El Burro/Pollo Picante & Berzerk Burger

University Avenue taqueria El Burro Picante, opened in 2013, permanently morphed into spicy chicken sandwich joint El Pollo Picante back in the Year of Pandemic 2021, and now that whole location has abruptly closed. (Newcomer University Taqueria is already softly open in El Burro/Pollo’s place, see this week’s openings.) The team’s new burger joint Berserk Burger, opened across the street on University this spring, has also done a rapid switcheroo — but none of this news should be mourned too deeply as the whole shebang is now combined into one restaurant and renamed Cal’s Fried Chicken & Burgers, now operating at the formerly named Berserk Burger location. Berserk Burger was at 2026 University Ave. in Berkeley; El Burro/Pollo Picante was at 2021 University Ave. in Berkeley. Both businesses are now together at the 2026 University address and renamed Cal’s Fried Chicken & Burgers

Up & Under 2nd Pitch El Sobrante

It’s not a reopening just yet, but there is news for locals interested in helping to help rugby pub Up & Under’s 2nd Pitch location in El Sobrante, temporarily closed since early 2022, push through the scrum of zoning issues currently keeping it more under than up. Folks are welcome to attend a public hearing next Monday, Aug. 21, at 1:30 p.m., at 5216 Sobrante Ave., to help support the business and help get needed county approvals under way. The original Up & Under Pub and Grill, Point Richmond’s “proper rugby pub,” is open daily at 2 West Richmond Ave. in Point Richmond. 2nd Pitch El Sobrante at 5216 Sobrante Ave. in El Sobrante remains temporarily closed until further notice.

Wine & Waffles

Update, Aug. 24: Though we have yet to hear back from management, a kind Nosh tipster and Alameda business owner has let us know that Wine & Waffles is indeed permanently closed. (Unconfirmed) word on the street is that Ole’s plans to expand into the space.

Original post: There are plenty of rumors swirling on Nextdoor, and readers have concerns, but management has yet to respond to our inquiries on whether the closure of Wine & Waffles piano bar and restaurant, next door to Ole’s diner in Alameda, is only temporarily or permanently closed. Meanwhile, a kind Ole’s Waffle Shop staffer, also unable to confirm, guesses the wine bar will be shut for several months at least. We’ll update when and if we hear more. Wine & Waffles is temporarily closed at 1505 Park St. in Alameda.

Freelancer Joanna Della Penna has written about food, people and the arts in the Bay Area since moving here from the East Coast in 2001, and was Gayot's Northern California regional restaurant editor for...