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One of the Bay Area’s Oldest Restaurants Closes After 128 Years

Plus omakase, German cafe fare, and more intel

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James F./Yelp

So long, Spenger’s

Berkeley’s Spenger’s Fish Grotto, which first opened in 1890, is no more. Yesterday, the seafood-focused institution posted a sign on the door announcing the immediate and permanent closure of the restaurant. It joins a fleet of recent longtime restaurant closures in the East Bay, including 91-year-old Mexicali Rose and 60-year-old Brennan’s. According to an alcohol license posted on the building, it’ll likely be taken over by the parent company of Joe’s Crab Shack.

Update, 12:55 p.m.: Berkeleyside has the latest info on what happened to Spenger’s as well as what’s going into the space. (Spoiler: Not a Joe’s Crab Shack, despite the alcohol license, but “an innovative concept that makes the most of the DNA from the pre-1950s.”)

Omakase nears

The Shota, the omakase-only sushi restaurant taking over the City Counter space, has an opening date: Thursday, November 1. It’ll start off with two seatings each night at 5:30 and 8 p.m. Chef Ingi “Shota” Son’s resume includes Morimoto Napa, Hashiri, and Omakase.

Currywurst in the Castro

German-inspired cafe Mauerpark is now open at 500 Church Street, in a former laundromat. The sunny space boasts a tiled ceiling and mid-century-esque light fixtures. It serves a compact menu of simple items like nutella on bread and sausage boards alongside coffee, German beer, and wine. Specials might include currywurst (sliced sausage with curry ketchup), spinach-bread dumplings, or cheesy spaetzle.

A new bar in Emeryville’s food hall

The centerpiece of Public Market Emeryville has arrived: Public Bar by Blush, which also operates bars in San Jose and San Diego. Semi-frozen slush cocktails are the signature, but there’s also wine, sake, and 99 bottles of beer, in addition to salads and pizzas.

The Shota

115 Sansome Street, , CA 94104 (628) 224-2074 Visit Website

Public Market Emeryville

5959 Shellmound Street, , CA 94608 (510) 652-5852 Visit Website


500 Church St., San Francisco, CA 94114 Visit Website