Despite the current reopening frenzy, restaurant owners are still making tough choices after 15 months of pandemic-related expenses — including, for some, whether or not to temporarily or permanently close. Some have bid very public farewells, some quietly shuttered for good months ago, but as we all know, dormancies and closures in the Covid era have become difficult to distinguish. As always, please let us know if you’ve had to say good-bye to a favorite spot at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ENEDINA TAQUERIA According to a couple of reliable Nosh tipsters, the Elmwood’s tiny Enedina Taqueria has quietly closed after a little over two years. Enedina Taqueria was at 3001 E Telegraph Ave.
THE KING’S FEET Vegan-Italian restaurant The King’s Feet boldly strode onto the Berkeley scene right at the start of the pandemic, and, sadly, tiptoed out this month, despite good reviews for its plant-based pizzas and pastas. Nosh has high hopes for whatever lands next inside the attractive space (with a parking lot) that was formerly Pizza Moda. Note: Sister plant-based restaurant The Butcher’s Son remains open and thriving at the downtown end of University. The King’s Feet was at 1401 University Ave.
WESTSIDE ORGANIC CAFE This Tibetan cafe with counter service in southwest Berkeley has closed, according to a tipster who noted the place’s emptiness at the end of May. Locals may recall when the Westside Organic team took over the 9th Street Cafe in late 2018. Westside Organic Cafe was at 2570 Ninth St.
BLUE BOTTLE COFFEE UPTOWN It’s hard to imagine any Blue Bottle cafe closing, but not even the highest-end coffee shops are immune to 15 months of pandemic. Lucky for fans, the other four Oakland locations remain open, but the Uptown location is no more. Blue Bottle Coffee was at 2001 Franklin St.
BUN MAM MIEN TAY This Vietnamese cafe, formerly Fung Wong Bakery, and known mainly for affordable banh mi, has closed and opened under new owners as V and J Fusion Vietnamese (see June 2021’s openings for more details). Bun Mam Mien Tay was at 833 International Blvd.
EL LORO This small, no-frills taqueria in the Laurel opened in early 2019, and recently closed. El Loro was at 3811 MacArthur Blvd.
HOMESTEAD In an announcement that took Bay Area diners by surprise, Homestead will shift permanently away from the Cal-seasonal upscale dining that made it so sought-after for eight years, and will instead operate exclusively as mid-pandemic pivot The Humble Sandwich going forward. Though Homestead signage might remain for a bit, the switch officially took place this month. Homestead was at 4029 Piedmont Ave.
LA ESTRELLITA CAFE & BAR A reader let us know that this decades-old Oakland Mexican neighborhood establishment, known as much for its festive gatherings and live music as its Mexican breakfasts and lunch and dinner staples, has gone dark. Attempts to reach the owners have failed, and the phone is disconnected. We hope we’re wrong, and please someone let us know if we are, but we believe the little star with historic charm and character, scene of 52 years of Oakland memories is closed for good. La Estrellita Cafe & Bar is at 446 E 12th St. in Oakland.
LOST AND FOUND After more than a year of dormancy, reader inquiries and uncertainty, this former convivial Oakland beer garden is now marked permanently closed on the usual online platforms. As with so many things during the pandemic, it is lost. Lost and Found was at 2040 Telegraph Ave.
ORCHIDS THAI This Piedmont Avenue Thai restaurant was notably shuttered by the Alameda County Health Department at least twice on Nosh’s watch, first in 2019, and again in December of 2020. This spring, the temporary shuttering became permanent, and the space is soon to receive a fresh start as Plaedek Thai, with a focus on Issan cuisine from Wawa Thai chef-owner Wawa Maneewan. Plaedek hopes to open in July. Orchids Thai was at 4133 Piedmont Ave.
WILD RABBIT BAKERY Condolences to the neighborhood (and, frankly, to all of us) over the loss of this sweet bakery. Wild Rabbit opened to much fanfare in late 2019, and did its best to cheer up its customers with British-style scones, French caneles and other delectables through the darkness of 2020. Despite the final outcome, rest assured their efforts worked. The space will soon reopen as a first storefront for Bake Sum pastries, currently operating out of The Bread Project in Berkeley. Wild Rabbit Bakery was at 3249 Grand Ave.
CHINA HOUSE RESTAURANT Nosh is sorry not to have reported on this notable closure earlier: As we learned through a reader, Alameda’s China House permanently shuttered in May, having fed generations of island locals and visitors since 1968. The restaurant’s many fans appreciated its affordable, good-quality regional Chinese cuisine and attentive service for more than half a century, and its nostalgic feel remained steady until the end, and will be missed. China House Restaurant was at 2328 Santa Clara Ave. in Alameda.
COFFEE SHOP LAFAYETTE The Lafayette location of Coffee Shop is no longer, but the good news is it has transitioned into the new Lafayette Public House (see June 2021’s openings for more information) that serves coffee, among many other things. Coffee Shop Lafayette was at 50 Lafayette Circle in Lafayette.
FUDO Fudo Japanese eatery in Walnut Creek, known best for slices of matcha crepe cake and boba teas, closed during the pandemic. Fudo was at 1385 N Main St. in Walnut Creek.
MONSTER PHO #2 As previously noted, Monster Pho #2 has temporarily morphed into a “kitchenette” operation, to help boost delivery and to-go orders, and is closed to the public for now. Monster Pho’s Oakland location (#1) remains open as usual. Monster Pho #2 is at 3900 Adeline St. in Emeryville.
TAKE. EAT. EASY. The Southside neighborhood’s Sather Lane has many current dormancies, including this combination Asian Fusion takeout and convenience store. A note on the door says they will return in July. Take. Eat. Easy is at 2433G Durant Ave. in Berkeley.
T-TOUST Another hibernating restaurant among the Sather Lane shops is affordable Korean counter T-Toust. The family-owned eatery also hopes to reopen next month to greet returning students. T-Toust is at 2433F Durant Ave. in Berkeley.