With the holidays behind us, new restaurants and bars are starting to emerge out from under their construction dust on both sides of the Bay. And in Oakland, there are three debuts to talk about this week.
First there's Magpie, which actually quietly opened right after Christmas in the former Hog's Apothecary space on 40th Street in the Temescal District. Like its predecessor, it has an industrial, brewery vibe with over three dozen taps for local beer, cider, and wine — and a full dozen are reserved for cider. In the place of sausages and pub food, though, are Neapolitan-style pizzas and share plates, including what the Mercury News calls some "fine" meatballs.
It's a new project from the team behind the far-flung but popular Brotzeit Lokal over along the estuary, and all the big TVs from Hog's Apothecary remain — all the better for watching football the next couple of weekends.
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Next up we have Viridian, which is officially set to open in "late January" in the former Plum Bar space on Broadway, but it will be doing a test event as soon as next week — a Facebook post notes a "test service" happening on the evening of January 24. Viridian is a project from William Tsui (Lazy Bear, Rich Table), who will serve as Bar Manager, Raymond Gee (Noodle Theory Provisions), Jeremy Chiu (Shinmai, Mina Group), and Executive Chef Amanda Hoang (Bird Dog), who'll be doing a menu of small dishes and "dim sum-style" desserts. The only hint of those we have so far is an Instagram shot (below) of some po tat, or Chinese-style egg tarts.
And the only hints we have of the vibe and aesthetic come from the nascent Facebook page, which has a few illustrations along with a Wong Kar-wai movie poster.
And finally, there's the aforementioned new Oakland location for SF's Kitchen Story, which is now open on College Avenue (in the former Duchess space). As SFist reported earlier, the new location focuses more on Korean influences, rather than the more Thai-inflected menu that the Castro location has, but like in SF, brunch will very much be front and center on the menu.
Berkeleyside reports that the new place has been open since January 2, with the former Duchess space mostly "unchanged."
There's also KFC (Korean fried chicken) on the menu, along with a new dish inspired by the Oscar-nominated film Parasite, called Jjapaguri, which combines the restaurant chain's famous Millionaire's Bacon with two classic Korean instant noodles, Jjapaghetti and Neoguri Udon.
Owner Steven Choi also owns the spinoff dessert concept U: Dessert Story, which is opening a new location in Berkeley next month, as well as Sweet Maple in Lower Pac Heights, and Blackwood in SF's Marina District.
Magpie - 375 40th Street, Oakland - Open daily from 11:30 a.m.
Viridian - 2216 Broadway, Oakland - Open for test service on January 24, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Kitchen Story - 5422 College Avenue, Oakland - Open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; and for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Top image: Jenna B./Yelp