Diablo Dish: May
Sweet food news with East Bay additions including Pinkberry, Cream and more!
Rumors, rumors. Walnut Creek’s Residual Sugar could be expanding into the space next door vacated by the recently shuttered Bake. (Dish readers may remember that Bake replaced longtime favorite Walnut Creek Baking Company last year under somewhat acrimonious circumstances.) Word on the street is that the popular—but cramped—wine bar covets the extra space not only to get more elbow room for customers, but to add a full kitchen and larger menu. Owner Jim Telford would neither confirm nor deny the rumors, but has made no secret of his desire to grow the business.
More diverse ethnic eats options are coming to Dublin’s Ulferts Center. Serendipity, sister restaurant to popular Sri Lankan eatery Kadupul, was set to open in early April. Soho Café will dish out Hong Kong–style fare by mid-May, and Yakitori-Hiroshi, specializing in Japanese-style charcoal-grilled items, is planning an early June launch.
Sweet news in Lafayette, as beloved confectioner See’s Candy is opening up a shop next to Peet’s in the Lafayette Plaza shopping center. Berkeley’s popular ice cream sandwich shop Cream has signed a lease to open a new franchise location in downtown Walnut Creek, according to owner Gus Shamieh. Also, a Pinkberry yogurt is coming to Walnut Creek’s Plaza Escuela.
An interesting new Mexican spot could be headed for Lafayette’s main drag. Building owner Julie Mitchell is working with the city to open Rancho Cantina at 3616 Mt. Diablo Boulevard. While it’s still in the planning stages, she says she would like to bring an approachable, casual Mexican concept with a focus on fresh, local, high-quality California ingredients. Could be a sleek-looking place, too; Mitchell is working with the same designer behind such chic eateries as Comal, Nopalito, and À Côté.
Meanwhile, Lafayette’s deep dish specialist, Patxi’s, now has a sister restaurant in the East Bay. The S.F.–based chain’s Livermore location opened on April 15. Located next to the Bankhead Theater downtown, the new Patxi’s features operable garage-style doors, an indoor-outdoor bar, and patio seating for 40.
Speaking of openings, A16 Rockridge appears set to open its new Oakland restaurant this month. Berkeley’s famed Chez Panisse, however, is now set to reopen in June, after a March fire badly damaged the 40-year-old restaurant’s facade.
Beer and sausage rule in Oakland. Rosamunde already opened in Old Oakland, as did Olde Depot, the Beer Revolution spin-off that offers vegan sausages in Jack London Square. Coming soon is Hog’s Apothecary, an American-style beer hall that will serve up house-made sausages, small plates, salads, and entrées to complement nearly 40 craft beers, in the Temescal neighborhood. Brotzeit-Lokal, a waterfront German-style beer hall with house-made sausages and an emphasis on lighter Bavarian-style lagers, will also open soon on the Oakland Estuary. Both are eyeing May debuts.
Finally, embattled ex–San Francisco Housing Authority Director Henry Alvarez told Diablo about his plans to open comfort food eatery Next Door in Berkeley. Under fire since media reports earlier this year questioned his leadership, Alvarez was fired in April, and as of press time, had not returned calls on the status of the restaurant.