Mid-Week Menu: Victory Burger, Nick's Pizza, and a Couple of Restaurant Remodels

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Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our weekly roundup of East Bay food news.

1) As reported previously, Actual Cafe owner (and weekend laptop policy enforcer) Sal Bednarz is opening an artisan burger joint called Victory Burger in the space adjacent to his North Oakland cafe. According to Bednarz, the new restaurant's overall theme is going to draw on World War II imagery — Victory Gardens and "Do Your Part" messaging, plus an industrial-shipyard aesthetic and lots of pickled things. Bednarz hopes to break ground in a couple months. In the meantime he's launched a $25,000 Kickstarter campaign specifically to fund the restaurant's facade and other aesthetic elements.

Draft of sticker design for Victory Burger, by Eva Silverman of Pushcart Design
  • Draft of sticker design for Victory Burger, by Eva Silverman of Pushcart Design
2) Nick's Pizza opened yesterday at the former Pizza Plaza location, near the Oakland-Berkeley border. SFoodie has some details about Nick Yapor-Cox's take on "Oakland style" pizza. (Sounds a lot like the sourdough crust style popularized by places like Arizmendi, where Yapor-Cox previously worked.)

3) Piedmont Ave. newcomer Local Café plans to launch weekend dinner service next week, starting on Saturday, May 19. Meanwhile, this Friday the cafe will co-host a three-course, beer-paired dinner with Linden Street Brewery. Dinner is $56 a person; $70 if you want to sample some additional special bottlings. Email events@localcafe.net to reserve.

4) Berkeley institution Kip's Bar has started serving dinner and weekend brunch, with lunch service slated to begin next week. Inside Scoop reports that Kip's also plans to expand into the Chinese restaurant downstairs, transforming it into a full-service restaurant called Kip's Eats. Good news for fans of Kip's; bad news for fans of Sun Hong Kong.

Cioppino at Skates on the Bay
  • Cioppino at Skates on the Bay
5) Also on the old-school Berkeley restaurant front, Skates on the Bay recently completed an extensive remodel, its first in 17 years. Highlights include a new raw bar near the entrance and a private dining room. A menu update is also in the works.

6) Oakland Local's thoughtful reflection on last week's May Day Anti-Gentrification march focuses, in part, on two Uptown businesses that were targeted by protesters (without good reason, the author argues): Rudy's Can't Fail Café and Bittersweet Café.

7) In more frivolous news, Inside Scoop reports that urban farmers are so trendy, one of them — namely, Alejandro Velez, co-founder of the Oakland-based, mushroom-growing Back to the Roots — is a contestant on The Bachelorette.

8) Finally, to end on a self-promoting note as I'm wont to do, check out my posts on Clay Pod, a newly-launched food truck gathering, and vegan soul food in Oakland Chinatown.

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