NBA great Scottie Pippen grabbed coffee in Berkeley; Hello Kitty’s treat truck will stop in the East Bay

Also: Cafe Ohlone mulls its future; Monster Pho hibernates; more

Former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen (l) and Nick Cho (r) at Berkeley’s Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters on June 10, 2021. Credit: Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters/Instagram
  • Nick Cho, the co-owner of Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters, tells Nosh that he was taken by surprise when retired basketball superstar Scottie Pippen stopped by his company’s Berkeley location Tuesday. According to Cho, Pippen’s “manager (or whoever he was with who sure seemed like a manager or rep) brought him by” Wrecking Ball’s cafe at 1600 Shattuck Ave. — coincidentally, while Cho, himself, was “there shooting an interview with CNBC.” According to Cho, Pippen and his team made the pit stop on their way to Napa, where the former athlete was set to do a promotion for a spirits brand.
  • The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck, an extremely pink food truck that serves up Sanrio-branded snacks and associated merchandise, will make a stop in Walnut Creek on Saturday June 12. It’ll be parked at Broadway Plaza in the Event Plaza near Macy’s, where it will sling Madelines and “giant Hello Kitty Cafe chef cookies” from from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Local author Larissa Zimberoff‘s new book, “Technically Food: Inside Silicon Valley’s Mission to Change What We Eat,” spends some time with East Bay food tech companies like Berkeley-based Regrained, “which uses spent grain from brewing beer to make flour, energy bars and other items.” According to Zimberoff, these food companies “start out with technology that’s proprietary, which is how they get funding, it’s only later that they learn how to make their product delicious or sell it.” (J Weekly)
  • East Bay Vietnamese micro-chain Monster Pho temporarily shuttered its Emeryville location at the beginning of the pandemic, telling Nosh then that moving all its operations to its Oakland spot was the best way to stay afloat and keep staffers safe. The restaurant announced Tuesday that its takeout operation is now booming, and that it needs a larger kitchen space. That’s why the Emeryville location will shutter to customers (at least for now) and will become “Monster Pho Kitchenette,” which will “support our growing Oakland location with to-gos, Doordash & Dining.” (Monster Pho/Instagram)
  • Berkeley’s Cafe Ohlone is the world’s only Ohlone restaurant, but since it lost its space inside the now-shuttered University Press Books last summer, it’s been restricted to pop-up events and meal kit sales. The hope, founders Vincent Medina and Louis Trevino said, is to reopen inside UC Berkeley’s Hearst Museum of Anthropology — a complicated thing, given the long-held institutional mistreatment of indigenous cultures by museums and the Western anthropological community. That’s why this June 10 webinar, with Medina, Trevino, and UC Berkeley professor Kent Lightfoot should be a gripping discussion: the trio will talk over the restaurant’s future plans, “as well as the history of relationship building that led to this moment of collaboration today.” The talk runs from 11 a.m. to noon on Thursday, and you can register for it here.
Eve Batey is Berkeleyside's interim Nosh editor. Email: eve@berkeleyside.org.