Mid-Week Menu: Fusebox Opens Soon in West Oakland, Blue Bottle Hits New York, Purple Plum Chef at Picán



Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, a weekly roundup of restaurant openings, chef arrivals and departures, and other nuggets of gossip from the East Bay dining scene.

1) The Sacramento Bee brings word that frou-frou Sacramento pizzeria Hot Italian will open a branch in the Emeryville Public Market building. Apparently this is the beginning of the market's new hip makeover. Also fresh: buttons!

Fusebox lays some tile
  • Fusebox lays some tile

2) Fusebox, the Kickstarter-funded West Oakland Korean eatery that was scheduled to open in late January, appears to be a bit behind schedule. Their Facebook page shows they were still under construction last week.

3) Diablo magazine learns that the now-shuttered Levende East on Washington and 9th Street in Old Oakland will become an outpost of schmancy SF wine bar District.

4) A San Francisco bar has invented a drink called the Oakland Iced Tea. Lame crack joke follows.

5) A Chowhound newshound says that the sad, unloved, and defunct Alameda Mexican joint Acapulco will reopen under new ownership, with a liquor license and a makeover.

6) Blue Bottle Coffee owner James Freeman, who told the Express he plans to mellow out a little this year, gave the Wall Street Journal some news about the company's Manhattan expansion plans. (To view the whole article, cut and paste the first sentence into Google: magic!)

Bryant Terry
  • Bryant Terry

7) Oakland-based food activist Bryant Terry has a new vegan cookbook and guess who has a copy?! We'll share some recipes if you're nice.

8) Last week we told you that Picán is on the hunt for a new chef after Dean Depuis headed to Jersey. Inside Scoop gets word that chef Sharon Anderson, formerly of Oakland's beloved (and now closed) Purple Plum, will be guest cheffing until Picán secures a permanent replacement.

9) Berkeley has a wee new coffeeshop called Alchemy Collective Cafe.

10) Berkeleyside reports that vegetarian Thai joint Green Papaya in Berkeley (not to be confused with Green Papaya Deli in East Oakland) is reopening as Thanu's Kitchen. The kicker: they'll serve meat!