For a short, optimistic interval in early summer season 2021, the time period “submit COVID” was trotted out and toasted liberally, often by unmasked teams inside reopened venues. Now, a bit of wiser, a bit of quieter and tucked again behind mandated masks, Nosh has lately heard a extra correct description of our present standing: We’re in lengthy COVID. Societal signs embrace ongoing uncertainty, division, stasis and continued threats to public security, and we’d nonetheless be a good distance from any actual therapeutic.
For the restaurant business, a full yr and a half of pandemic measures throughout the provision chain proceed to take their toll. The price of substances retains rising, particularly people who require processing or delivery, from meat to condiments. Venues is likely to be open, however, vaccinated or not, clients are tense, and sustaining employees and their well-being stay struggles all through the business.
The next are the companies we all know of which have made the selection to exit stage left at the moment. As at all times, ideas are appreciated at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMPERIAL TEA COURT On August 28, whereas Chez Panisse held its fiftieth anniversary get together close by, Imperial Tea Courtroom quietly shut its Berkeley doorways for good. The stunning Chinese language tea, noodle and dim sum store missed one of many East Bay’s prettiest backyard courtyards, and was a North Berkeley neighborhood staple for 16 years. Proprietor Roy Fong’s announcement on Instagram was poignant and humble — “Most of all, we thanks in your willingness to forgive our shortcomings as we tried to iterate and enhance.” (The client reminiscences and phrases of gratitude that poured in didn’t appear to say any shortcomings.) In excellent news, Imperial Tea Court’s Ferry Building location in San Francisco stays open, as does its online retail tea site. Keep tuned to Nosh for an interview with Fong later this week. Imperial Tea Courtroom was at 1511 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley.
STELLA NONNA The web site has gone darkish, and Yelp and different websites are firmly marking this former brilliant spot on the Berkeley eating scene closed. With nonetheless no phrase from its house owners, regardless of the intact inside, we’re shifting it from briefly closed to shuttered. Stella Nonna was at 1407 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley.
BATCH PASTRIES A Nosh good friend tried securing breakfast pastries from right here on Sept. 26 — the day after the beloved Montclair bakery closed for good. “You’ll by no means consider this,” she mentioned, lamenting the shock. Alas, Nosh had already confirmed the unhappy information with Batch proprietor Emily Buysse earlier this month. “The explanations are difficult and different and it’s not only one factor, however an entire mixture of things, as with most companies I think about,” mentioned Buysse. “Thanks to our neighborhood, our clients and most of all our employees, each previous and current. I’m happy with the store we constructed and the attractive merchandise we made. Our clients have been superb at serving to us climate this previous 18 months — we’re sorry to disappoint them and can miss them.” The bakery first opened as a wholesale enterprise in 2013, and moved into the Montclair shop in 2016. Batch Pastries was at 2220 Mountain Blvd.
BIERHAUS OAKLAND The Bierhaus Oakland beer backyard, closed for the size of the pandemic, has now shuttered for good. Keep tuned for updates on the prized fortieth Road bar and restaurant (and its good-looking streetside out of doors patio). In the meantime, Bierhaus Walnut Creek is open and thriving. Bierhaus Oakland was at 360 fortieth St.
THE BUSY WIFE After spending a year and half as a long term pop-up inside the still-shuttered Dyafa, chef Michauxnee Olier’s Creole soul meals spot The Busy Spouse will be moving on. Olier tells Nosh that Dyafa proprietor Daniel Patterson emailed her in early September, saying that Jack London Sq. property administration firm CIM Group mentioned that Olier’s pop-up should finish as “the lease particularly states that the area will likely be used for a first-class restaurant.” The information got here as Olier was finishing meal obligations with World Central Kitchen and planning to briefly shut the restaurant so she may take a long-postponed trip. Olier has but to announce her subsequent transfer or location. The Busy Spouse was at 44 Webster Road in Jack London Sq. — Nosh contributor Brandy Collins
THE HUMBLE SANDWICH Sadly, that’s a wrap on Homestead Restaurant’s pandemic pivot, as first reported by Jessica Yadegaran of the Mercury News. The connoisseur sandwich store was first launched by Homestead Restaurant chef-owners Fred and Liz Sassen as a popup in April of 2020, and it grew to become the dominant enterprise when Homestead closed this June. Although humble sandwiches have been served all the way in which till Sept. 30, the Sassens and their young family apparently moved away from the Bay Space earlier this summer season. Props to the cooks for his or her sleek exit, easing their approach out of our hearts, and right here’s one remaining farewell to their pretty Piedmont Avenue vacation spot after eight years. The Humble Sandwich, previously Homestead, was at 4029 Piedmont Ave.
REEM’S FRUITVALE As first reported within the SF Chronicle, chef Reem Assil’s well-known Arab bakery is moving its Oakland operation, which for the pandemic has predominantly comprised a commissary kitchen, wholesale and catering companies, down the road to 1419 thirty fourth Ave. (There may be additionally a possible new Oakland Reem’s brick-and-mortar to return, timing and site TBD.) In the meantime, the unique Reem’s Fruitvale area has been bought to Native American chef Crystal Wahpepah. Be aware: Reem’s California Mission at 2901 Mission St. in San Francisco stays open (and highly regarded!). Search for extra particulars on that intriguing opening to return quickly. Reem’s Fruitvale was at 3301 E. twelfth St.
THAI CORNER EXPRESS The restaurant stays underneath the identical possession however has morphed into new idea Saap Wing, that includes Thai-style hen wings and sides. Thai Nook Specific was at 435 nineteenth St.
BROTHERS PUBLIC KITCHEN The quilt shot of our April openings is reportedly no extra. Brothers Public Kitchen, in Orinda’s Theatre Sq., has apparently closed, regardless of a still-active cellphone and web site, and no announcement of closing or short-term hiatus on social media. Readers have alerted Nosh that the restaurant has gone darkish, and we obtained no response in any other case by press time from the house owners. Brothers Public Kitchen was at 2 Theatre Sq. in Orinda.
KATSU SUSHI HOUSE Alameda’s Katsu Sushi Home seems to have closed for good. Although the web site says the dormancy is simply short-term, Google and Yelp mark it as completely closed, and there was no exercise or replace for months. As at all times, we hope we’re incorrect; due to a reader for the tip. Katsu Sushi Home was at 1465 Webster St. in Alameda.
MAMA LAMEES Because of tipster “zippo1” of the Hungry Onion for discover of this closure: When chef Lamees Dahbour moved her halal Palestinian eatery Mama Lamees into the Public Market Emeryville in 2019, the La Cocina supported chef took over the identical kiosk that beforehand housed chef Fernay McPherson’s Minnie Bell’s, and earlier than that chef Nite Yun’s Cambodian standout Nyum Bai. These two women-owned companies moved on to larger areas and fame — Nyum Bai to Fruitvale and Minnie Bell’s throughout the market. Now Mama Lamees can also be shifting on, and we hope chef Dahbour, who’s in search of a contemporary begin, lands the identical destiny for her celebrated meals. For now, Mama Lamees was at 5959 Shellmound St. contained in the Public Market, Emeryville.
OTAEZ Nosh missed this one again in July — basic Mexican restaurant Otaez in Alameda has closed. The family-owned restaurant opened in 2006. In a fast turnaround, per Eater SF, intriguing newcomer Ceron Kitchen is about to open within the area as quickly as October. Otaez in Oakland stays open at 3872 Worldwide Blvd. Otaez Alameda was at 1619 Webster St. in Alameda.
ROBA’S PIZZA & PASTA CAFE One other unhappy report from Emeryville, this one an unassuming, well-kept secret: As reported by The Eville Eye, homestyle Italian cafe Roba’s has closed. Ethiopian-born Abraham Roba and his household opened the cafe in 1992, contained in the Marina neighborhood’s Watergate Procuring Middle. The cafe served hearty Italian meals (for refreshingly dated costs) to a devoted clientele of locals and close by professionals for practically 30 years. This month, clients have been stunned to seek out the place vacated with no warning. Farewell, Roba’s. Roba’s Pizza & Pasta Cafe was at 2320 Powell St. in Emeryville.
AUGIE’S MONTREAL DELI As proprietor Lex Gopnick-Lewinski put it when he briefly closed Augie’s on June 1, it’s “not like Canadians to hibernate,” particularly in summer season. However Gopnick-Lewinski lately tell us that, regardless of the recognition of Augie’s new location at 700 Essex Way, hibernation is his continued plan for the deli by way of at the very least the top of the yr. “As a lot as we miss all of our clients, it doesn’t make sense for us to open now,” he mentioned. In keeping with Gopnick-Lewinski, the tidal wave of Covid-related provide chain points stays crippling. The value of uncooked brisket, for instance, which in Could had risen from $2 to $4 per pound, is now as a lot as $8 per pound, he mentioned. “Some clients say they’d pay $30 for a bowl of our poutine,” he chuckled, “However they wouldn’t do it greater than as soon as.” Till costs stabilize and the deli can reopen, these clients can help their favourite poutinerie by buying Augie’s merchandise nonetheless obtainable retail at Bay Space shops, together with Berkeley Bowl and Rockridge Market Corridor. Augie’s Montreal Deli is at 700 Essex Method in Berkeley.
ROYAL CAFE We guess August wasn’t within the playing cards for the Royal Cafe in any case. No reopening, no replace and no motion from throughout the pink citadel simply but, and locals have actually noticed. Makes an attempt to achieve the restaurant have as soon as once more gone unanswered. Royal Cafe is at 811 San Pablo Ave. in Albany.
SMOKE BERKELEY BBQ It’s been a bittersweet month for Smoke Berkeley led by chef Tina Ferguson-Riffe, her husband Jed Riffe and son and pitmaster Sean Hagler. The beloved Texas-style barbecue slingers simply celebrated 10 years in enterprise; in addition they introduced that they’ll not operate out of Spats, their host since 2019, attributable to “electrical and different points.” A press launch from the enterprise states, “Smoke Berkeley is just not closing, however envisioning a brand new location with out of doors seating in location, conducive to smoking and consuming Texas BBQ and extra.” Smoke’s final day at Spats was on August 31. Keep tuned.
VENUS ON SHATTUCK Reader concern led Nosh to achieve out once more after six months to Venus owner Deepak Aggarwal, who confirmed that although it stays dormant, Venus on Shattuck will reopen, maybe with a menu or idea tweak or two. For the second, Aggarwal mentioned, the restaurant’s indoor-only mannequin stays unfeasible. (“We’re nonetheless in a pandemic.”) He might need reopening information to share in November. Within the meantime, please help the Berkeley enterprise by ordering from Venus on Solano. Venus is at 2327 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley.