Diablo Dish: June
Ike's is now open, there are plenty of sweets in Walnut Creek, and more food news!
Fans of flavor-packed, calorie-busting sandwiches can breath a sigh of relief: After months of delays, Ike’s finally debuted in Walnut Creek. On Locust Street near the movie theater, the newest East Bay location delivers the full repertoire of Ike’s 200-plus sandwiches with myriad add-ons, along with a few local specials. Those include the Randy Johnson (halal chicken, Southwest sauce, mushrooms, and pepper Jack), the Acalanes (ham, bacon, and American cheese), and the Joe Starkey (chicken, BBQ sauce, and cheddar). Owner Ike Shehadeh said his longer-than-expected bureaucratic battle with city and county officials would likely dissuade him from pursuing other shops east of the Caldecott, but he is eyeing a possible location near UC Berkeley.
Also, popular NorCal sandwich chain Mr. Pickle’s debuted its new Walnut Creek location at 1991 North Broadway, so don’t be alarmed if you see someone in a green pickle suit, waving you in for a taste.
Residual Sugar‘s expansion plans have crystallized. Rather than just expanding his popular wine bar, owner Jim Telford says he’s opening a whole separate restaurant in the ex-bakery space next door. The eatery will emphasize artisanal thin-crust pizza along with local craft beers, while the full kitchen will allow Telford to beef up Residual Sugar’s food offerings. Telford is hopeful about a very tentative fall opening.
More downtown Walnut Creek news… Vietnamese small plates restaurant Vanessa’s Bistro 2 is relocating, taking over the Bosphorus space at 1512 Locust Street. Owner Michael Nguyen, who hopes to reopen in June, said he’s leaving to make way for landlord Jon Licht’s two-story, 8,000-square-foot Davidson and Licht retail store. Around the corner, ice-cream sandwich specialist Cream officially signed a lease to open a new franchise location at 1372 North Main Street: estimated opening sometime this summer. It’ll be sweets central downtown, as Cream joins Lottie’s, San Francisco Creamery, Gelateria Naia, and Kara’s Cupcakes.
Speaking of ice cream, Tara’s Organic is taking over Cold Stone Creamery in downtown Pleasanton. Also downtown, Mangia Mi’s second location has been delayed; owner Peter Cedolini says he’s now looking at a late-June launch. Similar delays for Pleasanton proprietor Michael Hughes, who is looking at a June 1 debut for his second Baci Bistro & Bar location near Blackhawk Plaza in Danville.
Also in the Tri-Valley, Fish on the Grill opened in San Ramon’s Diablo Marketplace, specializing in grilled fish. Serving authentic Greek fare, Yanni’s Taverna opened in downtown Danville, replacing the former Wild Vine Hideaway. Jules Thin Crust in Danville opened a second location in Oakland’s Rockridge; Forge is under construction to take over a section of Lunardi’s; and Habit Burger and Freebird’s World Burrito are headed for the Sprouts Farmers Market shopping center in Dublin.
In red-hot Oakland: Artisan coffee roaster Blue Bottle will be opening up a new 2,000-square-foot café in the historic W. C. Morse building at 4296 Broadway near Oakland Tech later this year. Down the street, the popular Trueburger is opening a second spot at 4105 Broadway set to open this winter—the same time frame for the Uptown Oakland location of the popular SoCal joint, Umami Burger. Chris Kronner of San Francisco’s popular KronnerBurger is also looking at spaces in Oakland.