The liquor license app went through last month, and today come a lot more details about Hopscotch, a new 40-seater currently building things out in the former Chef Edwards Bar-B-Que space in Uptown Oakland; that's just two blocks from both the Fox Theater and the Paramount for you map geeks. The owner of the project is Jenny Schwarz, a restaurant industry vet who's held managerial roles at Moose's, Zuppa, and Yoshi's. Take a look at the work in progress above. Touting "playful" American food with "a soft Japanese touch," the menu will come from chef Kyle Itani, who is fourth generation Japanese and met Schwartz on the opening team at Yoshi's. Itani is just back from New York, where he helped The Meatball Shop guys open their West Village outpost.
Schwarz says the food will be very approachable. Appetizers like Kirin-steamed clams with housemade Merguez will fall in the $7 to $13 range. Entrees—things like porchetta with konbu-braised kale ohitashi—will stay under $24. There's also talk of yuzu meringue pie and fruit tarts for dessert.
For the decor, the team is keeping the red diner chairs and schoolhouse light fixtures from Edwards', while cleaning things up to create an upscale American diner feel. Schwarz will design the beverage program, and she's already teasing the Koffee Kart cocktail, made with Yamazaki 12 yr Japanese Malt Whiskey, cold pressed coffee, vanilla bean simple syrup and cocoa nib tincture. The team is gearing up for an opening as soon as May 1, depending on when then liquor license comes through.
· All First Word Coverage [~ ESF ~]