Diablo Dish: Lark Creek Walnut Creek Closed
Farm Creek Brewing Company is temporarily closed; Marshawn Lynch could be taking over an Emeryville favorite; Berkeley’s Gather hosts a winemaker dinner with Randall Grahm; and Peet’s new app and rewards program.
Lark Creek Abruptly Shuts Down
After serving as one of the longtime eateries of the vibrant Walnut Creek dining scene, Lark Creek Walnut Creek closed its doors last Friday—after more than 20 years of business—to the surprise of many.
But as Brian Hirahara of BH Development (Va de Vi, Telefèric Barcelona, Rooftop Restaurant and Bar, and in-the-works The Foundry) points out, the average life span of a restaurant in today’s market is just three years.
The competition is fierce, and though Lark Creek owner Bradley Ogden’s original vision of high-quality comfort food was unique at the time, that niche has become more and more crowded.
Regardless, it’s sad to see the Locust Street restaurant go as it was a mainstay for so long. But the wheel turns, and it’s possible—if not likely—that a new eatery will take over that spot by year’s end.
Farm Creek Brewing Company Is Closing Temporarily
Walnut Creek’s only brewery will be closing its taproom temporarily in response to increased demand for Farm Creek Brewing Company beer. Because the taproom is in the middle of the brewery, closing the taproom will allow the Farm Creek team to streamline the brewing process and increase beer production without having to constantly shut down to play catch up.
In addition, the taproom will receive a few updates and—upon reopening—will offer a wider variety of beer styles.
Look for the updated taproom to reopen in the coming weeks.
Market Hall Says Thanks with Mini-Brunch
As part of its 30th anniversary celebration, Rockridge Market Hall in Oakland will offer free Highwire Coffee Roasters coffee, Market Hall pastries, brunch bites, and refreshments for their Thanks a Brunch event this Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon.
Sounds like a great way to start a Sunday.
Marshawn Lynch Is a Restaurateur…Maybe
Despite reports from television stations and newspapers, it’s not a done deal that Beast Mode—aka former Cal player and current Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch—will take over Scend’s; a soul food restaurant on San Pablo Avenue near the Emeryville/Oakland border.
According to reports, Lynch began frequenting the cozy restaurant when he was in elementary school. Yet despite this hometown connection, there is no confirmation that the NFL star will be taking over. In fact, owner Cassie Nickelson said she got in trouble with her broker about the published reports on Lynch’s involvement, and says that nothing is final.
That said, Nickelson still expects to retire at the end of August, and there’s reason to believe Lynch may add restaurateur to his resume.
Until then, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Gather Adds Grahm to Special August 9 Wine Wednesday
Bonny Doon Vineyard founder and winemaker Randall Grahm—the man instrumental in popularizing Rhône grapes in California—will pair with Gather’s executive chef Charis Wahl for a special Wine Wednesday on August 9.
Seating is limited to 18 guests on the Berkeley restaurant’s patio for a five-course, wine-paired meal for $130 per person. The meal as always will emphasize locally sourced and sustainably grown ingredients.
The August 9 menu will feature grilled shrimp, seared albacore, duck sausage, lamb barbacoa, and a peach and almond crostada for dessert.
And the wine will also be special, as the innovative Grahm is constantly pushing the envelope. Please note that reservations can only be made by calling (510) 809-0400.
Dig Into a New Dinner Deal at Duende
Duende— Uptown Oakland’s Spanish specialist—will give locals a chance to try a three-course meal consisting of a single-serving of paella, a tapa, and a dessert for just $28 on Sunday and Monday nights.
According to Berkeleyside, there will also be drink specials, such as wine flights for $16, sangria for $28 a pitcher, and Estrella beers for $4.
Peet’s Coffee App Rewards Faithful Customers
Peet’s Coffee and Tea already has its devoted Peetnik followers—even without a special rewards program—but now, regulars can take advantage of their caffeinated habit.
By downloading the Peet’s Coffee app, all customers are offered Peetnik Rewards; which accumulates points every time you check into a Peet’s. After 15 check-ins you dedicated coffee consumers will receive a free drink of choice.
The app also allows you to store your credit or debit card information so you can pay for your drink that much faster.
As an added bonus, the first time customers use the new Peet’s app, they get a free cup of coffee (or whatever they prefer) on the house, and another freebie every birthday.
For those who already get their daily dose of caffeine at Peet’s, it’s definitely a winning idea.
Capital One Café Combines Caffeine with a Communal Space
Walnut Creek is the second site in Northern California for the latest Capital One Café. The café serves Peet’s Coffee and offers pastries from Alameda’s Crispian Bakery and South San Francisco’s City Baking Co. in a community-friendly setting.
There are meeting rooms available, a DIY banking center, and space to work—there’s even a koi pond in the back. And don’t forget that Capital One card and account holders receive 50% off their purchases in the storefront, located next to the Apple Store on South Main Street.