East Bay Updates and Openings: The Alice Market, Square Pie Guys, La Perla, Casa Barotti

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The Alice Collective is now The Alice Market (until events return!). Photo: © tablehopper.com.

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The interior of the new Square Pie Guys Oakland. Photo: Albert Law.

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Recco-style focaccia at Casa Barotti. Photo courtesy of Bureau Jules.

There are some changes at ~THE ALICE COLLECTIVE~ in Oakland. Obviously, this event space has taken a hit during the pandemic, and is now converting into The Alice Market, featuring small businesses offering food and drink on Thursdays (6pm-8pm) and Saturdays (11am-1pm). Take a look at this post for links to some of the awesome businesses at the weekly market, like Edith’s Pie and Bolita masa. 272 14th St. at Alice, Oakland.

Opening Monday March 1st in Old Oakland is a second location of ~SQUARE PIE GUYS~ in the former Benchmark Pizzeria location from Danny Stoller and Marc Schechter. They’re bringing over their popular menu of Detroit-style pizzas with creative toppings and their square and crispy-cheesy edges (including their collaborative pizza with NBA star Jeremy Lin, the JLIN, with lemon-garlic ricotta cream, Pavone pepperoni, Green Goddess Caesar, grana, parsley, and red chili flake), and they’ve even developed a gluten-free pizza dough with various vegan toppings, like the Vegan Beet-An-Esca (with no-cream beet cream, Good Planet vegan cheese, and more)—they also make some great salads.

They’ll be bringing their Hot Calabrese fried chicken sandwich (from their Hetchy’s Hots Sandwiches business) too, plus wings, and there’s a liquor license, so they’ll be offering some equally creative cocktails: the Bianco DiMary features vodka, Bianco DiNapoli tomatoes, signature spice blend, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, a hot spice rim, and a roni and mozzarella garnish. Sign me up! Then there’s the Bold Fashioned, with a Mike’s Hot Honey infusion, bourbon, and Angostura bitters.

They’re working closely with local community partners (Hijas del Campo, Prospera, Co-Fed, Frontline Foods, and Homeless Action Center), donating both food and proceeds, while partners such as Co-Fed will also be providing support to management and staff with anti-racist training. They will also continue to partner with Dispatch Goods to offer a zero waste alternative for to-go packaging. They’re starting with takeout and delivery only (outdoor will come later), Mon-Sat 11:30am-9pm and Sun 11:30am-8pm. 499 9th St. at Washington, Old Oakland.

Great news for fans of ~LA PERLA~—the adored Puerto Rican takeout counter inside Two Star Market now has their own brick-and-mortar location right around the corner. The father-son duo of Cheo and Gabriel Ortiz are not only open for business, but they have been selling out of their delicious food! Bring on the pernil. Read more in this Eater report. Open Wed-Fri 12pm-3pm and 4pm-7pm and Sat-Sun 12pm-5pm. 3409 Fruitvale Ave. at Bienati, Oakland.

Over in Berkeley, I’ve been eagerly tracking the opening of ~CASA BAROTTI~ for quite a while, a spizzicheria offering a variety of regional Italian snacks and focaccia, pizza al taglio, tramezzini, farinata, panzerotti, and more. They will even have a Recco-style focaccia, a crisp and thin bread round filled with stracchino cheese, a specialty I have been missing since Farina closed many years ago in the Mission. (It’s a magnificent thing.) The proprietor is Daniele Carsano (co-owner of 54 Mint Forno Italiano in Walnut Creek) who is collaborating with two longtime friends from Torino who currently can’t be here due to the pandemic. Read more in this detailed piece from Nosh. They open today! Open Tue-Sat 11am-5pm. 3204 College Ave. at Alcatraz, Berkeley.