Here's the latest on Oakland's restaurant scene. In this edition, a Berkeley cupcake spot plots an Oakland expansion, a Chinatown dim sum eatery debuts, a longtime Italian eatery revamps as a pizzeria, and a College Avenue cafe calls it quits.
Cupcakin' (907 Washington St.)
First up, veteran Hoodline tipster Al M. reports that a new cupcake spot, Cupcakin’, will be taking over the former Hen House Pizza space in Old Oakland’s Swan’s Market.
Owned by home-baker-turned-professional Lila Owens, Cupcakin' has another outpost in Berkeley (2391 Telegraph Ave.) On the menu, expect to see a rotating selection of flavors like red velvet, caramel mocha, vegan vanilla cranberry, key lime pie and more. (You can check out the full menu here.)
Owens hopes to have her Swan's location ready to go by the end of the year, reports the East Bay Express. But according to our informant Al M., "the build-out [still] appears to be in its early stages."
The expansion to Oakland is a homecoming for Owens, who was born and raised in The Town. “I’m excited to be coming home,” she said.
Ming's Tasty Restaurant (940 Webster St.)
In Fortune's last days, the Alameda County health department "red-tagged" the spot for myriad violations. But Ming's is making a fresh start, with a focus on dim sum.
Al M. stopped by for lunch this week, noting that Ming's has eschewed dim sum carts. Instead, diners mark their choices on a paper menu, and the selection is delivered to the table.
Expect to see options like barbecue pork buns, fried tofu-skin-wrapped shrimp, pork and shrimp dumplings, rice noodle rolls and more. So far, Ming's has just one review on Yelp, which awards it four stars.
Pizza Marica (5301 College Ave.)
After shuttering in July for a refresh, upscale Italian restaurant Marica is back with a new, more casual concept: Pizza Marica.
The restaurant specializes in 12- and 16-inch thin-crust pizzas, like the "Where the Wild Shrooms Are" with cremini mushrooms, caramelized onions and rosemary; the "Sunny Side of the Bay" with prosciutto and arugula; and a lobster pie, featuring shredded lobster topped with mozzarella and a lobster reduction sauce.
There are also sharable starters, pasta dishes and a full-service bar with draft beers, white and red wines and a selection of signature cocktails. (You can check out the full menu here.)
Pizza Marica is open daily from 5:30–11 p.m. Lunch service will be joining the mix soon, according to the restaurant's website.
College Point Cafe (5254 College Ave.)
Finally, College Point Cafe is no more, said our informant Al M.
The restaurant's windows are "completely covered," and a note posted to the window thanks customers for their support over the years.
It's not clear why the cafe officially threw in the towel. But the note indicates "it's time for us to move on to a new journey in life."
Thanks very much to Al M. for the tips!
Have you noticed a new addition to (or subtraction from) Oakland's food landscape? Text a tip and a horizontal photo to (510) 757-9959, and we'll look into it.
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