Diablo Dish: Popbar Is Open in The Veranda
Cupcakin’ Bake Shop is launching two Berkeley locales; get your lox fix at another Noah’s Bagels; Concord welcomes a new doughnut concept from Dunkin’ Donuts; Livermore’s Harvest Wine Celebration returns after a mini break; and more Dish.
Popbar Arrives in The Veranda
In yet another first, Concord’s The Veranda houses the East Bay debut of Popbar, which serves gelato, sorbetto, and yogurt on a stick. There are already 18 Popbars in the United States—the first shop opened in New York in 2010—and 11 internationally, with more to come.
Popbars come in more than 40 rotating flavors and can be dipped or dusted with toppings including, but not limited to, chocolate, nuts, sprinkles, and caramel corn. And those searching for more frozen goodness can order a 16-ounce gelato shake.
Noah’s Bagels Opens in Danville
Just in case you can’t get to the two Noah’s Bagels in Walnut Creek, the one in Lafayette, the three in Oakland, or the two in Berkeley, there’s now yet another option: Iron Horse Plaza in Danville.
You know the drill: bagels, schmear, coffee, etc. But according to Beyond the Creek, customers can also get kombucha at the new outlet.
Cupcakin’ Bake Shop Triples the Fun
Lila Owens used to sell property, but today she’s taking it over. Five years ago, Owens left the real estate biz to start baking cupcakes—and now Cupcakin’ Bake Shop is adding sites in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto on Shattuck Avenue and in Swan’s Market in Old Oakland.
In addition, her high-end cupcakes and other baked goods will get even more visibility near the UC campus once the shop moves from its original location on Durant Avenue to a spot on bustling Telegraph Avenue.
On top of her rotating lineup of cupcakes—including Lemon Cream Pie and Key Lime Pie varieties—Owens will also sell specialties from the much loved and dearly departed Virginia Bakery. She’s moving into that space, and owners John and Anne Erdmann shared their recipes (including one for those yummy sugar-sprinkle cookies).
Dunkin’ Donuts Drops “Donuts” in Concord
No, that doesn’t mean the new “next generation” Dunkin’ Donuts won’t serve doughnuts; it just won’t have “Donuts” on the sign. The location in Dianda Plaza shopping center (near the Treat Boulevard and Clayton Road crossroads) opened Tuesday with an emphasis on a quick turnaround for harried commuters.
The new shop offers digital kiosks to speed up orders, curbside delivery, and an expanded grab-and-go selection.
So, that coworker who looked especially bleary-eyed on Tuesday? Well, the first 100 customers who showed up at the 5 a.m. opening got free coffee for a year, so the line started early.
Livermore’s Harvest Wine Celebration Returns After a Year Hiatus
After too much heat—even for Livermore—forced the first cancellation in its 36-year history last year, Livermore Valley Harvest Wine Celebration is back.
More than 35 local wineries will showcase their products Sunday, September 2, from noon to 5 p.m. Guests will be able to sample plenty of food and enjoy arts, crafts, and music.
Tickets to the event cost $40 in advance and $45 on Sunday—which allows visitors to sip vino at as many wineries as they can handle. Note, also, that festival wristbands will work at a number of the wineries on Monday, as well.
Do the Plank in Oakland for Labor Day
We’re not talking about working your abs in Jack London Square on Monday, September 3. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite: The restaurant Plank will offer a special menu from noon to 7 p.m. that includes baby back ribs, barbecued chicken, mashed potatoes, pulled pork, and a burger with fries.
Healthy? Well, maybe not, but if you count bocce ball, bowling, or arcade games as exercise, you can get in a workout to counteract those mashers.
We May See More Pop-Ups Popping Up in Contra Costa County
The San Francisco Chronicle reported last week—yes, newspapers print news worth reading—that Alameda County cracking down on pop-ups had nothing to do with the Oakland A’s food truck row. Instead, the county is concerned with the increasing trend of chefs testing out culinary ideas and concepts for new restaurants via one-off evening events in existing commercial kitchens.
In Alameda County, it was ruled that allowing an outside chef and crew to take over a commercial kitchen is illegal unless they are covered by the restaurant owner’s permit—which makes pop-ups pretty much out of the question. But in Contra Costa County, according to Environmental Health Director Marilyn Underwood, pop-up chefs only need a seasonal permit, which is relatively easy to acquire.
“We support the use of restaurant kitchens [for pop-ups],” Underwood says. So Contra Costa residents may find themselves the beneficiaries of Alameda County’s more stringent rules, as cooks looking to do short kitchen stints may start shifting their one-night stands (so to speak) to Walnut Creek, Concord, or … really anywhere but Alameda County.