Here's the latest in Oakland food news. In this edition: a popular bagel spot sets its sights on Uptown, Grand Lake gets a specialty beverage shop and Grand Lake loses an Italian-American eatery.
Wise Sons (1700 Franklin St.)
Wise Sons, San Francisco's Jewish deli, will open its first Oakland location in September.
As Eater SF reports, Wise Sons acquired the space's current occupant, Beauty’s Bagel Shop, earlier this month. The two bagel purveyors have been pals for more than a decade, back when both were pop-ups, and with the pandemic, "we think that this partnership will make our overall business more resilient," they wrote in a statement on Wise Sons' website.
The biggest consequence of the team-up will be a new bagel recipe merging the two companies' styles, as well as the addition of Wise Sons favorites like latkes, pastrami and babka to the menu.
While Beauty's original location in Temescal will continue to operate under its old name, the Uptown location will become the seventh Wise Sons. In addition to its four San Francisco locations, the deli has outposts in Larkspur (temporarily closed for the moment) and Tokyo, Japan.
Alkali Rye (3256 Grand Ave.)
Grand Lake has a new specialty beverage shop and tasting room, with a focus on both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks, and an emphasis on beverages made by women, queer people and people of color.
As the Chronicle reports, Alkali Rye is run by Oakland natives Jessica Moncada-Konte and Kori Saika Chen, alumni of Chez Panisse and Red Bay Coffee, respectively. They're taking over the former Alchemy Bottle Shop, which quietly closed last December.
While Alkali Rye is primarily centered on craft spirits, wines and beers, it also plans to offer a full matcha and espresso bar (Chen owns a matcha importing business), and sell some homewares and snacks to accompany its products.
The shop is currently open for socially distanced browsing from Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Customers can also pre-order by calling (510)-488-3637 or sending an email. An online store is coming soon.
Mama (388 Grand Ave.)
After about a year in business, Italian-American eatery Mama is closing its doors for the foreseeable future.
Mama was an outgrowth of neighboring wine shop Bay Grape, owned by married couple Stevie Stacionis and Josiah Baldivino. Named for Stacionis' grandmother, it served a casual prix-fixe menu centered on pasta, with a wine list derived from Bay Grape's wide selection.
In May, the couple decided to pivot, turning Mama into a takeout-only business selling meatball subs and other Italian sandwiches. They planned to continue that model post-pandemic, but sales couldn't cover their costs.
Now, the pair will close Mama at the end of this week, "salvag[ing] what we can in anticipation of a hopeful, eventual reopening when dining is safe and salient once again."
Diners can drop by for one final "sandwich in place," chopped salad or cup of frosé this Wednesday through Saturday, from noon to 3 p.m. You'll want to order in advance online, where you can also place an order for a "date night kit" with salad, pasta and cannoli for two.
Bay Grape will remain open after Mama's closure; hours are Wednesday-Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. The shop isn't allowing browsers inside, but will help choose a bottle via "doorway order." You can also order online in advance for pick-up.
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