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Diablo Dish: April

Catch up on this month's food news!


The Cooperage / Photo by Maureen B. yelp.com

After a series of delays, The Cooperage American Grille opened its doors in early March to eager crowds. The construction was massive, and the results are impressive, with a decor both rustic and contemporary. Located across from La Fiesta Square in the former Petar’s spot, Lafayette resident Andrew McCormick’s restaurant has a near 300-seat capacity. McCormick brought in a pedigreed staff, including manager Michael Iglesias, who helped open Michael Chiarello’s Coqueta, and executive chef Erik Hopfinger, who brings experience from Butterfly, Waterfront, and Circa.

Pleasanton has scored a double helping of vegetarian ethnic food options. Sri Venkatesh Bhavan dishes out vegetarian Indian fare in the former Girasole space on Santa Rita Road. Blossom Vegan goes a step further, serving Vietnamese vegan dishes in the former Saigon Express spot on Pimlico Drive.

More openings … Esin Restaurant power couple Curtis and Esin deCarion’s new casual gastropub, Revel Kitchen & Bar, was set to open in late March in downtown Danville. Ale Industry’s new taproom, The Pig & the Pickle, debuted in downtown Concord. Asian fusion lounge Yo’s on Hartz opened its doors on—you guessed it—Hartz Avenue in Danville. And the Corner Creperie is now serving authentic Brittany-style crepes in downtown Pleasanton.

In Lafayette, American Kitchen will replace longtime tea and scones favorite French Bakery, which closed in March. From Table 24 and Barbacoa cofounder Victor Ivry, the spot’s lunch menu will be centered around craft sandwiches, including a lobster roll, Vietnamese bahn mi, meatball sub, and good old-fashioned PB&J. Dinner will bring more traditional American fare. Look for a late May opening.  

The East Bay has poached a couple heavy hitters from its more celebrated neighbor across the Bay. First is Tcho Chocolate. The lauded high-tech chocolate-maker announced plans to move from San Francisco’s Pier 17 to a 49,000-square-foot space in Berkeley’s Marchant Building. Expect an opening sometime in April.

Second is 21st Amendment. The San Francisco–based brewery, known for bringing canned beer back into fashion, is moving to San Leandro, where it’ll be taking over a former Kellogg’s cereal factory near Drake’s Brewery. It’s a major project that includes renovating the 95,000-square-foot facility, which will house brewing and production operations this fall and, eventually, a taproom and restaurant.

Moraga’s popular Café Hacienda is moving to a more prominent location. Gayle Somers and co-owner Aly Dean are opening Home/Made Kitchen Café & Bakery in the old Mondello’s Cucina Italiana across from the movie theater. In addition to house-made baked goods, they’ll be serving a seasonal menu featuring local, sustainable ingredients. The duo hope to debut their new place by April.

Also in Contra Costa, Claudio Ricciolini, owner of Concord’s 54 Mint, was aiming to open his Italian bakery, 54 Mint Forno, in the former Walnut Creek Baking Company location by the end of March. And finally, if Italian treats don’t do it for you, The Candy Counter, offering retro, modern, bulk, and packaged candy on North Main Street, was set to open around the same time.

Got Dish? E-mail us at dish@maildiablo.com. Follow us online at diablomag.com/dish.

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