Here you see the former Maritime East space, which has sat vacant for over a year and a half, with a shiny new paint job in terra cotta red with green trim. "Roman colors," says owner and food blogger extraordinaire, Robert Lauriston, who's getting ready to open Locanda da Eva here on July 15. He's brought on Huw Thornton, former executive sous chef under Nate Appleman at SPQR, as partner and chef. And the daily changing menu will focus on Italy "with occasional excursions to other Mediterranean countries." There's a wood-fired oven here, so of course there will be pizza; but the dough will be thinner and crisper than the predominant Neapolitan pies around the Bay Area. "More in the direction of Rome and New York," says Lauriston.
Jacqueline Patterson, who's crafted cocktails at Orson, Zinnia, Smuggler’s Cove, and Heaven’s Dog, will incorporate classic Italian flavors into the restaurant's regional produce-driven cocktail list; though Lauriston notes Italians think of cocktails as an American thing. He's also brought on Matt Derrick, who was opening manager at Terzo, Pesce and Miss Pearl's Jam House, as a partner and general manager. Lauriston himself will curate the wine list focused on domestic, food-friendly wines. Interior-wise the team has uncovered the Berkeley Mills woodwork, originally put in place by former occupant, Mazzini Trattoria; tile floors have been replaced with strand-woven bamboo. This should all give the place just the casual, yet buttoned-up vibe it's going for. Lauriston is still waiting for approval to put up the sign outside: a blown-up version of the logo on the Facebook page, but doesn't anticipate any NIMBY protests. This is Berkeley, not San Francisco, after all. [EaterWire]