‘Low vaccination rates’ prompt cancellation of East Bay wine festival

A $19 burger for Oakland, quarantine and wine in Berkeley, more Bites.

Lafayette’s Art & Wine festival is typically packed with food and drink vendors, as you can see from this photo of the 2018 event. Organizers have canceled the 2021 gathering as COVID-19 rates spike in the region. Credit: Lafayette Art & Wine Festival/Facebook

Organizers of the Lafayette Art & Wine Festival announced that this year’s event (scheduled for Sept. 18 and 19) has been canceled due to “a significant setback in the public health response to the pandemic, driven by the delta variant and low vaccination rates.” 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of the festival, which is known for scores of beer and wine booths, food from local vendors and multiple stages of live music acts. Event organizers hope to revive the fest in 2022.

A high profile Berkeley blaze caused thousands in losses at Pakistani standby Kabana, its owner told Berkeleyside Monday. Mohammad Chaudry’s spot, which has been a favorite of locals for well over a decade, suffered minor smoke damage in the fire. The subsequent power outage might have spoiled around $8,000 in food, he said, and a closure for cleanup could cost an additional $5,000 in lost revenue.

The Bay Area News Group’s beer correspondent took a trip to Livermore for his latest taproom trip. Jay R. Books took in Rivers End Brewing Co. (“a nice range of styles, with an emphasis on dark beers and kettle sours”), Altamont Beer Works (“I was particularly taken with Juice Above the Clouds”) and Homegrown Hops Brewing Co. (“the beer is brewed in a simple metal building across the lawn, but the magic all happens outside”).

Tribune, that upscale restaurant planned for Oakland’s Tribune Tower, will start slinging its $19 burgers next week. As Nosh reported last year, the trio of seasoned industry folks behind Downtown Oakland’s Town Revival have been plotting a “New American brasserie with French influence” in the high-profile space occupied by Tribune Tavern until a contentious landlord/tenant dispute last fall. The 8,400-square-foot restaurant will officially open on Aug. 27, the SF Chronicle reports, with that burger as well as dishes like trout amandine, steak au poivre and beef tartare. Those who want an advance look can snag a $50 “preview menu” ticket for the evenings of Aug. 20-22.  Tribune is at 401 13th St. (between Broadway and Franklin Streets) in Oakland.

If you’re looking for something to do this week, Berkeley’s hottest ticket might be Vintage Berkeley’s “Quarantine, Wine, Venice, Croatia, and You” event. At this outdoor and distanced shindig, the shop will be “pouring Croatian wine (where quarantine was invented!)” and  “pouring Venetian wine (where quarantine was perfected!).” You’ll be mingling with authors authors Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley, whose book “Until Proven Safe” “tracks the history and future of quarantine around the globe” (per its publisher description). The party runs from 6 – 7:30 p.m. on Thursday Aug. 19 in the backyard parking lot at 2949 College Ave. (near Ashby Avenue), Berkeley.

Eve Batey is Berkeleyside's interim Nosh editor. Email: eve@berkeleyside.org.