Bad news in March that the charming two Sisters Bar & Books would close after six years in Hayes Valley was somewhat undercut by the knowledge that co-owners Mikah Diaz and Alana O’Neal would decamp to Berkeley to start something new. After much preparation and some permitting delays, their new cafe and wine bar, Les Arceaux, will greet customers this Friday.
"I did not dream that when I opened [Two Sisters] five and a half years ago I would have such an incredible group of bright creative people that want to grow and grow with me,” Diaz told Eater in March.
Les Arceaux, pronounced “lay-zar-so,” is French for “the arches.” To chef O’Neal, the name refers to a particular set of them: The ancient aqueduct arches of Montpellier, France, and the site of her favorite farmers market. Before Two Sisters, O’Neal cooked at Millennium, a vegan fine-dining restaurant (which, incidentally, also moved from San Francisco to the East Bay).
Located in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto area in the former Bistro Liaison space, Les Arceaux has 40-seats. It reportedly occupies just a third of its 1,700 foot space — the rest of it has been reserved for food prep and catering work.
During cafe hours, from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Les Arceaux will serve a menu of daily pastries and homemade English muffins (topped with butter and jam or fried eggs and veggie or pork sausage). Starting at 11 a.m., a lunch menu includes items like chopped salade Nicoise, quiche, and panini.
Next is a menu of happy hour bites available from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a dinner menu that includes a range of items, many Provençal in style, from cheese and charcuterie, to mussels poached in gose beer, to larger dishes such as a Marin Sun Farms bavette steak.
The wine list focuses on France and California and includes two house wines on draft and 25 options by the glass. The bar also serves three draft beers and more by the bottle. Sadly for fans of Two Sisters’ popular Chamomile old fashioneds, Les Arceaux noes not have a full liquor license. Instead, there’s a whole a menu section of spritzes: Two year-round choices and two seasonal ones, like one with Santa Rosa plum vermouth, Leopold Brothers aperitivi, and sparkling rosé.
Starting Friday, Les Arceaux will be open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.