Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dismantling Food Deserts in an Age of Speculation: People's Community Market Purchases Site for West Oakland Grocery Store

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Mar 22, 2016 at 10:44 AM

The future site of People's Community Market - LIZ PROBST
  • Liz Probst
  • The future site of People's Community Market
Back in the fall of 2012, food activist Brahm Ahmadi stood in front of a packed room in East Oakland’s warehouse district and made a simple pitch: Would the assorted local business owners and community organizer types who had gathered consider investing in People’s Community Market, the ambitious full-service grocery store that Ahmadi wanted to open in West Oakland? Would they do their part to bring healthy food to one of the city’s most notorious food deserts, where the primary shopping option is the corner liquor store?

See also:
A Grocery Store for West Oakland

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Mid-week Menu: CommonWealth Pub Has Been Sold, Grand Fare Will Reopen, and 'Journeymen' Host Staff-Meal Pop-up

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Mar 9, 2016 at 2:08 PM

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

1) CommonWealth Cafe & Pub (2882 Telegraph Ave.), the popular Uptown Oakland watering hole, has new owners. In a Facebook post earlier this week, Ahna and Ross Adair announced that they’ve sold the pub to two longtime customers: Lizzie Alford (a CommonWealth employee for the past two years) and Josh Rosenberg.

It’s unclear whether any major changes are forthcoming, but the Adairs say the bar will continue to offer customers “all the things you’ve come to know and love.” Beloved by Anglophiles, soccer fanatics, and Scotch egg eaters, CommonWealth is known, among other things, for its large selection of British beer. The pub’s sister location in Emeryville closed in December.

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Belcampo to Bring Burgers, Cocktails to Oakland’s Jack London District

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Mar 3, 2016 at 12:53 PM

Burgers by Belcampo (via Facebook).
  • Burgers by Belcampo (via Facebook).
What the Fork recently speculated that Belcampo Meat Co., the sustainability-focused meat company, was gearing up to open a new restaurant in a 5,000 square-foot warehouse in Oakland’s Jack London district, at 369 3rd Street. In an email, Anya Fernald, founder and CEO of the Oakland-based company, confirmed those plans and offered a general outline of what customers can expect.

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: A Vegan Deli, a Scare for Sandwich Lovers, and a High-Profile Chef Change

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 1:09 PM

Take the (vegan) cannoli. Via Facebook.
  • Take the (vegan) cannoli. Via Facebook.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) The Butcher’s Son (1941 University Ave., Berkeley), the Bay Area’s first vegan delicatessen (to my knowledge), is now open for business. Bay Area Bites has a first look at the East Coast deli-inspired spot, and even though the proprietors are only serving a limited selection of sandwiches for now, the offerings certainly look promising.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: A Polynesian Food Calamity, a Pasta Tasting Menu, and the Long-Awaited Start of Dungeness Crab Season

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Feb 17, 2016 at 12:47 PM

One of the hefty combo plates at Mo's Hut. RIP. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE PHOTO
  • Bert Johnson/File photo
  • One of the hefty combo plates at Mo's Hut. RIP.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) We’re halfway through February, but news is still trickling in about restaurants that didn’t make it into the new year. One of Oakland’s biggest losses: Mo’s Hut (2676 Fruitvale Ave.), a low-key Samoan/Hawaiian spot that was one of my favorite new restaurants to open last year, had its last day of business on December 31. According to the restaurant’s Facebook announcement, the owners are searching for a new permanent location — but possibly not in Oakland. I will miss the grilled meats, crab mac salad, and warm hospitality.

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Antoinette Opens, Hawker Temporarily Suspends Lunch Service, and Blue Bottle Launches New Food Menu

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 11:58 AM

Dominique Crenn (via Facebook). - ED ANDERSON
  • Ed Anderson
  • Dominique Crenn (via Facebook).
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Earlier this week, Dominique Crenn, the latest big gun to hit the East Bay restaurant scene, unveiled her first project on this side of the bay, Eater reports. Located inside the newly rebranded Claremont Club & Spa (in the former Paragon spot), Antoinette (41 Tunnel Rd.) aims to be a French brasserie with a luxurious bent (not to mention an amazing panoramic view of the bay). And whoa if the opening night menu — posted here by Inside Scoop — doesn’t have some seriously eye-popping dishes: roasted monkfish tail for $95? A whole duck with foie gras and abalone mushrooms — meant to serve three to four — for $200? The brasserie also offers versions of French classics such as coq au vin ($29) and salade Lyonnaise made with mangalitsa lardo ($15).

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Oakland Aims to Allow Food Trucks to Operate All Over the City

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Feb 9, 2016 at 10:53 AM

An evening event at Tacos Sinaloa in East Oakland. - BERT JOHNSON
  • Bert Johnson
  • An evening event at Tacos Sinaloa in East Oakland.
Off the Grid-style mobile food gatherings might have taken the Bay Area by storm, but here in Oakland, the food truck revolution hasn’t gained much traction. It’s been limited, for the most part, to East Oakland’s vaunted taco truck scene and a handful of high-profile events elsewhere in the city.

But all that may be about to change. The city recently unveiled a proposal for a new mobile food policy that would greatly expand opportunities for local food truck operators. In theory, your favorite Fruitvale taco truck would now be able to set up shop on, say, Piedmont Avenue. And it would become much easier for individual food trucks to get permission to pull up to a metered parking space in Oakland to do business, the way they do in other cities that have a vibrant street food culture.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Genova Deli’s Landlord, Marzano’s Rebirth, and Pretty Lady’s Ownership Change

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Feb 3, 2016 at 1:28 PM

Genova Deli's stock-in-trade. - _E.T/FLICKR (CC)
  • _E.T/Flickr (CC)
  • Genova Deli's stock-in-trade.
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Last week’s big news was the possibility that Genova Delicatessen’s Oakland retail shop, a fixture in Temescal since 1926, might close due to an impending rent increase. According to longtime general manager, Julio De La Cruz, the deli’s lease is set to expire at the beginning of June. Not much has changed since the Express first broke the story on Friday, but here’s a brief update:

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Rent Hike May Force Oakland's Genova Delicatessen to Close

The Oakland institution has been located in the city's Temescal district for ninety years.

by Luke Tsai
Fri, Jan 29, 2016 at 9:15 AM

Genova's current retail store has been open since 1996. - JOSE AND ROXANNE/FLICKR (CC)
  • Jose and Roxanne/Flickr (CC)
  • Genova's current retail store has been open since 1996.
Don’t look now, but another Oakland institution might be in danger of being priced out of The Town. Genova Delicatessen (5095 Telegraph Ave., Oakland), which has been a fixture in the Temescal neighborhood since 1926, may be forced to shut down its retail store in the spring due to a looming rent increase.

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Belcampo Meat Co. (Probably) En Route to Oakland, Homeskillet Brings Fresh Doughnuts to Alameda

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 12:31 PM

Belcampo Meat Co.'s restaurant in San Francisco's Russian Hill neighborhood (via Facebook).
  • Belcampo Meat Co.'s restaurant in San Francisco's Russian Hill neighborhood (via Facebook).
Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Today brought news that Belcampo Meat Co. has shut down its butcher shop in San Francisco’s Mission District, citing, among other reasons, logistical/marketing challenges and a desire to prioritize a new “SF location” that it plans to open (or at least announce) in March. Could that new location actually be across the bridge in Oakland, where Belcampo has its offices, rather than San Francisco? Six months ago, the sustainability-minded meat company hosted an open house at its “soon-to-be new location” at 369 3rd Street, a 5,000-square-foot warehouse in the Jack London district. And the company appears to have applied for a Type 47 (aka full bar) liquor license for that site.

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