Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mid-Week Menu: Old Brooklyn, New Greek, and Pop-Up Sweets

By Luke Tsai
Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our weekly roundup of East Bay food news.

1) About a month ago we reported that Authentic Bagel Company’s plans to turn Rockridge’s Cafe Zoe (6000 College Ave.) into a bagel cafe and deli had fizzled due to disagreements with the Cafe Zoe owners. ABC co-owners (and brothers) Mark and Jason Scott subsequently opened a smaller, somewhat less ambitious retail space in Jack London Square — the shop made its debut this past Sunday. But Our Oakland blogger Gene Anderson relays this interesting tidbit: Cafe Zoe has now morphed into Old Brooklyn Bagels & Deli, which is up and running and boiling its own bagels, according to one Chowhound report. The place doesn’t appear to have publicized its website or phone number yet (and there was no answer at the old Cafe Zoe number), but I’ll pass on additional details as I learn them.

2) Tough times for small independent coffee shops: In the wake of Remedy Coffee’s sudden shuttering, I just found out that cozy Adams Point neighborhood spot Cafe 504 — among other things, a purveyor of excellent baked goods — is closed indefinitely. Owner Jamie Fasanella is attempting to scrounge up some funds to bring her business out of debt, so if you’ve ever wanted a stake in the coffee biz, you might want to give her a holler.

3) Inside Bay Area reports that there was a fire at the Berkeley location of Everett & Jones (1955 San Pablo Ave.) late on Monday night. Fortunately, damage was limited to the building’s exterior.

4) Uptown’s CommonWealth wasn’t so lucky — a few weeks ago, What the Fork relayed the unfortunate news that a fire had forced the popular pub to close until further notice. On a happier note: East Bay Dish reports that CommonWealth will be holding a pop-up event at the Linden Street Brewery this Saturday, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. “Down but not out,” as the Facebook post announcing the pop-up put it.

Allegedly, Mayor Quan snagged a cupcake during Sweet Bars last Art Murmur pop-up.
  • Allegedly, Mayor Quan snagged a cupcake during Sweet Bar's last Art Murmur pop-up.
5) Diablo Dish brings word that a new certified-organic Greek restaurant is coming to downtown Berkeley this fall: Pathos Restaurant & Bar (2430 Shattuck Ave.) will be helmed by Nicholas Eftimiou, an alum of San Francisco’s Kokkari and Palo Alto’s Evvia. It sounds like Eftimou is going for a similar Cal-Greek, ingredient-driven approach, but at a lower price point.

6) A few months ago, What the Fork first reported on Sweet Bar Bakery, the new project from veteran baker Mani Niall, who — among other achievements — once served as Michael Jackson’s personal chef. Construction on the 2355 Broadway shop is well underway, with the official opening expected sometime later this summer. In the meantime, Niall has been hosting a series of pop-ups in front of the bakery on Art Murmur Fridays — the next one is scheduled for this Friday, August 3rd, from 6 p.m. until he sells out.

7) Bay Area Bites has a thoughtful follow-up story on the controversy surrounding Cafe Rogue, the South Berkeley pop-up that went invitation-only after some testy Berkeleyside commenters outed the weekend brunch operation for its lack of a proper health permit. At issue is how a city can strike a balance between creating an environment where a diverse range of businesses can thrive without needless hassle and making sure that those who are paying for all their required permits aren’t placed at an unfair disadvantage. Also of note: Cafe Rogue owner Eric Thoreson might just move his business over the border to Oakland.

Picantes curbside pickup service.
  • Picante's curbside pickup service.
8) According to Berkeleyside, Picante (1328 6th St.) has just launched curbside pickup service: From 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., place your takeout order by phone or online, and pull into the green parking zone in front of the restaurant to pick up your Mexican food — you don’t even need to get out of your car.

9) Finally, Cynthia Salaysay did a fantastic job filling in for me while I was on vacation last week. In case you missed them, check out her stories about the “Edible Cities” documentary and the newly-launched Good Eggs online marketplace.

Got tips or suggestions? Email me at Luke (dot) Tsai (at) EastBayExpress (dot) com. Otherwise, keep in touch by following me on Twitter @theluketsai, or simply by posting a comment. I'll read ‘em all.

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