Berkeley’s Elmwood neighborhood has finally found a replacement for The Advocate, the restaurant from the Comal team that closed last fall. Donato Scotti, chef and owner of Oakland’s DESCO, and Donato Enoteca and Cru in Redwood City, has purchased the restaurant and transferred the liquor license with plans for a California-influenced Italian restaurant.
Scotti says that he’s in the early stages of planning — so early that there’s no name yet — but that he’s working on finding a chef from Italy to lead the restaurant. Though there’s not a concrete plan for the concept, Scotti wants to create something that’s not a “destination” restaurant, with options for the dense residential neighborhood around it that includes many families. “I love the neighborhood,” Scotti told Eater SF. “I’ve always wanted to move into this neighborhood, so when I saw it I went for it right away.”
The Advocate opened in 2015, with a menu of flavors from around the world, cocktails, and a bright new space. When it closed in October of 2016, co-owner John Paluska told Berkeleyside they just weren’t able to pull it off in the neighborhood, in addition to the usual challenges of rising minimum wage.
Scotti is working out the details now, with no concrete timeline. The restaurant space itself is brand new, however, so hopefully there won’t be the typical construction delays. Stay tuned for more.