In news we’re not at all happy to report, Oakland Mexicatessen LA BORINQUEÑA is closing after 71 years in business, Scoop reports. The shop and restaurant has been family-owned since 1944, when Natividad Ramos’s parents founded it. Now, Natividad’s daughters, Tina Ramos (of La Snackeria) and Isabel Esquivil, are retiring from the business, in order to help take care of their mother and take some well-earned time off. We’re terribly sad to see this wonderful business go, but we’re wishing the Ramos family all the very best. La Borinqueña closes Friday July 31st, so head in soon before it’s gone forever. 583 7th St. at Jefferson, Oakland, 510-444-9954.
KITCHEN 388 is now under new ownership, according to a note on their website and Yelpers. There are some additions to the menu, and they are working on bringing outdoor seating back, but otherwise it remains similar to the previous incarnation. They’re open for brunch Tue-Sun 9am-2pm. 388 Grand Ave. at Staten, Oakland, 510-893-3005.
Berkeleyside Nosh reports that THE LIBERTINE is now open in Oakland. The bar, from owner Aric Yeverino, who also owns The Dirty Bird in Hayward, is serving a tight list of drinks including a Moscow Mule, Last Word, rum punch, and shot-and-a-beer specials. Initial Yelp reports are positive and mention that cocktails are $9, which somehow seems like a steal. 3332 Grand Ave. at Mandana, 510-537-2201.
One more piece of surprising news: East Bay Express broke the news that the Berkeley’s PYRAMID ALEHOUSE is now closed after 18 years in business. The EBX post further states: “According to a press release sent out by Rochester-based North American Breweries, the company decided to close its Berkeley facility in order to prepare the building for sale—‘after an extensive evaluation process.’ ‘We have made the decision to focus our West Coast production in our Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington locations,’ CEO Kris Sirchio said in the prepared statement.” 901 Gilman St. at 7th St., Berkeley.
Tamales from La Borinqueña. Photo from Facebook.