurant will be transformed with an installation of marigold decorations, plus a festive altar of flowers, candles, ancestral foods and mezcal. Menu specials during the event include special mole dishes from various regions of Mexico, including uchepo Michoacán (sweet corn tamal, guajillo mole, corn air), cayo de hacha con mole blanco (seared Maine sea scallops, green garlic quelites, almond-white chocolate mole, American River caviar) and cordoniz con mole manchamanteles (achiote-marinated wood-grilled quail, piloncillo-chile arból butternut squash, pineapple mole). Specialty cocktails based on ancestral ingredients will also be available. Calavera is at 2335 Broadway (between 23rd and 24th streets), Oakland. Connect with the restaurant on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

What else is going on…

Photo: Wright & Brown/Facebook
Photo: Wright & Brown/Facebook

WRIGHT AND BROWN DISTILLING BRINGS ITS WHISKEY TO MARKET Oakland’s first whiskey distillery since Prohibition now has its booze on shelves. Wright & Brown Distilling Company‘s first whiskey, a lower-proof rye, is available in Oakland at Penrose, Radio, Luka’s Taproom, Lungomare, Wine on Piedmont, and Eddie’s Drive-In Liquors; in Emeryville at Branch Line and Propaganda; and in Berkeley at Ledger’s Liquors. The San Francisco Chronicle spoke with co-owners Dan Wright and Earl Brown, who said they are focused on producing spirits made with California-grown grains. At the distillery, Wright and Brown do everything from milling and mashing to barrel-aging and bottling, themselves. They are making use of a German-style pot still from Louisville, KY, which produces lower-proof, less-purified spirits that retain more of the flavor of the base grain. Eventually, Wright and Brown will offer other whiskey styles, including single malts, as well as brandy and rum. Connect with Wright & Brown Distilling Company on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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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...