Public Market Emeryville was sold, but don’t worry, the food court will remain
This week, San Francisco Business Times reported that Emeryville Public Market has been acquired by Canada-based Oxford Properties, which plans to refocus the 148,000-square-foot mixed-use building from retail to biotech and life sciences purposes. Despite the change, the new owners are keeping the popular food hall, which currently boasts 17 eateries, including Super Duper Burgers, Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement, Pig in a Pickle, Mama Lamees and Shiba Ramen. A representative for Oxford Properties told the SF Business Times the new owners consider the food court as an asset, “as it’s very successful and a great amenity for workers.”
Maureen Futtner, a spokesperson for Public Market Emeryville, told Nosh that diners who come to Public Market will not experience much change, but they may notice a parcel directly across from the food hall, near the train tracks, which will be converted to a life-science office building. “With that addition, we anticipate that numerous on-site workers will join the many people who patronize and enjoy Public Market’s food hall every day.” Futtner added that the management team at Public Market Emeryville, City Center Realty Partners, will continue “to manage and maintain an ownership interest in the property.”
Banh Mi and Rolls Factory opens on Euclid Avenue
Last Wednesday, Banh Mi and Rolls Factory debuted in the space that formerly housed Northside sandwich and smoothie depot, Hummingbird Cafe. As its name suggests, the new restaurant specializes in Vietnamese sandwiches and fresh spring rolls. Owner Khoi Xa is also behind Banh Mi & Rolls and The Pho, both in San Francisco. Xa told Nosh he decided to open a shop in Berkeley because of its proximity to UC Berkeley, despite the campus currently being closed due to the pandemic. According to Xa, since Banh Mi and Rolls Factory’s opening last week, he’s already seen several repeat customers, mainly Cal students and staff. (UC Berkeley announced Monday that it plans to reopen in the fall with “primarily in-person” classes).
Included among the eatery’s 14 varieties of bánh mi (priced at $4.50 for a mini, $7.50 for a full sandwich) are ones filled with traditional Vietnamese fillings, like grilled pork, sardines in tomato sauce, ham and head cheese, shredded chicken; there’s also a veg-friendly version with tofu and taro — of course, all are filled with do chua (shredded, pickled carrots and daikon), cilantro and fresh cucumber. The five varieties of spring rolls, or gỏi cuốn, ($6.50 each) feature different combinations of shrimp, pork, chicken, as well as a vegetarian option.
The new spot also serves several Vietnamese refreshments, including smoothies, fresh juices, Vietnamese coffee and dessert drinks like chè ba màu (three-color drink made with red bean, mung bean and pandan jelly). Current hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily, but Xa said he plans to expand hours to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the coming days. Banh Mi and Rolls Factory, 1814 Euclid Ave. (at Ridge Road), Berkeley
A new Berkeley pizza spot — Tony’s Style
While we’re talking Northside eateries, we noticed a new pizza joint has taken over the retail space last occupied by Pizzahhh, the slice shop started in 2013 by Top Dog’s Dick Reimann, who sold the business in 2019 to Sonam Ngodup and Lobsang Dorjee. Tony’s Style softly opened on Dec. 1, where it bakes up whole pies to-go ($20-$35, depending on size). It also serves chicken wings, and a noteworthy signature menu item — baguette pizzas — that remind us of a heartier version of an afterschool “delicacy” from our childhood, Stouffer’s French Bread Pizzas. Baguette toppings include garlic cheese, pepperoni and cheese, crab and shrimp, veggie trio, and one with brisket, caramelized onions and mushrooms. Tony’s Style is open from 5 p.m. to midnight, daily. Call or text 917-244-4797 to order. Tony’s Style, 2503 Hearst Avenue (near Euclid Avenue), Berkeley
Señor Sisig’s new downtown Oakland restaurant
In May, popular San Francisco Filipino fusion restaurant Señor Sisig started parking one of its six food trucks outside Spice Monkey Restaurant and Bar. While Spice Monkey closed at the end of June, the Señor Sisig truck remained, hawking its Filipino-inflected burritos, tacos, nachos, Crunch-a-dillas and other craveable eats that have won the eatery legions of fans over its 11 years. Last week, Señor Sisig made its Oakland residency more official — and permanent. Now operating out of the Spice Monkey restaurant, Señor Sisig is serving up its OG menu, along with its new vegan menu and this, its first East Bay brick-and-mortar location. Co-founder Evan Kidera told SF Eater that Señor Sisig decided to offer the meatless menu in Oakland after getting countless requests from fans of its new dedicated vegan food truck, which, for now, only operates in San Francisco. Lucky us, we get the best of both worlds. Señor Sisig’s Oakland hours are 11 a.m.to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Señor Sisig, 1628 Webster St. (at 17th Street), Oakland
A GoFundMe to help Pinky & Reds founder’s battle with cancer
Bernadine “Pinky” Sewell, chef and founder of Berkeley soul food business Pinky & Reds has started a GoFundMe campaign to help sustain her through cancer treatments. As first reported by the Daily Cal, Sewell was diagnosed with stage 3c colon cancer in August, and is seeking donations to cover her medical bills, along with living expenses. Pinky & Reds, her La Cocina-born soul food kiosk has been at UC Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union since 2018, but was forced to close when Cal shut down the campus in March due to the pandemic. Pinky & Reds is her sole means of income.
So far the campaign has raised more than $20,000 of its $250,000 goal. Sewell wrote an update on Jan. 10 to the campaign page, writing that she is concentrating on gaining strength and weight in preparation for chemo treatments that she’ll start this month. “My goals this week to “be able to get up out of the bed without holding on to the side of the covers to help pull myself up, to walk to the kitchen with my walker 3x a day, to eat 3 meals a day and manage my pain as best as I can,” Sewell wrote, adding that she is grateful for the donations and support from the community. Here’s hoping Sewell will return to the student union with her chicken sandwiches once she’s healthy and it’s safe.
Hidden Kitchen residencies at Hidden Cafe
For the last few months, the Hidden Cafe at Berkeley’s Strawberry Creek Park has opened its kitchen for culinary residencies to local food makers. Currently, there are six food businesses operating at “Hidden Kitchen”: Michoz from chefs Bilal Ali and Keone Koki, two of the three Broke Ass Cooks, whose Peruvian grilled chicken meal was one of our most memorable takeout experiences in 2020; Intu On, an Isaan Thai-California eatery from Kin Khao alumnus chef Intu Kornnawong; Cod Damn, a fish-and-chips pop-up from chef Seamus Gibney; Hella Bagels, the popular, pandemic-born bagel business from Blake Hunter; Sweet Love, gluten-free, refined sugar-free and vegan baked goods from Auset Selassie; and Berkeley roaster Rasa Caffe. Pre-order meals online from Michoz (for pickup or delivery on Saturdays and Sundays), Intu On (for pickup or delivery on Friday) and Cod Damn (for pickup or delivery on Tuesday); Hella Bagels pops up at Hidden Cafe from 8-11 a.m., Sundays. The Hidden Cafe, 1250 Addison St. (at Bonar Street), Berkeley