Mid-Week Menu: A Super-Sized Blue Bottle Cafe in Oakland, a Food Truck Garden in West Berkeley, and a New C.R.E.A.M. Shop in Walnut Creek



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

1) According to Inside Scoop, Blue Bottle Coffee just signed the lease on the location for a new Oakland cafe — one that will not only be the company’s biggest cafe, it will have as much square footage (2,000) as all of the other Blue Bottle cafes on the West Coast combined! The new shop will be located at the corner of Broadway and 42nd St., in the old W.C. Morse building (a former auto showroom). The timeline’s still unclear at this point, but it sounds like the cafe will probably open sometime later this year.

2) Inside Scoop also has a good overview of what customers can expect at the new La Boulange-powered Starbucks cafes, which, as of yesterday, April 16, includes every Starbucks in the Bay Area. The basic approach at these “mini-bakeries” will be to heat up frozen La Boulange products — a process that, when it’s launched nationwide, will necessitate what La Boulange’s Pascal Rigo says will be the “largest refrigerator roll-out in the history of the world.”

New at FuseBOX: Halibut Hwe with Shingo Pear, Tindora, and House-made Cho Chang (via Facebook).
  • New at FuseBOX: Halibut Hwe with Shingo Pear, Tindora, and House-made Cho Chang (via Facebook).
3) West Oakland’s FuseBOX (2311A Magnolia St.) has been serving dinner on Saturday nights only for a while now. Next Thursday April 25, the modern soju bang style restaurant will expand its hours to offer dinner on Thursday and Friday nights as well, from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. all three nights. New dishes include a selection of hwe (Korean-style raw fish) and Kusshi oysters with a yuzu kosho mignonette.

4) Berkeleyside Nosh has the details on a beer garden and food truck market that’s being planned for a vacant lot in West Berkeley, at the intersection of Curtis and Gilman streets. The general idea will be to create a “more verdant” version of Biergarten, in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood. Meanwhile, across town, Moxy Beer Garden (3136 Sacramento St.) opens at 5 p.m. this Thursday, April 18, according to Tablehopper.

5) Berkeleyside Nosh also reports that the Berkeley public school gardening and cooking programs are in danger of being cut or drastically scaled back, as $1.9 million in federal funds is set to be cut this fall.

Via Facebook
  • Via Facebook
6) C.R.E.A.M. (2399 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley) — every Cal student’s favorite spot for affordable, customizable ice cream sandwiches — is coming to a yet unspecified location in downtown Walnut Creek, Diablo Dish reports. The Berkeley shop has been actively seeking franchising opportunities.

7) A Chowhound tipster reports that the Alameda location of Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers (2254 South Shore Blvd.) is closed — and has been since late January, it turns out. At the time, owner Young Han Yi told The Mercury News that the Off the Grid food truck gathering that takes place in the South Shore Center parking lot every Saturday took away too much of his business.

8) R.I.P. to Schmendricks, the San Francisco-based purveyor of the (fantastic, if hard-to-procure) $3 bagel, whose owners have decided not to pursue a permanent brick-and-mortar location as they’d previously planned, J. Weekly reports. Meanwhile, in the East Bay, the bagel renaissance marches on: Baron Baking, Beauty’s Bagel Shop, and Authentic Bagel Company are all still going strong.

9) Finally, ICYMI, this week’s batch of What the Fork stories: Pie for breakfast at PieTisserie, and Oakland Veg Week reaches out to foodies.

Got tips or suggestions? Email me at Luke (dot) Tsai (at) EastBayExpress (dot) com. Otherwise, keep in touch by following me on Twitter @theluketsai, or simply by posting a comment. I'll read ‘em all.