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Diablo Dish: The Bear’s Lair Tavern Opens This Month

Public Market Emeryville will welcome Blush Ice Bar; Eat Real Festival will take over Jack London Square; cocktails and Indian street food are heading to San Ramon; two new poke spots open in Contra Costa County; and more Dish.


Chris Andre

The Bear’s Lair to Reemerge from Hibernation This Month

The original Bear’s Lair opened on the Cal campus near Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue in 1962, and now, after extensive remodeling and a conceptual update, the Bear’s Lair Tavern will continue the off-campus dining tradition—sort of.

The new iteration will be more upscale than the dark old space, with menu items such as brown sugar–brined Mary’s free-range chicken and gingered French green lentils—neither of which would have likely gone over well in 1965. There is, however, classic mac ’n’ cheese to satisfy those hoping for a touch of nostalgia along with their craft beers and gluten-free entrees.

Look for a mid-September launch—though, as always, we won’t know for sure until the doors actually open.


Public Bar by Blush on the Way at Public Market Emeryville

Blush Ice Bar, a long-running San Jose establishment, will soon debut its Public Bar by Blush in Public Market Emeryville with a full bar and signature Blushies—cocktails topped with fruit-flavored slushies.

The menu will feature bites from the neighboring restaurant Hot Italian, which serves up pizza and salad. But Public Bar’s slushy drinks, wide liquor selection, and chic lounge give the venerable Public Market a whole new feel. For those who haven’t been there recently, the parking woes are over, and though there aren’t as many dining options as there once were—or will be in the future—there’s plenty of variety and a lot of quality, too.


Lincoln Chu

For the 10th Year, Eat Real Festival Enlivens Jack London Square  

Those who watch Netflix’s Chef’s Table—and those who don’t definitely should—know that elite chefs around the world focus on one thing: local products.

The 10th annual Eat Real Festival spends three days next weekend bringing that message to home cooks and restaurant-goers by combining good times with three key goals:

1) Revitalize regional food systems by encouraging people to take advantage of local products.
2) Build public awareness and respect for the craft of making good food, either at home or in commercial kitchens.
3) Encourage regional food entrepreneurs.

So, from 3 to 10 p.m. on Friday, September 14; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, September 15; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, September 16, Jack London Square will transform into foodie haven with vendors selling food, craft wine, beer, and cocktails; live music; and kids’ activities including face painting and cooking classes.

In addition, Eat Real will present a handful of ticketed food experiences (teaching how to pair beer with certain dishes, for example) and DIY culinary classes that will help home cooks prepare delicious meals that draw on ingredients available in our area.

There’s no charge to stroll through one of Oakland’s most scenic areas and enjoy the fun. Tickets to the various special events, meanwhile, range from $5 to $35.


Curry Up Now

It Had to Happen: Indian Street Food and Craft Cocktails Together

We’ve always been on board with Indian cuisine (more samosas, please!), including Indian street food. One of that genre’s local gems, Curry Up Now—which will come to San Ramon’s impressive City Center at Bishop Ranch complex late this year—delivers on all the aromatic favorites in a fast-casual setting, but completes the trend troika by adding craft cocktails.

Yes, fast-casual street food and craft cocktails in one place—a combination that will offend almost no one and please practically everyone. Which is why this outpost will be Curry Up Now’s seventh (though not all have a Mortar and Pestle Bar), with more locations to come.


The Poke Roll Continues with Two More Options

Let’s take a trip back to the distant past—say, the 1990s. Ask restaurant diners how they’d feel about getting some raw fish mixed with rice, an odd veggie or two, and sauces they’d never heard of. Then tell them that’s going to be the biggest food craze of 2018.

Life is strange, right? But the fad isn’t slowing down, as two more poke spots have just opened (that we know of; 20 more packed places have probably popped up recently, too): The Poke Bowl at The Veranda in Concord and Roll House 2 near Diablo Valley College.

So, what will be the big food craze in 2048? Fried dragonflies?

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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