Weekly Dish: Green Day-Affiliated Restaurant to Open in Oakland's Fox Theater
Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe to fill prime location at the Fox Theater; Chocolotier Blue to bring designer sweets to Blackhawk Plaza; Indian eatery will replace Eddie Papa's in Livermore; and more in this week's Dish!
Left to Right: Green Day band members Billie Joe Armstrong, Rudy's co-owner Mike Dirst, and Tré Cool in front of Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe in Emeryville..
The excellent Fox Theater has been a huge success and helped rejuvenate the Uptown Oakland neighborhood since it opened nearly two years ago. One sore spot, however, has been the Fox's inability to fill the large commercial space on the corner next door to the theater. It looks like that problem is now solved as a representative from Rudy's Can't Fail Cafe confirmed that the popular Emeryville restaurant will be opening up their second location in that space next year. On the face of it, the pairing looks like a great fit: not only does Rudy's have a reputation for its eclectic, alternative atmosphere and budget-friendly comfort food, which should be a good match for the Fox's alt-rock clientelle, but Rudy's is also co-owned by Mike Dirnt from the legendary Berkeley punk band Green Day (one of the first bands to play the Fox when it opened in early 2009).
Rudy's managing partner Douglas Smith didn't give out too many details except to say that the menu and vibe of the new place would be very similar to the Emeryville location—fun, casual, eclectic—with some fun twists. "It’s going to be really awesome," Smith says. "It's a similar kind of thing that we’ve done in Emeryville. Very similar in our core items with the whole comfort food, classic Americana menu. But there will be some really cool details of the design that I can’t even talk about that will be like, 'whoa!' It's going to be really beautiful when its done—there’s a lot of thought and effort that's going into the design." Smith said the new spot would likely have similar hours—open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner late-night, and that they were also exploring acquiring a full liquor license. As for an opening date? Mid-2011 was Smith's best guess. Stay tuned...
Another exciting bit of food news: Chocolatier Blue, the Berkeley-based artisan chocolate maker will be opening up a new store in Blackhawk Plaza. Owner Christopher Blue, who runs currently has two Berkeley stores (one downtown and another on Fourth Street), in addition to a new one set to open in Mill Valley in January, says he is hoping to open the new location by February, in time for Valentine's Day. Blue, who's modern, architectural chocolates utilize such eclectic flavors as pear with bay leaf, grapefruit with rosemary, and sage honey, says he will also debut a new line of chocolate bars and barks to coincide with the opening of the new store.
Further down in the Tri-Valley: Edward Westmoreland confirmed that his is closing the Livermore location of his Eddie Papa's American Hangout come January. Westmoreland, who has three kids under the age of four, says the heavy workload factored into his decision to consolidate his operations back to just his original Pleasanton restaurant. He is still, however, looking to eventually open another location in the Walnut Creek/Lafayette area sometime in 2012. Replacing Eddie Papa's on First Street will be Clay Oven Restaurant and Bar, a Northern Indian eatery from Norman Singh, who owns a string of eight Indian restaurants in San Francisco and San Mateo. Singh says they hope to open by the first work of February in time for—you guessed it—Valentine's Day.
In some sad news, Amanda's Feel Good Fresh Food in downtown Berkeley will be closing its doors in the new year. Amanda's owner Amanda West says that she was unable to negotiate a lease agreement with her landlord that reflected "the current economic situation." That and increased competition from a plethora of new restaurants opening nearby spelled the end for this cool little eatery—which paired fresh, organic, healthy ingredients in a fast food style setting. West said she planned to re-gear, start hitting local farmers markets', and still hopes to eventually fulfill her plan of opening up a string of Amanda's across the Bay Area.