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Justin Cogley Gets Grand Chef Nod; Comal's Spinoff Plans

CARMEL—Congratulations are in order for chef Justin Cogley of Aubergine in Carmel, who's just been awarded the Relais & Chateaux's Grand Chef Award for 2014. The luxury hospitality association's award has previously been bestowed on local luminaries like Christopher Kostow, Gary Danko, Michael Tusk, Thomas Keller and David Breeden. [EaterWire]

BERKELEYThe owners of Comal are petitioning Berkeley's Zoning Adjustments Board for permission to open their second restaurant in the Elmwood. If approved, the new spot will have Northern Californian cuisine and a full bar, but some neighbors may block the application due to parking concerns and the like.[Berkeleyside]

CASTROLongstanding gay bar the Pilsner Inn has reopened its doors after a light renovation that saw the old bar replaced with resin-covered wood taken from the lane of a bowling alley, plus all-new taps. Fear not, regulars: that's all that's changed about the Church Street spot. [Castro Biscuit]

FINANCIAL DISTRICTLa Cocina's 5th Annual Gift Alley will be in full swing tomorrow afternoon and evening, welcoming gift shoppers with a mix of artisan treats and handmade crafts. Look out for prepared food from Onigilly, Minnie Bell's Soul Movement and Eji's Kitchen, plus live music, Guittard hot chocolate and spiced wine. [EaterWire]

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