East Bay Updates (So Many Great New Projects!)

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The new patio furniture at Backyard at Broc. Photo: Starr Gazers.

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The Hi Neighbor and Mama Oakland teams have partnered up. Photo courtesy of Hi Neighbor Hospitality Group.

I kept running out of time and didn’t include any East Bay updates the past couple columns, ugh, but let’s dive in! It’s June gloom time, so head on over to Backyard at Broc at Broc Cellars to escape the fog and wind. You can enjoy wine tastings and snacks provided by the nearby Standard Fare, and restaurants will be popping up, like A16 and their pizza truck (June 18th and July 16th). Take a seat at custom, handmade patio furniture from The Long Confidence, who also made Broc’s new hand-blown glasses, and enjoy your alfresco evening with pals. Open Fri-Sun, reservations available via Tock. Friday is open to the public for walk-in availability. 1300 5th St. at Gilman, Berkeley.

I was so happy to see chef Mona Leena Michael (previously Dyafa), otherwise known as The Mana’eesh Lady, maker of incredible Palestinian baked goods and more, has the keys to her first brick-and-mortar location! She has been popping up during the pandemic and slinging her magical pillowy manousheh, but is on hiatus while she prepares her Berkeley location at 10th and Camelia—she hopes to open by this summer. She will be calling the restaurant ~LULU~. Stand by for more!

A few months ago, I mentioned Dominica Rice-Cisneros was about to open her latest restaurant, ~BOMBERA~ in Oakland’s Dimond, and she has soft-opened with takeout service Fri 4pm-8:30pm and Sat 11am-8:30pm. You can take a sneak peek at the menu here (all subject to change) and hours will be expanding in time. It seems their Facebook page has the most recent service updates. I’ll have more updates soon as things take shape over there! 3459 Champion St. at Lincoln, Oakland.

The Hi Neighbor Hospitality Group (Trestle, The Vault) announced they’re partnering with Stevie Stacionis and Josiah Baldivino of ~MAMA OAKLAND~ to restructure and reopen the neighborhood restaurant (it ends up they all worked together for Michael Mina up until 2013, so the gang is getting back together). Hi Neighbor’s newsletter states: “Chef Jason Halverson will be leading the charge in developing an updated version of MAMA’s original concept. Still keeping the prix-fixe notes, and building upon our expertise from Trestle, we will add in options for family style entree proteins such as whole-roasted branzino, chicken Parmesan, and more. Don’t worry, the signature sugo & meatballs will be available daily as part of the prix-fixe.” And you know the wine list will continue to rock, since Stevie and Josiah are behind Bay Grape wine shop. Look for a reopening in mid-June or so. 388 Grand Ave. at Staten, Oakland.

You can catch up on a bunch more openings (and closures) in this recent Nosh post.