Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Chop Bar Partner Breaks Away to Open His Own Place at 1015 Clay

by John Birdsall
Tue, Jun 7, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Chef Jesse Branstetter has ended his day-to-day involvement in Chop Bar to open his own restaurant in Old Oakland, a place temporarily going by the name 1015 Clay.

A report on Chowhound last week broke the news that the food at weeks-old 1015 Clay is delicious, and suggested the place was a Chop Bar spinoff. Grub Street picked up the Chowhound buzz today, but reported that Chop Bar’s unrelated to 1015 Clay, whose former restaurant tenants included Farmers’ Market Bistro and Kuwa.

1015 Clay has opened in the old Farmers Market Bistro space in Old Oakland.
  • Gill C./Yelp
  • 1015 Clay has opened in the old Farmers' Market Bistro space in Old Oakland.

Turns out Chop Bar owners Lev Delany and Chris Pastena are indeed unrelated to 1015 Clay, but 1015 Clay’s Branstetter still has a connection to Chop Bar. Branstetter ended what he calls his operational relationship with Chop Bar about a month ago, though he’s still part of the ownership team.

On the other hand, 1015 Clay is all Branstetter’s baby (his silent partner owned both Farmers’ Market Bistro and Kuwa). And the name? It’s a sort of placeholder, Branstetter told What the Fork, until he can complete a redo of the space, at which time he’ll reveal the restaurant’s true name, which he promises is “bold.” The unveiling should happen in August, just in time for the 2011 Eat Real Festival in Jack London Square, the event that launched Chop Bar back in 2009.

“Call it eclectic California cuisine,” Branstetter said, describing the menu for what’ll eventually be a breakfast, lunch, and dinner place. “”Call it Oakland cuisine, seasonal, locally driven.” The interim restaurant, 1015 Clay, is open only limited hours now (including happy hour Thursdays and Fridays), but plans to open for brunch by the end of the month. Full bar, and Branstetter says he’s already begun a meat program, curing his own pancetta and hams and making bratwurst.

“It’ll be sort of hofbrau-y, kind of deli,” Branstetter said of the emerging menu. The current sandwich-heavy offerings are scrollable online.

Get in touch at John.Birdsall@EastBayExpress.com, and follow me on Twitter @John_Birdsall.

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