Oakland Eats: Viridian Bar opens with Asian-inspired snacks; Alchemy Bottle Shop changes hands; more

Oakland Eats: Viridian Bar opens with Asian-inspired snacks; Alchemy Bottle Shop changes hands; morePhoto: Jeremy Chiu/Viridian
Teresa Hammerl
Published on February 06, 2020

Here's what you need to know about news coming from Oakland's food scene. In this edition: Uptown gets a new craft cocktail bar, a prolific Bay Area Indian spot opens a new location downtown and a Grand Lake specialty liquor store changes hands (and names).



Viridian (2216 Broadway)

Photo: Jeremy Chiu/Viridian

Asian-American-themed bar Viridian opened its doors earlier this week, in the former home of Plum Bar on Broadway.

The new bar comes from owners from William Tsui (Lazy Bear), Raymond Gee (Noodle Theory Provisions), Jeremy Chiu (Shinmai), and Alison Kwan (Lazy Bear).

Its menu is centered on Asian snacks and small bites, like cha siu bao (pork buns), salt-and-pepper chicken nuggets and milk bread with chili crisp and ginger butter.

For the after-dinner crowd, there's an especially large selection of desserts, like Thai tea tiramisu, egg custard tarts and pandan (young coconut) pie. 

Cocktails include the Lemon Glass (Toki Japanese whiskey, red berry consommé, lemongrass, Ramune) and the Mamacita Margarita (mezcal, tangelo, yuzu kosho, palm sugar, sweet vermouth). 

Designed by Soon and Soon Studio, the moody space is inspired by the Hong Kong-set '90s film "Chungking Express," with neon sculptures from San Francisco-based artist Laura Stevenson (Rite Guy Design) and lots of black accents. 

Hours for Viridian are Monday - Thursday from 4 p.m. - midnight, and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. until "late." Food is only available until 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on the weekend.


Naan 'n Curry (1615 Clay St.)

Photo: Albertino M./Hoodline Tipline

Hoodline's veteran tipster Al M. alerted us that local Indian-food juggernaut Naan 'n Curry has taken over the former Phuong Nam Restaurant, leaving the interior largely the same.

Naan 'n Curry has a strong local presence, with two SF locations as well as locations in Concord and Hayward. The menu is focused on simple Indian and Pakistani fare, like chicken tikka masala, tandoori fish, lamb chops, samosas and garlic naan. 

The new Naan 'n Curry is open daily, from 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.


Grand Lake

Alchemy Bottle Shop (3256 Grand Ave.)

Photo: Ashley F./Yelp

Over on Grand Avenue, Alchemy Bottle Shop quietly closed at the end of December, Berkeleyside reports.

"We've loved getting to know so many of you over the years, and can't thank you enough for all the support," married owners Tova Herman and Peter Mustacich wrote in a farewell letter on their website, explaining that becoming parents has changed their outlook on running a small business.

Berkeleyside also found out what's next for the space: another beverage-focused retail store, Alkali Rye, which will offer natural wine, beer and craft spirits. The shop will also have an in-house espresso bar, with Red Bay coffee to be enjoyed "for here only," and will sell coffee and tea accessories as well. 

Expect Alkali Rye to arrive in early spring.

Thanks to our veteran tipster Al M.! Have you noticed a new addition to (or subtraction from) Oakland's food landscape? Text a tip and a horizontal photo to (415) 200-3233, and we'll look into it.