Thursday, December 15, 2016

Mid-Week Menu: Cafe Rouge and Grand Bakery Are Closing, and Starline Launches a Tea Parlour

By Luke Tsai
Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 12:50 PM

click to enlarge Cafe Rouge's meat market was an underrated gem. - CAFE ROUGE (VIA FACEBOOK)
  • Cafe Rouge (via Facebook)
  • Cafe Rouge's meat market was an underrated gem.

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

1) The East Bay is losing another legacy restaurant: Berkeley’s Cafe Rouge (1782 Fourth St.) — which just recently celebrated its 20th anniversary — announced that its last day of business will be December 30, Inside Scoop reports. The restaurant/butcher shop was an early pioneer in the hybrid model that places like Clove and Hoof have since adopted. Owner Marsha McBride attributed the decision to ongoing staffing shortages and said the new business that’s taking over the space — stay tuned for details — won’t be keeping the butcher shop component in place. I’ll miss their dry-aged steaks and their ground beef, which made for some mighty fine burgers.

2) Eater reports that Starline Social Club (2236 MLK Jr. Way) is introducing a new daytime permanent pop-up headed by the ladies from Oakland-based Steep Tea Co., who are also involved in the weekend morning cafe popup at Ramen Shop. The new Starline project, dubbed the Oakland Tea Parlour, will run weekdays 10 a.m.–3 p.m. and will feature vintage movies, dainty tea sandwiches and other light fare from Starline chef Nate Berrigan-Dunlop, and, of course, plenty of tea.

3) Oakland’s Grand Bakery (3264 Grand Ave.), another East Bay institution and one of the Bay Area’s few remaining kosher bakeries, will permanently close on Friday, December 23, JWeekly reports. The owner, Bob Jaffe, is retiring. Go snag a black-and-white cookie while you still have a chance.

4) One more closing that I’m sad to report: It appears that Souls Restaurant (6403 Foothill Blvd., Oakland) — a church-owned soul-food restaurant that offered one of the most resplendent Sunday buffet spreads in town — has been closed since October.

click to enlarge Dave Samiljan - BERT JOHNSON/FILE PHOTO
  • Bert Johnson/File photo
  • Dave Samiljan
5) Baron’s Meats, Alameda’s gem of a butcher shop, is expanding to the other side of the bay. Eater reports that owner and veteran butcher/charcuterer Dave Samiljan is taking over the former Drewes Meats location in Noe Valley.

6) Berkeley is getting a new Neapolitan-style pizza place called Lucia’s Pizzeria (2016 Shattuck Ave.), Berkeleyside Nosh reports.

7) Two food events of note: Tonight, from 6–9 p.m.Camino (3917 Grand Ave., Oakland) is hosting a dinner party with Chez Panisse chef Cal Peternell in celebration of his new cookbook. And on Saturday, December 17, 2 p.m.–sundown, the Mandela Foods Cooperative (1430 7th St., Oakland) will host SimpoTiempo, a “pop-up market party” whose mission is to promote local businesses that are owned and operated by people of color.

8) Finally, ICYMI, Grocery Cafe is trying to reopen after a health department shutdown, and Jack’s Oyster Bar & Fish House joined 2016’s list of local restaurant casualties.

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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