The Kitchen Sink: Goodbye to A.G. Ferrari in Berkeley; Hello to Sandwiches and Soul Food in Oakland



Alright, East Bay, here's your weekly roundup of food and drink news:

San Leandro-based specialty-food chain A.G. Ferrari Foods declared bankruptcy earlier this week, citing rising costs and a still-slow economy. The chain's Solano Avenue store closed on Sunday night; the Sunnyvale store shuttered shortly thereafter. According to a story in yesterday's Chron, the 92-year-old company isn't necessarily planning on closing all of its eleven remaining stores, but is in the process of renegotiating its leases and reorganizing its finances.

Its been real, A.G. Ferrari
  • It's been real, A.G. Ferrari

According to SFoodie, Eastlake will soon be getting a new gourmet take-out spot, Berlyn's Gourmet Eatery, helmed by Dontaye Ball and Larry McClendon. The restaurant will have limited seating and will serve sandwiches, salads, and the like, in addition to a daily specials menu and soul food entrees like gumbo and jambalaya. According to McClendon's Twitter feed, Berlyn's is set for a soft opening next week, while SFoodie indicates it'll open officially on April 23.

Last week, we told you about the three East Bay additions to Michael Bauer's annual 100 Best Restaurant list: Oakland's Plum and A Cote, and Berkeley's Ippuku. The final list came out in Sunday's Chronicle Magazine, and it looks like the East Bay restaurants that were axed are Oakland's Bay Wolf and Flora. Diablo Dish, by the way, has a list of the twelve East Bay restaurants that ultimately made the cut.

Former Mayor of San Francisco Willie Brown apparently made it all the way out to the wild hinterlands of the East Bay for a meal at Oakland's Bocanova the other day, which he chronicled for his occasional column at Inside Scoop. After using the words "adventuresome," "unusual" and "different" within the space of a single paragraph to describe a restaurant that is, save for its exotic Oakland location, more or less a standard tapas place, Brown got around to recommending the Caesar, the fish, and various meat dishes, though he ultimately declared that he probably won't go back.

Review revue: The Chron apparently likes Disco Volante's bar menu; and the CoCo Times calls Pleasant Hill's Zen "simple and delicious."

And finally, table scraps: Downtown Oakland vegan Filipino restaurant No Worries now has a liquor license; Jon's Street Eats is, according to the food truck's Twitter feed, officially up and running again with its new owner, John Betteo; and the Wall Street Journal spotlights Berkeley's Gather in yesterday's paper.

See any "Coming Soon" signs, liquor license applications, or boarded-up restos in your neighborhood? Holler at