It’s always a shock to discover that your go-to cafe has gone for good, seemingly without notice. In our weekly reports, we at Nosh seek to track every notable East Bay restaurant closure; we then reorganize them by region for this, our monthly report.
Since, unlike restaurant openings, these shutdowns often happen quietly, your tips and emails are what keeps this column going. They’re always welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Berkeley restaurant closures
Gold Leaf Cafe
3/1/23 In March of 2020, Nosh joined some friends upstairs at this cozy-but-lively Berkeley cafe for an afternoon of coffee and conversation; it turned out to be the last such easy gathering before lockdown happened days later, for us a unique, indelible memory.
Many locals have their own special relationship with this small, pretty space opened by owner Leanne Shamzad in early 2018. The sweet cafe was always flush with fresh flowers, a lending library, subtle, gold-tipped details and signage and, most importantly, good coffee and tea drinks and locally made pastries.
It managed to survive the worst of the pandemic years, while a good part of that neighborhood went dark, providing area locals and masked neighborhood office and business staffers with caring counter service. It will always be appreciated for those efforts.
In happy news (though bittersweet for the Gold Leaf community), Shamzad has chosen to close the coffee shop to focus on family; the cafe’s last day is Mar. 3. Gold Leaf Cafe was at 1947 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in Berkeley.
Tai San Restaurant
2/23/23 In yet another loss for folks fond of reliable, comforting and affordable Chinese takeout, longstanding Elmwood institution Tai San will shutter at the end of the month, its owner confirmed to Nosh.
It seems like Tai San has always occupied its spacious storefront on Telegraph Avenue, and records online suggest that it’s been open for over 30 years, serving up standards like General Tso’s chicken, chow fun and won ton soup. The restaurant’s run is ending, its owner said, due to “not enough business, rent, everything, you know! Everything.” Sadly, we do know, all too well.
You have through Feb. 28 to join local luminaries in the multi-level dining room, or to place your last orders for takeout or delivery before the restaurant goes dark for good. Tai San was at 2811 Telegraph Ave., in Berkeley. — Eve Batey
Oakland restaurant closures
2/7/23 The Chronicle shared the discovery that Burma Bear, a popular Burmese and barbecue restaurant in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood, just announced on its website that is has permanently closed after almost seven years.
Burma Bear’s Instagram announcement had a bit more detail: “Due to changes in restaurant economics, it is no longer possible for us to be a viable business,” said the note to customers from chef-owner Hubert Lim. “Thank you all so much for your support for all the years.”
The post was flooded with comments from regulars and sad members of the community who loved the restaurant’s combination of kind service, Burmese flavors and barbecue. Burma Bear was at 325 19th St. in Oakland.
2/7/23 A two-alarm fire the evening of Feb. 4 has temporarily shuttered Eve’s Waterfront in Oakland’s Jack London Square. The handsome restaurant on the water is generally open for private events and weekend brunch — the fire occurred a little after 7 p.m., when the restaurant was already closed, so luckily no one was harmed.
Owner Eve Malki told Nosh that she expects the restaurant to be closed for “about two weeks,” and asks that patrons keep an eye on its website for reopening information. Update Feb. 27: Eve’s will be closed for the rest of 2023, a note on its website reads, as “the damage was extensive enough to have us closed for the foreseeable future, likely a year.” Eve’s Waterfront is at 15 Embarcadero West in Oakland.
2/23/23 Longtime Saturn Cafe fans were rightfully intrigued when the famed vegetarian diner reopened for take-out and delivery inside the Adeline Food Hall in early 2022. The retro hangout known for comfort foods such as nachos, fries, milkshakes and tasty veg sandwiches was founded in Santa Cruz in 1979, and boasted popular locations in Berkeley near Cal and, later, Los Angeles. Both of those closed in recent years, along with the original location that sadly did not survive the pandemic.
Apparently, this last little Saturn moon has since also departed, in an exit so quiet we have no idea when it floated off, mostly likely October 2022, said an Adeline Food Hall staffer. Still, it should be marked. So long, for real this time, Saturn Cafe. Saturn Cafe was inside the Adeline Food Hall, 5325 Adeline St. in Oakland.