Diablo Dish: November
Ike's expands, Bakesale Betty closes it's second location, Sprouts Farmers Market has debuted, and more!
Photo by Rudy R. // Yelp.com
No moss on Rodney Worth. The Tri-Valley rolling stone will soon be opening his sixth restaurant. This one is a little further north, as he’s signed on to take over Food Network star Tyler Florence‘s shuttered Rotisserie & Wine in downtown Napa. Worth says that The Pear will be a Southern concept with comfort staples such as chicken and dumplings, gumbo, fried chicken and waffles, burgers, and sandwiches served all day. “It’ll still be fine dining but accessible—good ol’ country food with some refinement.” Worth hopes to open his new spot located along the city’s redeveloped riverfront soon, as it comes fully equipped. That includes one stroke of luck with the dishware: They’re already monogrammed “RW” for Rotisserie & Wine. “Now it stands for Rodney Worth,” he says with a laugh.
Ike’s is expanding deeper into the East Bay. After debuting his Oakland store, sandwich maven Ike Shehadeh is opening a new Ike’s in Danville’s Trader Joe’s shopping center, in addition to another planned for Walnut Creek next to Buckhorn Grill, city permitting. Danville was set for an October opening while Shehadeh hopes to debut the Walnut Creek store before the end of the year.
Just the opposite at Bakesale Betty. The home of the famous fried chicken sandwich closed its second location in Uptown Oakland. According to co-owner Alison Barakat (aka Betty), she and her husband wanted to go back to being a single-shop operation in Temescal. “We had lost the spirit of what Bakesale Betty was all about.”
Ex–Caffe Delle Stelle owner Hugo Boye is taking over the long-shuttered Chili’s in downtown Walnut Creek. Boye says that his planned Estelle Bistro will serve a menu of “Continental fusion” inspired by his own background: Boye was born in Italy, raised in Chile, and lived in Spain. He hopes to debut by the end of the year.
Berkeley restaurateurs Haig and Cindy Krikorian are downsizing their dining empire, selling off T-Rex BBQ. The Gilman Street spot was taken over by Tom Dashiell, the Krikorians’ longtime counsel for their K2 restaurant group, as well as Matt Sturm, who co-owns Fly Bar and Solstice in San Francisco, and briefly, Big Nate’s BBQ. Few changes are planned except to give T-Rex a “little face-lift.”
Denise Vickers’ former Walnut Creek Baking Company has reopened with new ownership. The property’s landlord, Patrick Ellwood, purchased the company, and his wife, Denise, is running the show, with help from lead baker Tim Rosalez. The shop will remain mostly the same, including recipes, except with a new name: Bake!
I’m sad to report that Trace Leighton and Daniel Clayton’s The Fig Tree, formerly international small-plates eatery Nibbler’s, closed its doors. Gerardo Wence, executive chef of 1515 Restaurant, will be taking over the Pleasant Hill space.
Openings … A.G. Ferrari owner Paul Ferrari’s Borgo Italia restaurant debuted in the former B Restaurant in Old Oakland. Voodoo Kitchen now offers New Orleans–style cuisine in Pleasanton’s Koll Center while Pans on Fire cooking school reopened on Hopyard Road. Chop Chop Korean BBQ opened in Pleasant Hill while Plate & Vine brings a farm-to-table ethos to the Hilton Concord. And if, for some strange reason, you actually want to cook your own meal, Sprouts Farmers Market has debuted at Geary Road and North Main Street in Walnut Creek.