February was once again a busy month for East Bay restaurants. Over a dozen have opened across Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville and Walnut Creek, while other restaurants, many of which are well-loved, have closed. We’ve got all the details on these changes below, plus a few more spots to look forward to in the coming weeks. As always, let us know if we’ve missed anything in the comments below.
DORA’S The revamped concept of A Dora Pie, now called Dora’s, opened yesterday on University Avenue. The new restaurant features 12 beer taps, all of which are from local, self-distributed breweries. (Six of the taps are exclusively from Fieldwork Brewing in West Berkeley). On the food menu are stuffed bunza sandwiches, pies and cookies. 1966 University Ave. (near Milvia), Berkeley Website / FacebookTENDER GREENS The new fast-casual healthy eatery opened in downtown Berkeley Feb. 15. Los Angeles-based Tender Greens offers “chef-inspired” salads and healthy plated meals with humanely-raised meats. The Berkeley location boasts a 1,000 square foot indoor dining area and a 1,300 square foot outdoor patio space. 2071 University Ave. (near Shattuck), BerkeleyWebsite / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
AG FERRARI After 27 years on College Avenue, the Italian specialty food store closed its doors abruptly on Feb. 6, due to the increased cost of doing business. The four other AG Ferrari locations in Oakland and San Francisco remain open. No word yet on the future of the space.
LE PETIT COCHON The casual French sister restaurant to Bistro Liaison closed in February. Owners Todd and Natalie Kniess said: “While we continue to be very successful, we have decided that it was time to let the next young, energetic entrepreneurs make their mark here in Berkeley.” Le Petit Cochon will become another location of Brazil Café. (The pair are also closing Bistro Liaison “around Mother’s Day,” according to Todd Kniess, and it will become a new French restaurant, Les Arceaux.)
DOUGHNUT DOLLY The Gilman district location of Doughnut Dolly closed Feb. 26 due to a rent dispute with the building’s landlord, Donahue Schriber. Owner Hannah Hoffman will, however, keep both her Oakland and San Francisco locations open, and is planning to hold pop-up events at coffee shops around Berkeley.
KC’S BAR-B-QUE The historic, family-run barbecue restaurant, which operated on San Pablo Avenue for close to 50 years, has closed, at least temporarily, after a fire destroyed much of the kitchen and dining area early in the morning of Feb. 17. KC’s Bar-B-Que is holding a fundraising event at San Pablo Park on March 4.
KATHMANDU MARKET AND DELI A new food market and deli from the owners of Kathmandu Imports will open in the former Fred’s Deli and Market space on Telegraph Avenue. (Fred’s closed last summer.) No set opening date yet, but a sign on the building’s exterior reads “Coming Soon.” 2521 Telegraph Ave. (between Dwight and Blake), BerkeleyPOMPETTE Headed to the former Café Rouge space will be Pompette, which will pick up where its predecessor left off, with friendly, ingredient-driven cuisine and an accessible wine bar. David and Caramia Visick (Chez Panisse, Bay Wolf, Oliveto) are behind the new restaurant, which is slated to open in late March. 1782 Fourth St. (at Delaware), BerkeleyWebsite / Instagram
AISLE 5 The new craft beer bar and eatery opened in the historic 3320 Grand Ave. building in mid-February. Aisle 5 pours 20 different local beers to pair with drink-friendly eats like chicken wings, wood-fired pizzas, smoked ribs and brisket. Its name is a reference to the building’s original tenant, a grocery store called Jenny Wren. 3320 Grand Ave. (between Lake Park and Mandana), OaklandWebsite / Facebook / Twitter / InstagramDAOL TOFU AND KOREAN BBQ A new Korean restaurant has opened in what was most recently Casserole House in Temescal. As its name implies, Daol Tofu & Korean BBQ specializes in tofu stew (soondobu), with twelve different varieties offered. A selection of Korean barbecue, noodle soups and fried rice are also all on the menu, in addition to an abundance of gratis side dishes. 4301 Telegraph Ave. (at 43rd), OaklandDRIP LINE A new coffee shop and café, Drip Line, has opened in West Oakland, specializing in both coffee and dishes with a Singaporean twist. Dishes include a breakfast sandwich with birds eye chile paste, kaya toast with house-made brioche, shrimp and grits spiced with sambal, beef rendang, and a koji fried chicken sandwich. 1940 Union St. Ste. 21 (between 19th and 21st), Oakland Website / FacebookEZ TAQUERIA Also in Temescal, a new taqueria has opened in the former Subway at 40th and Telegraph. It appears to offer a standard lineup of tacos, burritos and nachos, plus tamales. 4013 Telegraph Ave. (at 40th), Oakland
SEAWOLF Over in Jack London Square, the neighborhood pub Seawolf opened Feb. 14. The pub replaced the longtime Oakland Police Department hangout Warehouse Bar and Grill. Seawolf has a spruced up interior and a new American bar menu of dishes like beef and Guinness chili, Korean fried chicken sandwiches, beef shanks with tater tots, and cheddar cheese curds. 350 Fourth St. (at Webster), OaklandFacebookSHIBA RAMEN The second outpost for Emeryville’s Shiba Ramen opened last week in downtown Oakland. It offers an expanded version of the Emeryville menu, with a stronger focus on beer and sake. Co-owners Jake Freed and Hiroko Nakamura hired Danny Keiser (Camino) to run the kitchen in both Oakland and Emeryville, and he will continue to add new dishes as time goes on. 1438 Broadway (between 14th and 15th), OaklandWebsite / Facebook / Twitter / InstagramSPINNING DOUGH A new pizzeria opened in the former Red Buffalo wings spot in West Oakland at the beginning of the month. Spinning Dough has kept wings on the menu (but they’re baked) in addition to its lineup of 10 New York-style pizzas with toppings that range from traditional (Margherita) to decidedly not (salmon, red onions, yogurt, cucumber, capers). 2935 Market St. (at San Pablo Avenue), OaklandFacebookTHE WOLF On Feb. 8, The Wolf opened in the former Bay Wolf space on Piedmont Avenue. The new restaurant picks up where Bay Wolf left off, with modern touches — an open kitchen, slate grey accents, a revamped food menu — and deliberate nods to the original restaurant. Owners Rich and Rebekah Wood (Wood Tavern, Southie) are longtime friends of Bay Wolf’s former co-owner Michael Wild, and the Woods have extended an open invitation to Wild to work the front of house whenever he wants. 3865 Piedmont Ave. (at Rio Vista), OaklandWebsite
CHRISTOPHER’S BURGERS Back in October, we broke the news that Christopher’s Burgers on College Avenue would be closing to make way for Wingman, a new fried chicken and beer joint from the owners of Bowl’d. Christopher’s Burgers had been an neighborhood favorite, serving twists on American classics, like lamb burgers, pesto and oven-dried tomato burgers, and vegetarian chili burgers. The restaurant closed this month.
ENCUENTRO The long-running vegetarian wine bar closed at the tail end of January. Encuentro’s owners, Linda Braz and Lacey Sher, decided to close due to “the rising costs of doing business in an economy that is fraught with uncertainty,” they wrote on Facebook. Braz and Sher are, however, planning to host occasional pop-ups; we’ll keep you posted.
HAWKER FARE James Syhabout closed the Oakland location of his Thai restaurant Feb. 18. Citing “uncertainties” in the restaurant’s lease, Syhabout said that a new group of investors had bought Hawker Fare’s building and may be building apartments on the lot. Because he is on a month-to-month lease, he decided to step aside instead of waiting for his rent to increase. The San Francisco location remains open.
ARTHUR MAC’S TAP AND SNACK Headed to a new development near the MacArthur BART station is Arthur Mac’s, a family-friend beer garden and fast casual restaurant from Farm League Management Group (Westbrae Biergarten, Tigerlily, East Bay Spice Company). The restaurant is currently targeting early March for its opening date. We’ll keep you posted. 4006 Martin Luther King Jr. Way (at 40th), OaklandWebsite / Facebook / Twitter / InstagramFEDERATION BREWING TAPROOM It has taken nearly two years, but Federation Brewing now has an opening date for its taproom at 420 3rd St. — March 11. Federation has been contract brewing while it has been working on the taproom; it currently makes an IPA, a stout and a blonde ale. 420 3rd St. (between Franklin and Broadway) Website / Facebook / TwitterOLD KAN BEER & CO Tomorrow, the James Syhabout-Adam Lamoreaux brewery project will open in the former Linden Street space in West Oakland. Lamoreaux, the former head brewer for Linden, will head up beer production, and will focus on classic beer styles. Syhabout is working on the food menu, which will be more casual and beer-focused than its predecessor, The Dock. 95 Linden St. (near Third), OaklandWebsite / Twitter / Instagram
612ONE FUSION In Emeryville, 610One, the Asian fusion restaurant in the former Bucci’s space, opened last week. The restaurant serves a mash-up of American and pan-Asian dishes like spaghetti pad thai, grilled salmon with curry fried rice, and fish and Cajun french fries with Sriracha mayonnaise. 6121 Hollis St. (at 61st), EmeryvilleFacebookMOMO’S The San Francisco-based sports bar opened its first East Bay outpost in Walnut Creek earlier this month. MoMo’s has long been a popular watering hole for Giants fans, and, according to Inside Scoop, the restaurant decided to forgo opening in Alameda County, which is filled with A’s fans, to look for a location that is friendlier towards the Giants. MoMo’s took over the space most recently occupied by McCovey’s sports bar. 1444 North California Blvd. (at Bonanza), Walnut Creek Website / Facebook / TwitterNYUM BAI Early this month, Nite Yun, who runs a Cambodian pop-up called Nyum Bai (“eat rice”), opened a food stall in Emeryville’s Public Market. Nuym Bai offers a menu of street food based around noodle and rice bowls. Yun’s dishes harken back to the food that she grew up eating after her family immigrated to Stockton from Thailand. Yun has signed on for a six-month residency with an option to renew. 5959 Shellmound St., EmeryvilleWebsite / Facebook / Instagram
DA NANG KRUNG-THEP The Albany Thai-Vietnamese restaurant shuttered abruptly at the beginning of the month, following a rent dispute. Da Nang had been one of our go-to restaurants for Thai and Vietnamese food, especially its kao kha moo, a slightly sweet and anise-y braised pork dish. Owner Charlie Khamruang is currently in discussions with a lawyer to try to get help to reopen the restaurant.
MR. DEWIE’S EMERYVILLE The cashew-based ice cream company will be opening its second scoop shop in Emeryville’s Public Market in late March. (Its Albany location opened in March 2016.) Mr. Dewie’s serves dairy-free, gluten-free desserts made from cashew milk in flavors ranging from chocolate orange chip to caramel almond crunch. It also offers vegan baked goods and both vegan and non-vegan ice cream cones.
5959 Shellmound St., EmeryvilleWebsite / Facebook / Twitter / InstagramCORRECTION: We originally reported that Bistro Liaison had already closed, when in fact owner Todd Kniess says he plans to keep the restaurant open until “around Mother’s Day,” which is May 14. Apologies for the error.
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