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Diablo Dish—October 2010

An American restaurant with steakhouse roots is coming to Dublin; Wizzbangz burgers beefs up Danville; more cupcakes are set to sweeten up Walnut Creek; and more in this month's Dish!


Dubliners will have a new restaurant to go to get their meat fix, when Cellar 9 opens in Grafton Station this winter. Owner Doug Garcia brings 35-plus years of experience to his new restaurant, which will serve classic American fare such as New York steak, meatloaf, and Georgia peach pork chops, in the $15–$30 range. The 68-seat restaurant will have a full bar plus a wine list, with an emphasis on Livermore wineries. A longtime San Ramon resident and former McNamara’s steak house partner, Garcia hopes to open by December to tap into the holiday dining crowd. “I just saw a big need in east Dublin for a midscale, contemporary restaurant serving American cuisine,” he says.

And that may not be it for Dublin: Word is that Grafton Station is still looking to lure in two more restaurants, and that the popular restaurant/brewery chain BJ’s has been looking around town to open a second East Bay spot after unveiling its Concord location last year. While you’re waiting for one of BJ’s half-pound Angus burgers or pizookies (half pizza, half cookie), you can check out the new Wizzbangz on Railroad Avenue in Danville. Owners Rod and Deb Clement serve up burgers using hormone-free, grass-fed beef from New Zealand, along with a variety of sandwiches and fresh-cut fries. How about Pinkberry for dessert? The SoCal fro-yo chain with a cult following, opened its first East Bay location in San Ramon’s Crow Canyon Commons.

San Ramon’s PG’s Crow Canyon Wine Lounge was set to expand to Danville’s Livery in September, under the name Tannins. Owner Parag Gandhi’s new retail wine store will focus on hard-to-find California labels, host tastings, and even rent out space to store customers’ private collections.

In Walnut Creek, The Door is searching for a new head cook, as executive chef Daniel Sudar is leaving to pursue his other passion: fashion. Sudar debuted his fall/winter line at San Francisco Chic Fashion Week in August. Also leaving (before he really began) is Jeremy Fox, the former star Ubuntu chef who was rumored to be executive chef of Daniel Patterson’s anticipated new Uptown Oakland spot, Plum. Nevertheless, it was set to open its doors in September with Lauren Kiino at the helm.

Walnut Creek’s Marriott is going hip: The hotel is planning a major renovation for the new year in which they’ll create a lounge/restaurant space that opens up to the lobby, à la the W Hotel. Tender Greens, the organic-but-affordable concept slated to open in downtown Walnut Creek this fall, is now shooting for a January debut. Another cupcake shop, Kara’s Cupcakes, is headed for North Main Street. Based in San Francisco, owner Kara Lind has five other locations in the Bay Area.

And can we call it the Middle East Bay? In addition to Anarkalee, a new Pakistani/Indian eatery in Pleasanton, Zambur Mediterranean Bar & Grill debuted next to the Brenden Theatres in Concord. The lounge/restaurant specializes in doners, a Turkish version of the gyro, says owner Aaron Mujadidi, who is also applying for a hookah license. Finally, in Moraga, Michael Erez hopes to open Shishkabobshow in the Rheem center by mid-November. What to expect? Only “the most unusual restaurant in all of the Bay Area,” according to Erez, who was mum on details, except a hint that there would be Middle Eastern food and live entertainment.

Got Dish? E-mail us at dish@maildiablo.com.

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