Alameda restaurant closures
Left Field Dogs Alameda
9.13.23: Left Field Dogs abruptly announced the temporary closure of its popular hot dog and sausage stand in Alameda. “With the constant battle of rising food costs, workforce challenges and inflation, we’ve decided it would be best to temporarily close the shop effective 9/12 so we can take the time to realign, refresh and breathe,” reads an Instagram post from the stand. “Today [9/11] will be our last day of service. Whatever the future holds, the LFD brand will be forever and we can’t thank you all enough for all of the support! Next steps, updates and everything in between will be shared here via [I]nstagram.” Follow those updates here, and Nosh will also keep you posted. Left Field Dogs opened in October, 2022, and was at 1606 Webster St. in Alameda (and hopefully will return!).
10.04.23: As first reported in The Chronicle, Alameda’s Mama Judy Singaporean eatery has closed. The unusual reason? Overwhelming demand. Eagle-eyed readers might have noticed the restaurant listed among our openings in … August. After an intense grand opening, extreme ongoing popularity and several subsequent temporary pauses in business to regroup, chef and owner Judy Wee waved the white flag and noted in her farewell statement that it came too soon, “I myself have never heard of another restaurant opening and closing so quickly.” Altogether, Mama Judy was open for the equivalent of about a week, and yet will still be missed. Let’s hope Wee finds other conduits for her sought-after hawker fare. Mama Judy was at 1708 Park St. in Alameda.
Berkeley restaurant closures
Kaffa Ethiopian Cuisine
10.04.23: Owner Shitaye Beshir has confirmed what readers (and the kind people at neighboring business Sacramento Market) first alerted us to—as of Sept. 24, Kaffa Ethiopian Cuisine, known for its vegan Ethiopian specialties, has permanently closed after almost nine years. Reached by phone, Beshir blamed ongoing landlord disputes and staffing difficulties for the closure. She gave thanks to her fans and members of the south Berkeley community who helped keep the cozy neighborhood space in business, especially in recent years when circumstances forced her to operate almost single-handedly. “I don’t know what the future brings now,” she said, and added that although she might keep cooking, restaurant ownership is not part of that hazy envisioned future for now. Kaffa Ethiopian Cuisine was at 2987 Sacramento St. in Berkeley.
Mo’ Joe Cafe Berkeley
9.13.23: Thanks to the Mo’ Joe Cafe regular who shared their sad surprise at a sign on the door announcing that the 15-year-old cafe had permanently closed on Sept. 3. Nosh reached the owners Adil and Rachid to confirm that yes, their popular neighborhood cafe has gone dark for good. Mo’ Joe was a celebrated local hangout for its easy-going welcome and community vibe, good coffee and above-average cafe food, and will leave a hole in many daily routines. (“We’ll miss you, too,” the owners’ wrote in an email). The closure comes on the heels of the June shuttering of their Oakland location. Mo’ Joe Cafe Berkeley was at 2517 Sacramento St. in Berkeley.
One Plus Berkeley
9.13.23: Nosh has been watching this popular tea and jianbing cafe near UC Berkeley for months now to see if it will, as the sign on the door says, reopen, and so far no dice. We have also reached out many times to management and heard nothing. Furnishings within the roomy, pretty cafe remain intact, but there is no sign of reopening just yet, and everything looks a little … ghosted. Nosh will keep you posted. One Plus Berkeley is temporarily closed (we hope?) at 2161 Allston Way in Berkeley.
9.22.23: Telegraph Avenue has lost a four-year-old staple with the closure of fast-casual, budget-friendly fusion eatery Savory Kitchen. The restaurant is papered over, and the website and phone are both down. Though management is not responding to inquiries, WhatNowSF had the story several weeks back that Pakistani kebab shop Wrap & Roll is slated to move into the space; looks like the transition has begun. Savory Kitchen was at 2493 Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley.
States Coffee Berkeley
9.29.23: Thanks to the many readers who wrote in with this news. In a phone call to Nosh, the kind folks at States Coffee confirmed that the handsome Berkeley location is now closed. “We really appreciate the following and the support,” said co-owner Brett Benzer, calling their time at the San Pablo Avenue shop, “a journey.” Fans may have noticed that States ceased its baking operations in Berkeley a few months ago, and without the bread component, the owners felt the space was underused. The good news is that the baton has already been passed. Lavender Bakery has chosen the cafe for its second Berkeley location, and will make full use of the bakery for, yes, fresh-baked breads in a nod to States, as well as the European-style cakes and confections for which the patisserie is well known on Solano Avenue. States Coffee fans—and there are many—can still find locations on 40th Street in Oakland (the 4008 Martin Luther King Jr. Way cafe quietly closed about a year ago, and has been taken over by Sushi Salon, coming soon), as well as in Martinez and Benicia. The Berkeley cafe closed Sept. 21. States Coffee Berkeley was at 2101 San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley.
Oakland restaurant closures
Cafe Umami Uptown
9.22.23: Sadly, the closing of Cafe Umami Uptown came sooner than the initial announcement on social media indicated, and the location is no more. Thankfully, the Korean fusion spot’s original Dimond District flagship remains open and focused on nourishing, healthful whole foods and vibrant flavors. Cafe Umami Uptown opened in 2019, and was at 25 Grand Ave. in Oakland.
9.22.23: Here is another closure that arrived a few weeks earlier than expected. Casa Borinqueña is closed after only nine months, a surprise to many given the popularity of the eatery’s vegan Puerto Rican cuisine during its short-but-spicy run. Even before opening, Casa Borinqueña was highlighted in the media as it languished, undergoing permitting delays and other troubles that started things off on shaky ground. “We didn’t have a fighting chance,” owner and chef Lourdes “Lulu” Marquez-Nau wrote in an email to Nosh. The restaurant closed after service on Sept. 18. Marquez-Nau has launched a GoFundMe seeking donations to help Casa Borinqueña open in a new location. Casa Borinqueña was at 6211 Shattuck Ave. in Oakland.
Galeto Brazilian Steakhouse
10.04.23: The same weekend Le Cheval closed its doors after 38 years, nearby Galeto Brazilian Steakhouse on the same Old Oakland block also said farewell for many of the same reasons—car burglaries, violent crime and losing workers (not just customers) to both concerns, Galeto owner Eli Nascimento told KPIX. The churrascaria has a location in Arizona that Nascimento will focus on going forward; he opened the original Galeto in Oakland in 2014. Galeto Brazilian Steakhouse was at 1019 Clay St. in Oakland.
Jellybean Wine Bar
9.29.23: Jellybean, a natural wine bar in Uptown Oakland closed mid September after two months in business. The bar was the follow-up concept from owner Imana, who goes by first name only, after closing the fine dining restaurant Hi Felicia. “Jellybean is a very special place, and I’m so happy with the experiences we’ve had at our wine bar,” Imana wrote on Instagram before taking down the account, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Imana still operates Sluts wine bar in San Francisco. Jellybean Wine Bar was at 326 23rd St. in Oakland.
9.29.23: When the owners announced Le Cheval would close at the end of September after 40 years of Oakland fame, customers lined up out the door for one last meal before the final plate of garlic noodles were served. The restaurant run by the Tran family first opened in 1985, and quickly became a special occasion favorite for its upscale Vietnamese cuisine and ambience. (It closed in 2010 due to a property dispute, and reopened in 2012 when the building’s landlord was found guilty of fraud.) Le Cheval was the last of what was, for a time, a mini empire of sought-after Vietnamese-fusion dining rooms in the East Bay, including a second Le Cheval in Walnut Creek, that closed after 11 years in 2019, and Petit Cheval in Berkeley, that closed in 2014 after 15 years. Le Cheval was at 1007 Clay St. in Oakland, and closed Sept. 30.
9.13.23: Oakland has lost an approachable Cal-Italian destination with the closure of 10-year-old Mockingbird. Known for its warm service and well-executed seasonal plates, the restaurant was a great choice for birthdays, date nights and friendly get-togethers over lunch, dinner or brunch. “We did what we could and held on as long as possible,” said the closure note on the restaurant’s website and Instagram feed. “It was not enough to keep Mockingbird flying.” Mockingbird was at 416 13th St. in Oakland.
My Goodness Soft-Serve Ice Cream
9.13.23: The My Goodness pop-up soft-serve ice cream counter, operating inside Cafe Lakeview, and known for its generous, elaborate cones and desserts, will go temporarily dark for the fall and winter after this week while the owners seek a permanent location in the area. Follow My Goodness on Instagram to get updates, or to connect around space ideas. My Goodness will temporarily close Sept. 17 at 2834 Lakeshore Ave. in Oakland.
9.07.23: Don’t worry folks — those garlic ‘noodz’ aren’t going away for good, but vendor Noodle Belly has left Korner Oakland, as of last weekend. “This isn’t a final good-bye,” says the Instagram announcement. “This is a good-bye for now.” The group is taking a break and ceasing weekly retail service. “We’re focusing on the next phase of our brand and will keep you all posted on next steps,” they continue. Follow them to find out more; catering is still available in the meantime. Again, Noodle Belly is not closed (and neither is Korner), but Noodle Belly has closed its Korner Oakland counter operation at 1014 Fruitvale Ave.
Rooz Cafe Oakland
9.13.23: Just shy of 22 years in business, Lake Merritt neighborhood coffee and sandwich shop Rooz Cafe has called it quits. Owner Steve Ranjbin’s closing post called out Oakland’s current crime and lack of support for small businesses — “all the nonsense and no accountability” — as impetus for the closure. The cafe first opened on Nov. 9, 2001, on Piedmont Avenue and lasted for 11 years; its second location on Park Boulevard opened in 2007. Rooz Cafe was at 1918 Park Blvd. in Oakland.
9.07.23: Nosh’s Sept. 5 reporting on landlord-tenant tensions, neighborhood crime, construction and other disturbances at the Fruitvale Public Market included the news that popular taqueria Tacos El Ultimo Baile has temporarily closed. Owner Dominic Prado plans to focus on catering and pop-up events for the moment, with the hope that landlords will find solutions to a long list of issues affecting businesses at the taqueria’s parent venue. Tacos El Ultimo Baile is temporarily closed at 3340 E 12th St. in Oakland, but is available for catering and pop-ups.
Vegan Mob Oakland
9.29.23: The fast casual vegan outfit closed its Lakeshore location in September, the San Francisco Chronicle first reported. During the pandemic, lines at Vegan Mob were out the door for Toriano Gordon’s rich, hearty plant-based soul and comfort food—ribs, gumbo, mac and cheese and fried chicken. According to the Chronicle, Vegan Mob’s lease turned month-to-month beginning in 2022, and Gordon decided to shutter in order to focus on other potential projects, including an upcoming new location in San Francisco and a food truck based in Santa Rosa. Vegan Mob was at 500 Lake Park Ave. in Oakland.
Pinole Restaurant closure
Happy Sashimi Pinole
9.13.23: The kind people at Pinole’s Happy Sashimi have confirmed that they will close permanently after service on Friday, Sept. 15. “It’s due to many outside issues and situations,” said the staff member we reached by phone, who mentioned there were no plans to reopen in another location. The sushi restaurant was a Pinole fixture for 18 years. Happy Sashimi was at 2718 Pinole Valley Rd. in Pinole.