Diablo Dish: Story Coffee Co. Makes Brick-and-Mortar Moves
Plucked Chicken and Beer is looking forward to another location; The Veranda gets a Coffee Shop; Taqueria La Plaza to settle in Walnut Creek; Thirsty Bay in Dublin offers 39 beers on tap; and more Dish.
Story Coffee Co. Begins a New Chapter in Livermore
After a preface that began at the Livermore farmers market in 2016 and part-time prologues at the Bankhead Theater and the Switch Tech Incubator, Story Coffee Co. will finally turn the page and settle down in a home of its own in December.
The coffeehouse will be located across from the Backyard Bayou on Maple Street and will feature craft espressos, cold brew on tap, baked goods, and even a retail corner. And though there’s no alcohol involved, the whiskey latte has gotten great reviews.
Plucked Strikes a Chord with Chicken Lovers
Plucked Chicken and Beer in San Ramon—an offshoot of Sauced BBQ and Spirits—has been so successful with its chicken-centric, fast-casual concept that a second Plucked is now scheduled to open in Pleasanton in February.
The new location will be in the Pleasanton Gateway Shopping Center off Bernal Avenue, in the space that previously housed Baja Fresh.
Concord Gets Its Own Coffee Shop
The key here is the capital letters, as there are already plenty of coffee shops in Concord (as one would expect in a city of 125,000 people). But now Coffee Shop—with previous iterations in Lafayette, Danville, and Walnut Creek—is in The Veranda as well.
Unlike most coffeehouses, however, Coffee Shop also offers beer and wine (after 5 p.m.) alongside a variety of breakfast and lunch options—plus the usual baked goods.
Taqueria La Plaza Coming to Walnut Creek
After 15 years in Concord Taqueria La Plaza aims to open its second restaurant in November in the Palos Verdes Mall (home of Lunardi’s Markets).
The menu at the new spot in Walnut Creek will be the same as the one at the original eatery (located at the corner of Clayton Road and Sutter Street), featuring the same classic taqueria fare, including tortas, mariscos, and, of course, tacos.
Rooted to Bloom in Pleasant Hill
After six rootless years, Rooted Coffee Company has found a home for its coffee and plant-based foods on Oak Park Boulevard in Pleasant Hill.
Owners Jon and Jenny Gilmore, a local husband-and-wife team, got their start at the Walnut Creek farmers market and hope to kick off the New Year by opening their new store on January 1. They aim to have soft openings throughout December in preparation for the official debut.
“Beer Wall” Coming to Dublin’s Thirsty Bay
So much beer, so little time—and when Dublin’s Thirsty Bay opens in October, beer drinkers will face a daunting choice: selecting which of the 39 beers on tap they want to try.
Like Hops and Sessions in Livermore, Thirsty Bay gives each customer a wristband that allows them to draw from any of the available taps, which then charges individuals by the ounce. And since Thirsty Bay was founded by a trio of craft beer enthusiasts, expect variety and unusual choices—and definitely more than a few visits to sample all 39 options.
Vinous Reverie’s Grand Opening Saturday in Walnut Creek
Those who especially love wines from overseas may discover their new favorite wine shop on Ygnacio Valley Boulevard (between North Main Street and Broadway).
Vinuous Reverie—which will have its grand opening at 11 a.m. Saturday, September 29—will feature “a unique and adventurous collection of wines from around the world.” Owners Anu and Igor Ivanov had difficulty finding these special wines for their own personal enjoyment, so they decided to skip the middleman and open up a store themselves.
Check out the highly rated Rieslings and sparkling wines from England, Austria, and Tasmania—a regional trio you don’t see linked together that often—among many other choices.
The window-seating tasting area will be open from 5 to 7 p.m. Fridays and all day Saturdays, when the Ivanovs will offer thematic wine flights that spring from their wide and deep knowledge of vino.
Boba Guys Hit the Big Time(s) with Tapioca Pearls
It seems like you can’t go anywhere without bumping into a boba tea outlet, but surprisingly, one of the key ingredients (tapioca pearls) could only be imported from Taiwan. So San Francisco–based Boba Guys—with various locations in the city, Los Angeles, and New York—decided to take the plunge and manufacture the pearls themselves, choosing San Leandro for the factory’s site.
The New York Times thought enough of the story to publish a long article about it, so we figured it was probably worth mentioning here, even if there is no East Bay Boba Guys—yet. But the chain is in expansion mode, with three more shops on the way this year alone, and so we’re pretty sure that Berkeley or Oakland can’t be far behind.
A New Brunch Option for Livermore
Range Life, one of Livermore’s best restaurants, just added a 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekend brunch. The menu includes not only brunch classics like French toast and coffee cake, but also some interesting twists on traditional offerings such as a sourdough donut and a lamb burger. Of course there are Bloody Marys and mimosas too, but the adventurous may want to go for the Bacon Old-Fashioned or the Umami Michelada made with fish sauce and Serrano chilies. (Not sure I’m all in on these, but sometimes you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone.)