Mid-Week Menu: Tribune Tavern, a KronnerBurger Pop-Up, and a Hot Sauce Shop for Berkeley



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

1) Two months after opening Lungomare in Jack London Square, Chris Pastena (Chop Bar) and Temoor Noor (Grand Tavern) are ready to launch yet another high-profile project in Downtown Oakland. Tribune Tavern, a 150-seat restaurant on the ground floor of the historic Tribune Tower (401 13th St.), will open for dinner on Wednesday, April 10. Chef Huw Thornton’s menu plays off the tavern/pub theme, with versions of dishes like shepherd’s pie and Welsh rarebit, as well as a selection of dry-aged steaks.

Part of the interior at Tribune Tavern (via Facebook).
  • Part of the interior at Tribune Tavern (via Facebook).
2) Also opening next week, on April 11, will be Downtown Berkeley’s Build Pizzeria Roma (2286 Shattuck Ave.). As previously reported, the basic concept is build-your-own-pizza — but the pizza will be the thin-crust Roman style, cooked in less than three minutes in the restaurant’s wood-fired ovens. Chef Brian Langevin is a Tony Gemignani protégé.

3) Grub Street notes that San Francisco’s KronnerBurger will be popping up in Oakland during this week’s First Friday festivities, from 5 p.m to 9 p.m. at the Creative Growth Art Center (355 24th St.). The $30 ticket to get in the door will include a burger and fries; proceeds benefit the Center.

4) A couple of weeks ago, Inside Scoop reported that Oakland’s Marzano (4214 Park Blvd.) would be losing its chef, Robert Holt, who has been with the restaurant since it opened in 2008. Now that Holt has moved on to a restaurant in Palo Alto, he’s been replaced at Marzano: Doug Borkowski, formerly of the now-shuttered Hudson (from the same owners) is the new chef.

5) In another shuffle, Diablo Dish reports that Albany’s Fonda (1501 Solano Ave.) is the latest restaurant to be sold off by the K2 restaurant group, following T-Rex and Sea Salt. The new owner is Hal Brendel, one of the owners of Piedmont Avenue’s Caffe Trieste and Bar César.

6) Over at Bay Area Bites, Sarah Henry has an update on People’s Community Market, the West Oakland supermarket project, which What the Fork reported on last fall. According founder Brahm Ahmadi, the store is in the “final stretch” toward becoming a reality.

Part of the selection at Heat Hot Sauce Shop (via Facebook).
  • Part of the selection at Heat Hot Sauce Shop (via Facebook).
7) Berkeleyside Nosh has the scoop on Heat Hot Sauce Shop (1922B Martin Luther King Jr. Way), which had its grand opening in Berkeley this past Saturday. The specialty shop carries over 200 varieties of hot sauce, including three that the owners make in-house and several other brands that aren’t available anywhere else in the state. Pepper heads, you have your Mecca.

8) Meanwhile, there’s another addition to Berkeley’s blossoming obscure alcohol scene: The Mead Kitchen, a new wholesale producer of the famed (if mostly long-forgotten) fermented honey brew. Berkeleyside Nosh has the story.

9) Finally, in case you missed it, check out my story on the Royal Egyptian Cuisine food truck, and get all the details on an Alameda community fundraising event being held in honor of Chef Soleil Banguid, who passed away last month.

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.