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Berkeley’s Comal to Expand With Complementary, Fast-Casual Restaurant

They’re still nailing down the details

Phil’s Sliders Berkeley

Comal is expanding it’s California-inspired Mexican footprint with a an all-day, fast-casual restaurant in downtown Berkeley. The new spot will take over the space currently occupied by Phil’s Sliders, a tot-and-small-burger-heavy restaurant that will close at the end of June after six years of business, according to Berkeleyside.

The expansion to the building next door is also a move to increase the cramped kitchen, storage, and walk-in space for Comal. Co-owner Andrew Hoffman says that with the restaurant’s busy catering program and taproom food collaboration with Fieldwork brewing, they were bursting at the seams. “This fills a lot of immediate need for us,” said Hoffman. “It came together really quickly.”


So quickly, in fact, that Hoffman, partners John Paluska and chef Matt Gandin are still discussing plans for what will go into the space. “It will be something complementary to Comal, but not competitive,” Hoffman told Eater. “Like a daytime, counter-service kind of thing.” Phil’s small space will also dictate the type of use, given its long, narrow interior that is already designed for that kind of service.

Despite the fall closure of the group’s Elmwood restaurant, The Advocate, Hoffman says “We love Berkeley, and really like the idea of doubling down on our block [in Berkeley] rather than going of to find some cool location in Oakland.”

Phil’s Sliders will serve its last burgers on June 30, so stop by before then; owner Hugh Groman will continue to focus on his catering businesses. After that, there are upgrades and other renovations to be done on the restaurant before the Comal crew can get to work on their new venture. Stay tuned for more details.


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