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Diablo Dish: Philz Coffee Opening Soon

Project Juice heads to Berkeley; Paradise Park Café opens soon in Oakland; Gio’s Pizza and Bocce brings Italian flair to Shattuck Ave.; Walnut Creek’s Havana is turning up the music; and more food news.


Philz Coffee














Philz Coffee Set to Open in Walnut Creek

After a Soft Opening Party on Thursday, August 24, Philz Coffee will officially be open for business in Walnut Creek at 6 a.m. on August 25—and devotees of the San Francisco-based chain will undoubtedly be in line before the skies begin to lighten.

During the Soft Opening Party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. the day before, though, there will be complimentary coffee and pastry samples while supplies last.

The South California and Mt. Diablo boulevards location will be the fourth in the East Bay, and will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.


Project Juice Squeezes into Fourth Street

The eighth Northern California Project Juice will celebrate its grand opening Saturday, August 12 on Berkeley’s Fourth Street.

Known for its high-quality cold-pressed juice and clean food, Project Juice’s products are certified organic, non-GMO, and free of gluten, dairy, peanuts, and soy, making it a friendly stop for anyone who struggles with food allergies and sensitivities.

The menu will include superfood smoothies, superfood bowls, gluten-free toasts, wellness elixirs, cold-brew, and kombucha on tap, as well as hot coffee and tea. A grab-and-go menu will also be available, featuring a rotating seasonal selection of certified organic cold-pressed juices, nut mylks, cleanses, salads, gluten-free pastries, and raw snacks.

The grand opening party will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with 100% of the proceeds benefiting the Berkeley Public Schools Fund.


Paradise Park Cafe

Paradise Park Cafe Expands to the East Bay

With three successful cafes in San Francisco, the Park Café Group will open its first East Bay outlet at San Pablo and Alcatraz avenues in Oakland on August 17.

The menu is self-described as New American, and since it includes a Paradise Egg Sandwich with pancetta and garlic aioli, a fried chicken sandwich with pickled onions and Sriracha aioli, and an ice cream burrito—we’re all in.

There are also vegan and gluten-free options (mac and cheese, for example), and the food is as locally sourced and sustainable as possible. As for liquids, there will be an organic juice bar as well as wine and beer.





Gio’s Goes All In for Italian

What could be more Italian than combining pizza and bocce? That’s the plan behind the aptly named Gio’s Pizza and Bocce on Shattuck Avenue, and even more to the geographical and cultural point, the new restaurant—which has its soft opening today and its grand opening next Wednesday—is in the same spot as the beloved Giovanni, which burned down two years ago.

Gio’s offers a full menu of Italian food and also has a full bar, but for a lot of folks, the pizza and bocce (and maybe some red wine) will be plenty.


Even More Foodie News for Berkeley

It may be slow for some in the summer, but the restaurant business in Berkeley seems to always stay in high gear, and Berkeleyside reports that two new spots have opened in July.

Café Nostos: For a real taste of Greece, check out Café Nostos (next to Trader Joe’s on Martin Luther King Jr. Way), where co-owner John Samaras is importing feta and phyllo dough from Greece to give the pastries a flavor that is hard to find anywhere else. There’s also Illy coffee and Semifreddi’s baked goodies, but the highlight will be the Greek specialties.

Ippudo: Ippudo has been a global presence since 1985, but landed in California (at Shattuck and University avenues) only last month. Ippudo is best known for its tonkotsu (pork broth) ramen with its signature dashi, and is part of the conglomerate that also owns Panda Express.



Havana Brings Classic Cars and Music to Downtown Walnut Creek

To celebrate its 15th anniversary, Havana will host a car show on Monday, August 14, featuring more than 20 cars from the 1950s and ’60s on display along Bonanza Street.

In addition, Havana’s Mojito Monday means half-price mojitos, plus some $5 munchies. And though the car show is a one-off event, Mojito Mondays happen every week.

As a final nod to 15 years of surviving and thriving in the very competitive restaurant business, Havana is showcasing live music from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday in August, which will have a distinctly Latin flavor.




Tu David Phu and Nora Dunning Pair Up in West Oakland

Two young top chefs will join forces for 10 courses of classic Cal-Asian street food for the Hawker Centre Block Party: Asian Street Food on Saturday, August 12 at Drip Line. Located on Union Street in Oakland, the restaurant’s setting may be industrial, but the event is being billed as an old-fashioned block party for the residents of nearby Uptown.

The tapas-style meal costs $50, and if interested, get your tickets quickly, as the 6 p.m. seating is already sold out.


Gallop Through Downtown Walnut Creek

Diablo Ballet’s annual fundraiser is called Gourmet Gallop, but those who participate in Thursday’s 6 to 9 p.m. event are more likely to stroll rather than sprint. After all, the idea is to savor the wine and food from such places as 1515 Restaurant and Lounge, Broderick Roadhouse, Buon Vino, Cinco de Mayo, Lokanta Mediterranean Grill and Bar, Lottie’s Creamery, MoMo’s, Massimo Ristorante, Opa!, and more. 

The event costs $45 and not only benefits Diablo Ballet, but also its PEEK Program, which brings arts education to underserved elementary students and at-risk teenagers in the area.

Got Dish? Send an email to dish@maildiablo.com. Or follow me on Twitter @DiabloDish.

Happy Hour Bar & Bites at
The Cooperage

Monday through Friday
3pm – 5:30pm


This isn’t your typical happy hour. This quintessential neighborhood spot offers high-quality craft cocktails on tap and tasty bites. Menu features: $10 cocktails on tap, $5 select beer & wine, $1 oysters, $7 bacon cheeseburger sliders, $7 crispy beer battered shrimp sliders, $9 sashimi-grade ahi tuna tartare. 

32 Lafayette Circle, Lafayette
​Reservations: www.thecooperagelafayette.com or 925.298.5915

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