Naming new restaurants after either the former occupants of their spaces or similar, bygone spots is a popular trend these days, with the forthcoming Tupper & Reed, Darling's, and Cadillac Bar & Grill all joining in on the trend, and Hamburger Mary's looking to move back to SF. The latest addition is The Longbranch, a forthcoming restaurant from the team behind Berkeley's Paisan that's set to open right next door to that restaurant. As Inside Scoop reports, it's named for a popular '70s Berkeley rock club, the Longbranch Saloon.
Though it's housed in the former Sea Salt and Eat + Drink space, not the original Longbranch space (which is down the block), the restaurant will draw inspiration from the rockin' past with a live music program, food until midnight (a rarity for early-to-bed Berkeley), and a big craft beer selection (25 taps and 50 bottles). They'll have a sizable whiskey offering, and a menu from Paisan's chef David Stevenson (Plumpjack, Enrico's), who's launching the project with landlord Hal Brandel (Bar Cesar, Cafe Trieste).
The plan is to offer a range of affordable options for the young West Berkeley crowd, ranging from a $9 burger to a $30 steak. The formerly sit-down dining room is now equipped with communal tables and a much bigger bar, while the onetime waiting room is now the dining room. The duo are aiming for a July 1 opening, and plan to do some pop-ups in June to ease into the transition.
· The Longbranch bringing contemporary saloon to Berkeley [Inside Scoop]