Alameda restaurant closure
8.17.23: Though we have yet to hear back from management, a kind Nosh tipster and Alameda business owner has let us know that Wine and Waffles is indeed permanently closed. (Unconfirmed) word on the street is that Ole’s plans to expand into the space. Wine & Waffles was at 1505 Park St. in Alameda.
Berkeley restaurant closures
Ben & Jerry’s Berkeley
8.25.23: For 13 years, the bright, welcoming Ben & Jerry’s ice cream parlor on Center Street was a fixture of downtown Berkeley, the city being a natural choice for the famously socially minded Vermont-based company (yes, even after their sale to Unilever). Ben and Jerry themselves sometimes visited to hand out “Free Scoop Day” scoops, Jerry as recently as April of this year. No reasons were given for the closure. Luckily, fans probably already know that along with local grocery retail, catering options and direct delivery of pints, they can still get fresh Ben & Jerry’s scoops at the remaining East Bay parlor in Oakland’s Jack London Square, or travel to San Francisco. Ben & Jerry’s was at 2130 Center St. in Berkeley.
Blaze Pizza Berkeley
8.31.23: Thanks to the reader who let us know that Blaze Pizza’s “closed for the summer” door sign is no longer accurate, and that the Berkeley location is now marked permanently closed on both Yelp and the main Blaze website. The phone is also disconnected. This is surprising given the two-year-old, fast-casual pizzeria’s seemingly high popularity with students. Blaze Pizza was at 2400 Bancroft Way in Berkeley.
8.25.23: The good people at Berkeley’s 10-year-old Easy Creole wrote Nosh to let us know about their closure at the end of August, as also noted on Yelp. “Just a heads up that Easy Creole is closing, and we are looking for someone who wants to continue the legacy or open a new concept to come in and take over,” they wrote in an email. Easy Creole was at 1761 Alcatraz Ave. in Berkeley.
El Burro/Pollo Picante & Berzerk Burger
8.17.23: 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. The team’s new burger joint, Berserk Burger, that 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.
Emeryville restaurant closure
Touch of Soul (Moving)
8.31.23: Emeryville locals are well familiar with this San Pablo Avenue soul food eatery — the no-frills spot has been serving up fried chicken and fish plates for 12 years. Touch of Soul has moved into the former Emeryville location of Monster Pho (now located in Oakland on 40th). Touch of Soul’s original location closed Aug. 25 and the new spot opened Sept. 2. Touch of Soul was at 4336 San Pablo Ave. in Emeryville. The eatery’s new address is 3900 Adeline St. in Emeryville.
Oakland restaurant closures
The Lumpia Company (24th Street)
8.10.23: Filipino favorite The Lumpia Company, featuring the addictive cooking of chef Alex Retodo and co-owned by rapper E-40, have closed their location on 24th St. in Oakland and completed their move to Brooklyn Basin. There they have joined retail and restaurants in the Oakland waterfront’s burgeoning 9th Avenue Terminal Building. The Lumpia Company at 372 24th St. in Oakland is now closed and The Lumpia Company at 288 9th Ave. in Oakland is now open.
8.10.23: Slug natural wine bar celebrated its final night in style on Aug. 4 with a party that went on into the wee hours. The sister venue to Snail Bar was here for a good time, but not a long time — the closure after one year was due to “personal reasons” according to the Instagram announcement, and hints at a possible new location in the future. (It also notes the beautiful space in the Lionel J. Wilson building is available for private events for the moment, and also up for grabs as a turnkey venue.) “This has been a wild ass ride,” concludes the closing note. “So many beautiful moments. We love you guys and thank you.” Slug was at 102 Frank G. Ogawa Plaza in Oakland.
San Ramon restaurant closure
Chow Bishop Ranch
8.31.23: It’s hard not to think of Chow as the little restaurant that almost could. The long-time comfort food brand, once known for its small empire of welcoming restaurants in San Francisco (where Chow and Park Chow were favorites for decades) and later Oakland, Danville and Lafayette, closed one by one and sputtered to a “final” close in Lafayette in 2019. Then, back from the dead, Chow relaunched in late 2022 inside San Ramon’s food-forward Bishop Ranch complex, where it seemed to do well as a restaurant, bar and market. Now, even this latest iteration has taken its last breath. According to an Instagram closing announcement, “with your gracious support, we were almost there, but we just ran out of time.” Ciao, Chow. Perhaps we’ll see each other again? Chow Bishop Ranch is at 6000 Bollinger Canyon Rd., Suite 1100, in San Ramon, and will close for good after service on Sept. 10.