Tacubaya opened in a new and improved space, two doors down from its original location on Fourth Street in Berkeley. Photo: Sarah Han



BUTCHER’S SON Popular downtown Berkeley vegan butcher shop and deli reopened across the street from its former location on July 5, taking over the large space last occupied by cheese shop-restaurant Maker’s Common. The new building boasts a bigger kitchen, as well as a retail space, where a selection of faux meats and cheeses, grab n’ go items, take n’ bake items and products from local businesses are for sale. The move has been an upgrade for The Butcher’s Son, which was often packed to the gills with hangry diners, especially during weekend brunch hours and peak lunch time. The new spot has more tables for diners, including a peaceful back outdoor garden area. The Butcher’s Son, 1954 University Ave. (between MLK and Milvia), Berkeley

Pepperoni and Margherita Kones from Kono Pizza in Berkeley. Photo: Sarah Han

KONO PIZZA This multi-national fast food chain from Italy specializes in cone-shaped pizzas. The parbaked cone crusts are filled with cheese, sauce and toppings once ordered, then put in a rotating pizza oven to bake. We stopped in on Kono’s second day of business and ordered two cones — the Margherita and Pepperoni (its most popular “Kone”). The cooking process took a bit longer than you’d expect for “fast food” and Kono isn’t going to be our go-to slice cone, but we actually enjoyed this novelty food more than we had expected to. The cone itself had a nice crust and chew. Kono offers several other savory toppings, including meatball, sausage and chicken parm; as well as sweet dessert Kones. Kono Pizza, 2282 Fulton St. (between Bancroft and Kittredge), Berkeley

LILLY THAI KITCHEN We missed this one in our June roundup. Lilly Thai Kitchen in West Berkeley took over for Mim Thai Cuisine last month. It offers standard Thai dishes, like crab fried rice, chicken satay, papaya salad, pad kee mao and panang curry. Lilly Thai Kitchen, 1453 Dwight Way (at Sacramento), Berkeley

SANCHA BAR Downtown Berkeley’s newest boba shop is the third Bay Area location for the tea chain. It joins locations in Oakland and Milpitas. Like many boba spots, Sancha Bar offers a variety of milk teas and fruit teas with the regular toppings, but what sets Sancha apart is that it features fresh fruit in its drinks. Popular drinks here include the rose milk tea, pineapple king green tea and strawberry black tea. To eat, Sancha offers Spam musubi. Sancha Bar, 2041 University Ave. (between Milvia and Shattuck), Berkeley

TACUBAYA This month, Fourth Street’s popular fast-casual taqueria Tacubaya moved into a larger, brighter space two doors down. The former Pompette space is a vast upgrade from its original location, with great natural lighting, more indoor seating, a full bar and an upstairs mezzanine area for private parties. Owner Dona Savitsky first opened Tacubaya 15 years ago (she’s also behind Doña Tomas in Temescal), offering a menu of flavorful Mexican fare (tacos, tamales, chile rellenos, tostadas and more) prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients. With the move, Tacubaya has retained its menu, but will eventually add catering and dinners-to-go, and its new-and-improved bar offers a selection of mezcal and tequila drinks to wet your whistle. Tacubaya, 1782 4th St. (near Delaware), Berkeley

TEATIME This new boba spot opened at the end of June, taking the place of hot pot restaurant Peak Point. In addition to fruit teas, milk teas and smoothies laden with tapioca balls, sago, puddings and salty creama, Teatime offers a menu of Taiwanese snacks, like potstickers, fried chicken and egg puff waffles. Teatime, 2502 Telegraph Ave. (at Dwight), Berkeley 

ZINO The new restaurant in downtown Berkeley’s Hotel Shattuck Plaza soft opened in July. Zino is a modern Mediterranean restaurant, headed by chef Brandon Hicks. Here, you’ll find flavors and dishes of traditional Mediterranean dishes — like tagines and mezze plates — with a modern, elevated twist. Zino’s bar features signature craft cocktails, wines and local craft beers. Zino, 2086 Allston Way (near Shattuck), Berkeley


HS LORDSHIPS Berkeley’s nearly 50-year-old Hs Lordships (199 Seawall Dr., Berkeley) closed on July 1. Over the years, the massive waterfront restaurant played venue for many banquet dining experiences, such as proms, conventions, galas and holiday meals. It was also known for its brunch. One week before its planned closure, most of the restaurant’s staff on hand walked out in protest to the offered severance package, leaving a chaotic dining room where the remaining staff (and even some customers) were scrambling to finish the brunch service. Despite the unrest, Hs Lordships stayed open for the last week, culminating in a final farewell brunch.

ORIGINAL DINER This throwback ’50s-style diner in downtown Berkeley (2240 Shattuck Ave.) quietly closed this summer. It was once an Original Mels location. Sometime in 2006, it dropped Mels from its name but continued to serve burgers and fries, shakes and sandwiches.



Belcampo restaurant and butcher shop in Jack London Square. Photo: Sarah Han

BELCAMPO The new Oakland flagship location of Belcampo is the first East Bay retail space for Anya Fernald’s meat company. It’s also its largest. The butcher shop and farm-to-table restaurant is found within a 7,000 square foot space, featuring seating for 230 guests, including an outdoor area on the waterfront and a private dining room, as well as a large butcher counter, where customers can take home custom cuts of meat. Like its other restaurants, Belcampo Jack London Square boasts a menu of organic, sustainably raised and grass-fed meat from its own farm near Mt. Shasta. Chef Brett Halfpap, formerly of Belcampo Santa Monica, offers some of Belcampo’s well-loved signature dishes on his menu but has developed dishes just for this Oakland location too. The restaurant’s bar menu, curated by Josh Goldman of Soigné Group, concentrates on craft cocktails. Belcampo Jack London Square, 55 Webster Square (near Embarcadero West), Oakland

CREOLE CREED Last month, Oakland’s Plum Cocktail Bar started a new project, offering up its kitchen for short-term residencies to a variety of talented, sometimes lesser-known chefs. Following the first residency in June by chef Keith Corbin (Alta Adams) is Oakland’s Creole Creed, a Louisiana-Creole catering company run by a mother-daughter team. Some of its specialties include po’ girl sliders, baked smokey mac & cheese, and a shrimp and crawfish étouffée. Creole Creed will be at Plum, offering dinner Tuesday through Saturday and brunch on Sundays, through the end of September. Creole Creed at Plum Cocktail Bar, 2216 Broadway (at West Grand), Oakland

Kai Yang and Som Tum at Farmhouse Kitchen in Jack London Square. Photo: Farmhouse Kitchen

FARMHOUSE KITCHEN Husband-wife team Kasem “Pop” Saengsawan and Iing Chatterjee have opened the third location of their popular Thai restaurant Farmhouse Kitchen in Jack London Square this month (other locations are in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon). Farmhouse is the duo’s second Oakland restaurant, following Daughter Thai, which opened last year in Montclair Village. Farmhouse Kitchen Oakland takes the spot once occupied by Jack’s Oyster Bar and takes full advantage of its waterfront patio space, as well as a sleek marble bar with seating inside. Both Farmhouse Kitchen and Daughter Thai are known for their colorful pops of color, in food and decor, and guests will not be disappointed at this new location. The Jack London Square location opened with a similar menu (including popular dishes like its Thai fish cakes, Panang Neua and Hat-Yai Fried Chicken) to its SF location, but Chatterjee told Nosh to expect some new dishes to come. It also serves a menu of Asian-inspired craft cocktails. Farmhouse Kitchen, Jack London Square, 336 Water St., Oakland

HALAL GUYS On July 27, NY-based chain Halal Guys opened its newest East Bay location in Uptown Oakland. As with its other spots, it offers gyro, chicken and falafel served in platters or sandwiches, with its signature white sauce and hot sauce. The Uptown location follows Bay Area openings in San Francisco and downtown Berkeley. The Halal Guys, 2214 Broadway St. (at West Grand), Oakland

HUANGCHENG NOODLE Over in Chinatown, Huangcheng Noodle specializes in saucy, soupy and stir-fried dishes made with hand-cut noodles, including noodles with pickled mustard greens and shredded pork sauce, braised pork rib noodle soup, and tomato and egg fried noodles. A variety of other Chinese dishes are offered, from kung pao chicken, sweet and sour pork ribs and fried rice to spicy chicken gizzard, stewed chicken feet and pig ears with garlic. Huangcheng Noodle, 734 Webster St. (at 8th), Oakland

A Diner Burger at Lovely’s at The Lodge on Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. Photo: Andrew C./Yelp

LOVELY’S A new pop-up has joined Aburaya at Piedmont Avenue watering hole, The Lodge. Lovely’s offers three burgers (the Diner Burger, Chili Burger and Veg Burger) and a fried chicken sandwich, as well as sides like hush puppies, fried mushrooms and french fries that you can get plain or topped with chili. Lovely’s menu is available at The Lodge three days a week, 4-11 p.m. Saturday; 4-10 p.m. Sunday and Monday. Lovely’s, The Lodge, 3758 Piedmont Ave. (at MacArthur), Oakland

MOUNTAIN MIKE’S The fourth Oakland location of Palo Alto-based pizza chain Mountain Mike’s opened in Montclair Village this month, joining other locations in Temescal, East Oakland and Uptown. Mountain Mike’s, 2042 Mountain Blvd. (at LaSalle), Oakland

PEET’S A new Peet’s café opened in Uptown in Latham Square. It’s found on the ground floor of the ornate Cathedral Building. As with its other locations, Peet’s offers coffee drinks, teas, pastries and breakfast sandwiches. Peet’s, 1615 Broadway (near 16th), Oakland

ROMO’S CAFFÉ This new café in East Oakland got its start at the Laney College flea market. Its founder, Oakland resident Laura Hernandez, started Romo in 2010 as a coffee stand at the weekly Sunday event. Now, her new brick-and-mortar café serves coffee drinks, as well as Semifreddi pastries, breakfast items, sandwiches and salads. Romo’s Caffé, 5395 Bancroft Ave. (at Fairfax), Oakland 


BARREL ROOM The Oakland outpost of the wine bar-restaurant The Barrel Room (at 5330 College Ave.) quietly closed on June 30, slipping past our notice until July. Co-owner and certified sommelier Sarah Trubnick told Nosh that ongoing problems with the landlord led to the closure. The Barrel Room’s San Francisco location remains open, as well as a new restaurant called Parigo, which Trubnick and business partner Carolyn Johnson opened in the Marina District last year.

Marica on College Avenue in Rockridge is currently closed. It will reopen in August as Pizza Marica. Photo: Marica Restaurant

MARICA Chef Christopher Cheung’s Asian-fusion seafood restaurant in Rockridge (5301 College Ave.) closed this month but plans to reopen in August with a new concept. When it returns, it’ll be called Pizza Marica.

RUDY’S CAN’T FAIL CAFÉ The second location of the East Bay diner named after a Clash song closed this month. Rudy’s Can’t Fail Café at 1805 Telegraph Ave. in Oakland’s Uptown shuttered on July 26 after more than seven years in business. Opened in 2011 by co-owners Jeffery Bischoff, Steve Mills and Green Day’s Mike Dirnt, it was a follow up to the first location in Emeryville (4081 Hollis St.), which remains open. So far there are no details about why the restaurant closed or what will open in its place.



NYC-based Korean fried chicken chain Bonchon has opened a new East Bay location in San Leandro. Photo: Bonchon

BONCHON Following the opening of its Berkeley location last December, NYC-based chain Bonchon softly opened its newest East Bay location in San Leandro (it also has a location in Newark and one to come in Pleasanton). As with its other outposts, Bonchon in San Leandro offers made-to-order Korean fried chicken, in wing, strip or drumstick format, as well as bibimbap, chicken katsu and tteokbokki (fried rice cakes), potstickers, Korean tacos, salads and more. Bonchon, 1275 Washington Ave. (near Davis), San Leandro

NOBILIS A new waterfront diner opened in Richmond this month at Point San Pablo Harbor. Under the helm of chef Todd Corboy, Nobilis Restaurant serves seasonal, local and sustainably sourced fare for weekend brunch and lunch. Call itself a “finer diner,” it offers refined comfort food — like burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, a Po’BOLT (oyster po’boy sandwich meets BLT)  and clam chowder. To drink, you’ll find beers from local Richmond breweries East Brother and Benoit Caspar on tap and a surprisingly varied selection of wines from around the world. Nobilis Restaurant, Point San Pablo Harbor, 1900 Stenmark Dr., Richmond

Tarte au pommes at Pâtisserie Rotha in Albany. Photo: Pâtisserie Rotha

PÂTISSERIE ROTHA Apologies to those who read last month’s list of openings and closings, where we erroneously included this new French bakery in Albany. Pâtisserie Rotha was originally slated to open on June 30 (our list was published one day before), but the opening got pushed back a month. Well, hopefully, the wait was worth it. The shop comes from Rotha Ieng, a baker who earned his French pastry chops in Paris, working with Pierre Hermé. Pâtisserie Rotha offers classic French pastries (yes, there will be butter!) like croissants, cannelé, Kouign-amann, brioche, tartes and tartlettes. The bakery’s hours are 7:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m., Wednesday through Friday; 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; closed Monday and Tuesday. Pâtisserie Rotha1051 San Pablo Ave. (between Marin and Dartmouth), Albany  

THE HUNTER A husband-and-wife team are behind Alameda’s newest pub, The Hunter. Taking over where Shamrock Irish Pub left off, The Hunter has scrubbed the pub of three clovers, bringing in more of a vintage refined, but homey vibe with dark walls, tufted furniture, portraits of long-gone Brits and Scottish decor details. The Hunter specializes in craft cocktails (including some made with local spirits from St. George Spirits and Hangar 1), as well as beer and wine. The Hunter, 1403 Webster St. (at Central), Alameda

WOJIA HUNAN CUISINE A new Chinese restaurant specializing in spicy Hunan cuisine softly opened at the end of July within the former location of all-you-can-eat hot pot restaurant, V-Pot. The restaurant opened on July 28, but we were unable at the time of publication to get more details about its offerings. Wojia Hunan Cuisine, 917 San Pablo Ave. (near Solano Ave.), Albany


NAVI KITCHEN On July 1, Preeti Mistry and Ann Nadeau quietly closed Navi Kitchen, their one-year-old Emeryville café (5000 Adeline St.) that specialized in pizzas, breakfast sandwiches and other comfort foods made with Indian-inspired flavors. They announced the closure via Instagram, writing: “We’ve decided to close and move on to other things in our lives.” Navi Kitchen was Mistry and Nadeau’s second East Bay restaurants after their popular Juhu Beach Club in Temescal, which closed in January. Although the restaurant had grown its own fanbase, it never quite took off with the area. As for what’s next? Mistry told Eater that fans can expect to see a new version of Juhu Beach Club return in the future.

Salute e Vita was located on the Richmond waterfront. Photo: Salute e Vita

SALUTE E VITA This 25-year-old Italian restaurant on the Richmond waterfront (1900 Esplanade Dr.) closed its doors on July 6, following owner Menbere Aklilu’s continued struggles with Virtual Development, the building owners. During her years as owner, Ethiopian immigrant and domestic abuse survivor Aklilu became an active community member in Richmond, raising money for others in need, including other survivors of domestic violence, those experiencing homelessness, low-income families and other vulnerable communities. (Read more about Salute E Vita and Aklilu’s story on Nosh).

Sarah Han was the editor of Nosh from 2017 to 2021. Previously, she worked as an editor at The Bold Italic, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. In 2020, Sarah won SPJ NorCal's...