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The proprietors of Duchess conceived the place as a kind of hybrid cafe-pub that would serve house-made pop tarts, bake its own bread, and pretty much stay open all the time. The food tends toward the kind of tidy, upscale California comfort fare that you’ll find at most of the area’s so-called gastropubs — a nice-ish burger, a fried chicken variant, and a few obligatory salads. Much of it reasonably tasty, if a bit more restrained than you might expect. This being Rockridge, aka “Stroller City,” what shouldn’t be surprising is that, despite the pub’s rather precious design aesthetic, the place is quite kid-friendly, with a happy hour that doubles as a kind of “after-school hour” for parents picking up their kiddos. Whatever you do, don’t skip the desserts and pastries — especially the pop tart-like house-made “Rock Tarts,” which are available in both sweet and savory versions.

— Luke Tsai

Hours: Tue.–Fri. 9 a.m.–10 p.m., Sat.–Sun. 10 a.m.–10 p.m.

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Price: $$-$$$

Payment Type: Cash, all major credit cards

Kitchen closes at 9 p.m. on weeknights.

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